Sunday, 3 June 2012

One Year of Blogging

It has been a year since my first post.  As it's a rainy day and I'm in a reflective state of mind, I thought I'd make some observations about what I've learned and the direction that is emerging.

I started the blog as an incentive to draw at least 3 times a week and was surprised at how I became engaged in the blogsphere.  Some sites have counters, but I have no idea what to expect in terms of traffic, especially for such an obscure interest niche. One thing I have noticed with art related sites that have huge numbers of followers, is that they have been at it for   5 or 6 years.

First, some stats:
- 101 posts - probably 120 sketches
- 5040 visits / over 40 countries , presently averaging about 30 visits/day
- almost 50:50 return visits to new visits
- 38% from Canada, followed by USA, Russia and UK
- top post 146 visits...ironically not a sketch, but an article "Get Drawing- Five Tips to Break Sketchers's Block" which was picked up by Making A Mark blog ( a major British Art Blog
- posts about totem poles, trip to Italy and skateboarding have been popular

Goals Achieved
I am pleased that I have incorporated sketching into my lifestyle as a habit.  It's easy to draw while away on vacation, but harder when back to the pressures of working life.  That's where the journalistic side of the blog has been helpful in looking for themes or thinking about what might be unique to someone looking in from another country.

The other goal was to become a member or Urban Sketchers.  This has continued to be rewarding as I develop some profile online and make connections among the other members.  This virtual experience became real last weekend when Mark Taro Holmes contacted me to see if I wanted to go sketching with him when he was in Ottawa.  Next week I will be attending a watercolour painting workshop with Shari Blaukopf in Montreal and in July I will attend the annual Urban Sketching Symposium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Without a doubt, in the future I will contact USK members when travelling.

Is my drawing better?  Sometimes.  It's certainly faster and a bit looser. I am starting to learn how to paint - instead of colouring in shapes like when I started last year, which is a whole other world.  The sketching has promoted some other projects - like lino-cut prints of the Gatineau warm up huts and hopefully this fall, some much larger works.

Year 2
Expect the same pace of contribution, although with the added interest from travel subjects on several trips this summer and addition of some side projects, such as my "not furniture/not sculpture" woodworking.  Looking back, some of my personal favourites told a story - like "Little Mike's Mean Bike", so expect the narrative to continue or expand.

This has been a journey. Not sure where it is taking me, but I do sense it's going somewhere and more than that it is intrinsically rewarding activity.  Oh, and one request.  If you stop in, please leave a comment.


  1. I followed your amusing comment on US to your blog and have just had a nice wander through several of your posts. I enjoyed reading your reflections on your year of sketching and blogging. I think I might benefit from a bit of refection, so thank you for the inspiration.
    I noticed that you are going to the US Symposium in SD. I attended the first one here in Portland and it was a profound and memorable experience. I'm sure you will find that to be true this summer.
    I like your request for comments, too, and may steal that idea as well. Thanks!

  2. beautiful work! it's funny, I think I began also to goad myself to draw (asked an artist friend: 'why do we have to make ourselves do it?') it's not just drawing: it is also sharing the work. I like the community of people who emerge to interact. Have a good time, and I look forward to the results!!