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On my 300th blog post


It's my 300th blog post. And I seem to remember that in my 200th blog post I said that I would start quoting from John Ruskin's "Praeterita", after which this blog was named. Well, better late then never, so quotation number 2 is below.

First, though, some thoughts on this blog and blogging in general. I started Praeterita at the end of last year after reading a book by an art-marketing guru called Alyson Stansfield that recommended it as a means for artists to publicise their work better. But from the start I thought it would be more interesting to talk in a discursive way about my wider interest in art, and artists, and the history of art. After a desultory beginning where I only posted once a week, my blogging habit has now grown to the point where I am posting sometimes twice a day, and more than 45 times per month (helped enormously by the Blogger feature that lets you save blog posts with a post-dated timestamp, so that you can put posts in the bank to publish automatically). I also found that it was interesting to ask other artists about their own lives and thoughts, and to publish their responses in interviews on this blog. It's been a little while since I've published an interview (though I still have several requests out there in the universe), but I intend to keep doing that as long as people say 'Yes' to me when I pester them at art openings.

Has it helped my art career yet? Sort of, in a way. I'm using it to document the public art project, and the art-related teaching that I'm doing. Just today I was approached about a future project that potentially could end up being a very big deal indeed, and if that takes off, I will also use this blog to post about that, too.

But all in all I can say that after writing on this blog daily for about seven full months, it's already become part of my daily routine, sometimes to the annoyance of my wife. I have a model in mind, and that would be Sharon Butler's Two Coats of Paint blog, which I look at all the time with great admiration and a little envy. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth a look. I think it's what Praeterita wants to be when it grows up.

For everyone who's reading this blog, from old friends to new friends, and to people in places as far apart as Indonesia and Iceland, thank you for dropping in to overhear my thoughts about what it means to be an artist, and I hope you'll continue to read and occasionally to take part in a conversation.

Here is John Ruskin on J.M.W.Turner:

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