Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Websites for Artists

There seems to be a growing number of websites dedicated to the display of art not all for sale. There are those that seem to have no limits to the numbers that they permit to show on the site others that have a strict number and they adhere to that. Some websites allow you to post you work for sale others it is merely a way of getting your work seen. Some are very easy to use others have very complicated means to get you art on display. The numer of such site seems to grow by the day if not by the hour. How successful are they?

First a personal website. I have had two such websites the first going down the cheaper route of signing up witha  company and having to do the build myself with alittle help from them. A lot of work but the cost was bearable and was paid for by one of the very few sales I had from there. The second site I have is my present one. Built for me at a greater cost, able to take paypal buttons and maintained for me. This site is fairly easy to put work onto and keep up to date. This site gets me more exposure than the other but to date has not really paind for itself.

Now to some of those other sites. There is one I think all artists know about, going by the numbers that subscribe to it. Has anyone ever sold from it? I suppose there may have been but I have never ever met any of them. Some of the stuff posted on such sites is questionable in terms of art, I saw on the best known of those sites a picture of a young girls arm with the word know tattooed on it. I as the question honestly is this art? If it is whose art is it? Then there are those who know how to work the system on such sites they comment on almost every post always in glowing terms and so frequently they themselves have, "Pic of the Day". This site now adds featured artist on "Twitter". How I wonder, out of all those artists do they make a choice?  And the question should they when all are paying a fee.

I subscribe to two art magazines and both have sites where it is possible to post art. I have no complaints at all about these sites, they do what they say they do, they allow you exposure. My only one concern with them is that they do so in pages the latest uploads getting the front page. How often I have put an painting on there and within a very short time it is no longer on the front page because someone else has posted six paintings in one day. When this does not happen and you do indeed get exposure the comments and feedback are frequently helpful honest and constructive.

I post also on a commercial site that has a limited number of artists. It is operated by a very helpful person. This site tries very very hard to give all artist the same opporuinity to have front page exposure. This site has led to two sales for me and a number of visits to my own site that have resulted in either a sale or a commission.

Recently I have found, or did they find me, a site operated by Cathy Savels a very very helpful lady. I found this one through Facebook. It is very easy to upload paintings and artwork onto. At present it does not have too many artists  but I have a slight worry it may go down that road purely because of the generousity of Cathy. It also features slected artists and this is done by Cathy on the basis of those artists who are using the site most frequently, this sounds like a very fair way and  nobody is paying a fee. As I have already said Cathy is a very helpful  person and I am sure she has the well being of artists at heart.I wish this site well. I have already had a couple of feedback comments from this but it is very early days and as I say and I wish them well.

I have you will notice not named any of the sites I have mentioned but I am sure if you are in the world of art you will have your own knowledge of some of the above. The routes to finding them well I have hinted. I would love to hear from others with similar of other experiences in trying to get your art out there.


  1. Hi, Ralph, I am going to add my 2 cents! You have touched upon the subject of what IS art? and the "tatoo girl" with "know" or was it "k now" on her arm. I think these are related. Who would have thought that a Campbells Soup Can that looked more like a photo than a painting could ever be art? and Pollack? everyone copies him now and he is a spiller of paint! What made both these artists famous and their work valuable was they were a little mad. There was a story behind the art. You not only got to buy a painting but had the impression that you were buying a piece of the artist, and in doing so, attempting to find out something about yourself, your own emotions! You sence something in a particular artist that you might only have an incling in yourself.
    Some "artists" are oinly good technicians, capable at their trade but not able to "get under our skin", make us feel, cause us to pause and wonder. a good artist will do that, or make us feel a little uncomfortable in our own isolated world. The "tatoo girl" is a competent photographer, taking photos of everyday objects
    and finding something emotive from them. She is young and maybe she is deeper than that? No one would know of van Gough had he not cut off his ear. He never did sell a painting in his lifetime. But it is interesting knowing there was a slightly mad mad behind his strokes! It is good that she is not that extreme, but we do "know" her now, don't we? thanks Ralph for your blog thank I can use as a forum! Jerry Carlin

  2. Well, thanks for the defense Jerry, Tattoo girl is now here to put her 2 cents in. My tattoo is of the word "know" on my left wrist, in my grandmothers handwriting, she happens to be the last grandparent that i have left. i know that it is art, and it is my art, i know this because it was my idea, my wish to have that word forever embedded on my arm. So yeah, i took a photo of it, and put on my artwanted page. Putting it on artwanted was me showing all of my viewers on the site what i had done, because i am proud of it. And who i came to be. If you had any idea what the tattoo meant, and why i chose it, i really doubt you would even be saying anything. But thanks so much for your advertising! and answer this question for me, how can you possibly be an artist if you questions art? How can you have this elaborate webisute and be so closed minded to art?

  3. I agree grew up being influenced by my art and many others.....YOU ARE AN ARTIST IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE WORD.....this man does not KNOW a thing about art! ...........Love Dad

  4. YEAH, DAD!!!!! Don't mess with Texas and DON'T
    criticize daughters!!!

  5. I am sure you are right I dont know a thing about art but then who of us really does. We all do our best. I did not know the story of the tattoo, had I then the question would have been asked in another way, and I would have had my answer. I never ever in life set out to offend anybody, it is just not my way. I love the story of the tattoo it touches my inner being. I have looked at the work of Courtney and like Jerry I agree it is good and I wish her well in the future.

  6. Hi, Ralph, I think we are just having fun, nothing that serious! and always, "what is art"
    is the ageless question that each generation must tackle. This is all really a mark of your success: people are talking on this blog! When the bruizes heal we will all become friends!

  7. Well I sure have already found a friend in you Jerry. Thanks again. Yes I often ponder that very question. When i was younger I was sure I knew the answe, as I did about everything. It comes with youth I think. I used to think my father knew nothing then I discovered he had forgotten more than I had learned. So now I am not at all sure the answer but like all of us there are times when we know when it is not. I am never one to believe I am always right and am always the first to apologise when wrong. I still have a bit to go with some tattoo stuff I see but in the case of Courtney she was involved in teh complete process so I bow my head.