Are Blogs Still A Thing?

Everyone uses some form of them. It's half in everything. It's absorbed into the net and now it's different. So, in this new age of click-bait titles and web number-sign or point something, inside this old publishing app that's been collecting dust since 2014, my vain, unproductive, and currently most pressing concern, is why would I have a blog? How did it get here, and should it still be a thing?

Before social media and content aggregators became the norm, blogs were the great threads of art on the internet. There wasn't a default place for art. Some people had personal art websites, and others posted on forums. Forums are a little long in the tooth now, but they used to be king. If you didn't want to invest in hosting a site, but you still wanted a little slice of the internet to call your own, you could go to a forum and post to a personal thread or profile gallery. But if you were really serious, you had a personal website, maybe even an ftp. Blogs were the middle ground. They were free, optionally networked, and you could still design it to look professional.

Artists still host personal websites, but it's not so relevant anymore. A personal websites as an online portfolio goes unnoticed. And as art statements, it's probably wanting. Blog-rings are like forgotten civilizations now. Some artists still blog seriously and there are still some great artist blogs out there. But this format is archaic. It's more aesthetic than function now. Why blog when you can Medium? Why be a person when you can be a corporation? Why ftp when - nope, ftp is still rad.  

There are so many ways to carve your own slice of online now that it makes me want to blog just to rebel. And really, that’s all the reason I need. Blogging is still treacherous. Sooner or later I will drop the ball again, I will definitely sound dumb, and somebody will be offended by what I write. I may regret it, but I’m going to fire this up again and see where it goes, because it’s always been cooler to be uncool.

Ho Blog, 

How do you turn this on?

Still Life Studies

In Spring of 2012, I was in LA with Jimmy Ly and Wouter Gort studying concept art at Concept Design Academy. We rented a house in Pasadena from a couple while they were away travelling. It was dusty, squeaky, and slightly cold. But during the day the light would slowly meander in and make the space glow. It was a beautiful and inspiring home. I feel grateful for the opportunity to have lived there.

One of the courses I took at CDA was Intro To Digital Painting taught by Jason Scheier. At the time I hadn't painted in Photoshop that much and I was still trying to translate my experience in oil painting to digital by emulating traditional techniques. I started studying oils during art school and I still love the medium, but I never really had the patience for proper glazing technique. I think oils will always feel better to use, but photoshop is lightning fast and it can be really fun to play with.

Cloud Studies

These are a few cloud studies I did a while back with the talented Brennan Massicotte. We wanted to develop a process in photoshop to paint some nice voluptuous clouds. In the first study, I used a simple hard brush, and avoided smooth blending. I wanted to focus on just the values, temperature, and how the forms turned. The second one is similar, only this time I indulged in some smudging. :)

The third study is a little special. It was created using only the Lasso tool on my laptop's trackpad. It's an exercise I started practicing after trying it once during Jason Scheier's digital painting class at Concept Design Academy. I forgot my tablet at home for class that day, but instead of going back for it, I thought it might be an interesting challenge to try painting without it! The exercise turned out to be really useful. For the cloud study, I made the depth of field effect plus varying edge quality by building up selection layers with incremental levels of feathering. 

Still life of Helm. CDA 2012. First time painting with only Lasso tool using trackpad.