Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is Content Really King in the Blogosphere?

It's been an unusual day with Tampa's Gasparilla Festival craziness, and photo issues with my Google Plus accounts. After the parade, spent several hours researching and troubleshooting; deleted one of my two Plus accounts, still can't see photos on Plus or Gmail. Blog posts are okay, but my profile picture is that hideous blue lady silhouette in some image search results.

Reading Word Press Blogs to get new perspective on art blogging topics for fun, excellence, and for some bloggers, profits. Not seeing much about unpleasant surprises technically, but a lot about social networking impacts on blogging. I found a very worthwhile short post on highly rated Copyblogger about the myth of content being king - Jonathan Morrow's phrase- and why we don't get the links we expect relative to the effort we put into our posts. "If you want links now, you need to be more than great. You need to be connected." No Links to Your Great Content Blogs  

The blogosphere is changing at warp speed as Facebook and Google Plus battle for our booty, Mates. SEO may not be as relative as it once was when we're totally integrated through Google, or Facebook, or the next biggest, greatest wunderkinds to seize control of the web. Hence, my concern about my Plus photo problem resolution--I depend on images for my rankings. I'm not in the top bloggers, and not focused on  generating ad income. My Google dedication and dependence, coupled with Facebook and Twitter, works very well for my objective--promoting my art, not myself. It's professional, not a dating site.

Arrrgh, Ye Olde Lady Pirate
No content king post material about this photo, but it's interesting anyway. Gasparilla, mostly myth himself, has been celebrated by Tampa's parade for over a hundred years. Jose Gaspar, Pirate The "invasion" of the pirates, complete with canon fire from the floats, and beads being hurled through the air by picture-perfect pirates was a great success.A good time was had by all today.

Just look at the beads these gals are packing. Note they're not tossing their beads the way all-male Krewes do. Hold on to that bling, girls!

Art blogging is an art in itself and takes time and effort. Of course content matters, or we're like the graffiti artist scribbling on trains that pass through fields and country roads. No one see's those artistic words. We must get our images seen, or they won't sell, and we're left with nothing but plastic beads.

Please share your social networking problems, resolutions, and any pleasant experiences and benefits of changes.
Comments are always encouraged. If you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post those links here, too. 

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Friday, January 27, 2012

How to Recover Blogger Photos Lost in Google Plus

Missing Blogger photos are back in my blog. 
Success Number 1 of a 2- or 3-Part Google Plus Problem

It took just a few hours to read other Blogger user's similar woes by Googling the problem; to realize that no matter how many times I tried to fix Google+ it would win because it's bigger than I am, and to get the great idea of just editing my blogs to put the missing photos back in.

Easy fix - this will be a very short post:

1.  Photo organization is of the essence.
Mine aren't so well organized between blogs and art site uploads, but they're all available on thumb drives, 2 PC's, the ipod and ipad. So, get all your photos together for re-uploading them into the blog posts.

2. Blogger is forgiving and user-friendly. You simply need to edit the affected blogs.
Scroll through your blog posts to see how much damage has been done* and whether or not you have the photos, or used links and have to resource them all over again. Mine were a combination of my own and linked. Make a list if necessary of which blogs you're editing while your viewing your actual blog. Go to edit mode and bring up your first post to be edited. If you can't tell from the text which photo is missing, click on the blacked-out photo to get the details (assuming you can't actually see them in Plus -  I cannot) then having a name and date or source, you'll be able to find your photo again.

3. Delete the blacked-out photo box and re-upload your photo, size and caption it, Preview before updating as some text may have shifted. Make any further text editing and press Update.

4. Repeat Step 3 for all photos to be re-loaded.
For my blog, only 10 photos were affected.
I believe this happened when my system (Google?) generated a 2nd Google+ page right before my own eyes, uploaded photos from my blog, and I had already created a scrapbook of 17 photos for the 1st Google+ that I created, some from the blog.

