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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 12:07   #101
Jackie Garner
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At long last I've finished the golden plover painting, so here it is for your perusal. It stems from my New Year's Day outing to the beach - Kenfig this year - with a friend. We'd just arrived when a flock of golden plovers flew past and nestled amongst the pebbles. Well I love seeing repeating shapes and colours in nature so I was all fired up to do a painting. Pity I had no art materials or even a camera to hand. Had to go back the next day, and after a brief wait in came the plovers again. I stayed as late as possible but the light was fading fast and I didn't fancy wandering the sand dunes in the dark, so the sketching session wasn't as long as I'd have liked. Never mind, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and Home to Roost is the result.
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 15:17   #102
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Hello Jackie,

Since I am new to this forum, I thought I would introduce myself to you - I'm not exactly a wildlife artist, but am deeply involved with birds and making works from them. I'm based out of NYC. Your work looks beautiful, and I am happy to have a chance here to become acquainted with it - thank you!

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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 15:48   #103
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glad the birdfair went well - will have to watch the clip once I've caught up on everything here - I love your goldies, the colours in the pebbles resonate cold and warm tones which give such a vibrancy.
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 16:53   #104
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glad the birdfair went well - will have to watch the clip once I've caught up on everything here - I love your goldies, the colours in the pebbles resonate cold and warm tones which give such a vibrancy.
Have to agree with Nick. And add that the bottom bird looking to viewer's left seems to me to be the perfect finishing touch!
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 18:39   #105
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congrats on the fair, a great way for people to find your beautiful work...

Plovers are a joy to see, comp and color just support the painting so well...
and we are all drooling over your studio!
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 20:39   #106
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Simply beautiful.
And: not-so-simply beautiful.
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 22:44   #107
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I really like the colours in this painting, and you handled the lighting very well!
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Old Friday 27th August 2010, 08:24   #108
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This piece works terrfifically well - there's a tangible sense of excitement at the encounter and the application of glowing light pinpoints that special moment in the day. Lovely.
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Old Friday 27th August 2010, 15:34   #109
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This piece works terrfifically well - there's a tangible sense of excitement at the encounter and the application of glowing light pinpoints that special moment in the day. Lovely.
As usual Tim's beaten me to it. I especially like the little touches of reflected light.

Mike
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 09:19   #110
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Winter light on Winter GPs. Magical truth!
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 10:12   #111
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Winter light on Winter GPs. Magical truth!
The light is superb.
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Old Tuesday 31st August 2010, 20:33   #112
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Thank you for your kind comments, everyone. My aim is for viewers to think "I've seen that" or "I wish I'd seen that" when they look at my work. That's why I work from life, because it's a genuine reaction to a real moment. I could paint golden plovers from imagination or memory in the studio, but it wouldn't catch the excitement of the moment.
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Old Thursday 2nd September 2010, 20:38   #113
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Hi Jackie,

New member of the forum here - and a new artist as well (two years into it) - and just went through your thread. Your work is magnificent. There is such an incredible wealth of talent here on the forum that it's a bit hard to grasp...! Hope to see a lot more of your work here.
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Old Sunday 5th September 2010, 20:49   #114
Jackie Garner
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Hi Jackie,

New member of the forum here - and a new artist as well (two years into it) - and just went through your thread. Your work is magnificent. There is such an incredible wealth of talent here on the forum that it's a bit hard to grasp...! Hope to see a lot more of your work here.
Hi John, thanks for your kind words and I'm glad you like my work. I will certainly post more work as I create it, though the business side of being an artist seems to take precedence over producing work at present. You're right: there's a lot of talent on this forum, but don't let that daunt you. Everyone on here had to start from the beginning and improve over time - that starting point was longer ago for some than others! We all share our opinions and learn from each other, so I'm glad you're adding another voice to the mix. Welcome!
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Old Tuesday 7th September 2010, 23:52   #115
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Forgive me if this question has been covered on this forum before.
I've just been asked if SEO for artists is pointless because it's good for selling some products but it's not good for selling original art. We probably all rank well for our own names on search engines, but has anyone tried to get higher up the rankings for any other terms, and if so were there quantifiable results? Personally I think SEO is just part of an online strategy and we don't necessarily get results from just one element. I haven't had a strong web presence for long enough to see results, so I'd be really interested to hear others' experiences.
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Old Wednesday 8th September 2010, 00:16   #116
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Forgive me if this question has been covered on this forum before.
I've just been asked if SEO for artists is pointless because it's good for selling some products but it's not good for selling original art. We probably all rank well for our own names on search engines, but has anyone tried to get higher up the rankings for any other terms, and if so were there quantifiable results? Personally I think SEO is just part of an online strategy and we don't necessarily get results from just one element. I haven't had a strong web presence for long enough to see results, so I'd be really interested to hear others' experiences.
I haven't seen anyone mention this in the 15 months I've been here. But I was prompted to look into something similar just the last few weeks when I got an offer from Google for $100 free use of their ad words. I really didn't expect much but decided to experiment and see what happens when I type in something like 'bird art', 'wildlife art', etc. You can do it yourself and then see what ads pop up. After I saw the results I just couldn't see any reason to buy those ad words. So I looked for terms that might be better, like 'original bird art', etc. The results weren't much better. To put it simply I couldn't see that I would gain anything from using Google ad words for the generalized terms I think potential customers would be likely to use.