I still have Google Plus issues with having 2 pages, and still can't preview the selected photos I'm uploading into Blogger or see anything on Plus Pages.

The main thing is: my blog posts are in their pre-Google+ view state, are attractive and easy to read should anyone refer back to those older posts. This was a quick and easy fix.

Two Old Crows
* and what caused the damage we did to our Blogger posts? 
 A combination of not being in-your-face informed by Google of immediate effects of creating a Google Plus page, not reading all available information, and not thinking it through before making any changes to something as big as Google+ structure. Think it Through is a short little management tip, very useful in managing website changes.
Two Old Crows are allowed upon your restoration completion.

Please share any workarounds you've used to restore your photos. Lots of  Blogger-users are heartsick over their "loss."
Comments are always encouraged. If you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here, too. 

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Note to Google Plus, I'm This Gail Kent not That One

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Okay, so now we're networked through every social network in the world to get that top SEO ranking, and feeling no pain other than privacy with racy photo issues and maybe a few legitimate concerns. Right?

I'm proud owner of  2 Google+ sites, off one page creation. Can't use either page. I'm hoping that a human being at Google will follow-up on one of my daily "feedbacks" about my confusion: I'm really This Gail Kent, Google. I need my page fixed.

How about this amazingly sharp photo from the big eye in the sky? I'm awed by the incredible magic that put this beautiful image on my desk.

Beautiful Picnic Island, Tampa Bay
I used this perfect day to mellow-out for a while by the water. No Google+ thoughts, no new Facebook Timeline thoughts, and even the new website I'm building was way out of sight, out of mind. Perfect day for a couple hours on the beach to paint a little, chat a little with the regulars, and watch the clouds drifting over the bay as a group of fly fishermen played in the water. They weren't having any luck and left early. Guess that's why we never see fly fishing on the island.

Windy Day at Picnic Island

A group of windsurfers (kite surfers) arrived and began unfurling their sails in a meadow as I left the island, all of us anticipating high winds--good for them, bad for my acrylic painting. I did manage to get this one little high-key study done.  I may need to re-work it, though, before I put it on FAA for prints. Although with the winds drying my paints so quickly, it's already in a bit of an over-worked state. It may be a prints-only picture until it's painted as a large studio oil painting.

It felt like a Garrison Keillor sort of day on Tampa Bay, except that his days are frigid in Lake Wobegon and mine are 80's and breezy. Big smile on my face right now. It's a very beautiful day in the neighborhood.

I'm unable to see the photos I'm uploading with the Google+ big change. Related photo problems I've had there, carried over to Blogger when I upload photos for the post.

I can't be the only person having these problems with Google's consolidation efforts. Unable to use either of my sites properly, I've decided to give it a short rest and revisit when everyone using Google isn't angry and venting, or dropping them, over their changes. I also have to "read the instructions" since Google isn't troubleshooting my difficulties. I'll post on the resolution when it happens.

Please add your thoughts and experiences with social networking for your art sites, and problem resolutions with the latest changes thrust upon us.

Comments are always encouraged. If you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here, too. 

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How's Your Google+ Experience Working Out?

Do we really need another Social Network account?

Today, I joined the Google+ club by creating my page.  Gail Kent Google+ Page
I resisted until I began having exchanges with other artists who are using Google+ and expect me to return a plus if they plus me. We're already Facebook-trained with "favorite or like me and I'll return the favor and like you, too." Not that I have anything against Google, my source for everything. My hesitancy had to do with time.

Does this sound like your online presence? 

In addition to all the general reading, e-mailing, shopping that I do online, I have the five websites I use daily: Google Sites art website, an FAA hosted art website, Facebook Artist page, Twitter for news feeds, and this blog on Google's Blogger.

Then there's my new domain gallery site under construction using Word Press on my domain host iPage, and an Etsy store account. And, I have Digg and Flickr accounts for art posts, all my financial accounts that I post to and comment on, and several e-mail accounts to separate all the personal, artist, and commentary stuff.  YouTube is in the future for tutorials, as well.