However I've known about minimal, i.e. no work and no headaches, SEO for a number of years. I particularly use it in the metadata section of my primary web site. And it does tend to work. But it works for things like 'pastel bird drawing' that are more specific. The problem with that is that I don't think too many people are out there searching for something so specific.

Another interesting thing I just read is that Google now ranks its results by many criteria, not just the value of links back to your page. One of the new criterion is 'recency.' This is supposedly due to the Twitter age, where everybody wants everything that is new, new, new. So if a great artist doesn't update his site but a mediocre one does the mediocre one may get more results. This was from a very good book called 'The Shallows' about how the internet affects our brains. So it wasn't from Google and I can't say for certain that it's true. But I had noticed that my sites were getting less and less hits. I updated some for other reasons recently and my ranking seems to have gone up. So recency may have some affect.

But the whole time I've been looking at this in the back of my mind my thought has been this: successful artists today still become successful the traditional way through galleries, shows, etc. For all the visitors I get very few result in sales. Hopefully someone gets something out of their visits, outside of free images. My few sales have come from people in various parts of the US, and a non-sale to a Brit who didn't respond after I told her the price, who I'd never have even heard from without the internet. I'm sure that my own simple use of SEO helped those sales. But my own feeling is that it's not worth spending money on. You just wouldn't get good results. But I'm just one person, and one who doesn't sell much to begin with. It would be interesting to know what others have found.

Later edit: Out of curiosity I later searched for 'original bird art.' Alan's site came up on second page of results. So maybe he has some ideas on the subject.
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Old Monday 13th September 2010, 22:00   #117
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Thanks for the feedback. No, I didn't think Google ad-words were worth bothering with either. I just use various online methods to share my art. Sales are nice obviously, but I think collectors probably search for known artists by their name rather than other search terms.

Having said that, I've certainly looked for new artists (new to me, not new to the art world) by searching for "wildlife art" or similar on search engines, so I'm sure other interested parties must do the same. A year ago my site was way down on page 60 if you searched for wildlife artists. No one was ever going to find it there! Thanks to a bit of SEO work it's now in the top few pages (varies a bit). It might not result in floods of sales, but at least more people can see my work now.
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Old Wednesday 15th September 2010, 20:11   #118
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Here's my latest painting. Woodpigeons aren't a subject I'd usually find inspiring, but I happened to look out of the studio window to see these two in a nearby cherry tree. The light was filtering through the branches and I just loved the mix of colour and shadows. I've tried to keep a loose feel to it but someone has already made the "it looks just like a photograph" comment.

I've posted a step-by-step guide on my blog for anyone who wants to see how it evolved.
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Old Wednesday 15th September 2010, 20:16   #119
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Really nice, Jackie! And very natural poses. Although these apparently are a different species than what we call Band-tailed Pigeons in the states, many aspects of them look quite similar. I am (unfortunately in some respects!) very familiar with our Band-tailed Pigeons because earlier this year they discovered my bird feeding stations in our yard and a flock of from 6 to 20 visits almost every day. They are like bird seed vacuum cleaners. They are very wary, and if they detect motion inside the house as I'm watching them, they either scatter, or look warily back at me...just like you portrayed in your piece here. Well done.
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Old Wednesday 15th September 2010, 22:41   #120
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I've tried to keep a loose feel to it but someone has already made the "it looks just like a photograph" comment.

I've posted a step-by-step guide on my blog for anyone who wants to see how it evolved.
beautiful strong shadow shapes across the backs

I remember a while back when a BB photographic prize went to a woodpigeon on cherry blossom whch was blurry either due to being out of focus or misprinted- so both birders and photographers were up in arms..
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Old Thursday 16th September 2010, 22:03   #121
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beautiful pidgeons

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Old Saturday 18th September 2010, 10:22   #122
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The woodies are a super piece of work, just goes to prove that if you look without seeing then you'll miss a great deal of beauty.

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Old Saturday 18th September 2010, 13:50   #123
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Here's my latest painting. Woodpigeons aren't a subject I'd usually find inspiring, but I happened to look out of the studio window to see these two in a nearby cherry tree. The light was filtering through the branches and I just loved the mix of colour and shadows. I've tried to keep a loose feel to it but someone has already made the "it looks just like a photograph" comment.

I've posted a step-by-step guide on my blog for anyone who wants to see how it evolved.
Great combination of bird and background, color, design, light and brushwork. It all adds up to a striking painting. And I do think you've kept that sense of filtered light which can be such an inspiration to paint.
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Old Saturday 18th September 2010, 17:58   #124
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birds are very graceful and I enjoyed the blog, thanks for the link
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Old Saturday 18th September 2010, 19:26   #125
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Love the woodpigeons Jackie....

I know they are common and a pest but that never detracts me from their beauty when observed closely.....[and you have painted them wonderfully]....!
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