Picnic Island, Tampa

I'm a painter. I'm not in any technical field and I don't have any staff or consultants to help me with these things. I'm guessing most artists managing their own web profile are also one-man shows trying to make the best decisions to show and sell their art. It's sink or swim time in the Google+ stream in South Tampa.

The Google+ stream is easy to use, growing a circle is easy, but somehow they re-named my page and then I could no longer manage the site. I setup my page as Gail Kent Art Studio with my photo, 17 pictures - looked good. Then after a few searches, I returned to find my page was re-named Gail Kent and all the photos were no longer visible and an album of 47 of my blog photos was listed but not accessible. Re-loading the profile photo wasn't allowed. Trying to upload any picture is now a problem in this blog - they don't show on the upload screen. Headache!  I sent a feedback to Google about the plus issue, which stated they don't answer feedbacks, but try to implement any general changes for the benefit of all users. Huh?

I'm not sure where this is going and hoping Google will fix all the problems that I've experienced in creating my page. I believe I used a pseudonym (business name) which shouldn't have caused a problem. Google+ Pseudonyms. I'll hold off installing +1 buttons for now.

Port Tampa

If all glitches can't get worked out, BIG problem
having Gail Kent Art Studio as Gail Kent on Google+:

I don't do personal as public on-line, just business goes on-line, which brings up another new issue. This link 'splains a lot: Google Policies. Everything is now so integrated that I'm getting a little nervous about all the +1 buttons I'm pressing building some sort of Google generated profile that isn't at all me. When online, unlike corporations,  I am not a person! I am a professional website. Decisions, decisions.

Please post your Google+ experience comments, good and not so good, will be helpful to everyone facing this decision.
Comments are always encouraged. If you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here, too.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Arrrrrrgh! Pirates Landing, Beads in the Streets

As I write, fireworks fill the skies over Tampa Bay and Jose Gasparilla pirates are again claiming the city and paying with beads. Those silly boys will be boys! Streets are filled with children this weekend and next weekend we get the full invasion, with the adult parade down Bayshore Boulevard and booze and beads everywhere! Everything goes remarkably well and clean up will be done by daybreak after each event. Invading Pirates

Island Winter Series high Noon
Today I planned to work for a short while on getting my website art descriptions cleaned up, actually writing more than 1 short sentence about my works on the Fine Arts America site. See my prior blog from January 11th Importance of your descriptions. It took all afternoon for me to do only a page and a half of the three pages of listings. It is such a tremendous improvement. I worked on standardizing my tags, as well,  while I was at it, so that my coastal and mountain works are each defined with the attention they deserve. Still a long way to go.

Island Winter Series Low Tide
I uploaded 5 new Winter beach field studies today, and will have 1or 2 more uploads from this series.

This painting of the low tide on a winter morning doesn't fully capture the breathtaking beauty of that low white line across the horizon. We do have color changes with each season, and Winter is gorgeous!
This low tide, low horizon scene makes you feel as though you are but a grain of sand in this expansive universe - beautiful!

Winter Morning

This painting depicts a clear crisp January morning on the bay last week. The colors are the deepest I've seen this year. The water was actually a much deeper diplomat blue, it was cold. It's high tide, and no boat traffic because the winds are too high.

Enough of my works for 1 post. Hard to write with the party 2 blocks away and sirens and canons blasting.

Looks like Etsy has lost my Aspens painting that should be in the sidebar widget. It's not on the site anywhere - oops! Guess I'll have to shell out twenty cents to re-list it and write one of my verbose descriptions so it will sell!

Comments always encouraged. Or, if you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is Abstract Art Really Art?

Appalachian Spring Study 2009
 Abstract art, 
not a favorite of the retail masses, is my favorite of all visual art. In putting together my websites and building my brand, I've learned that I must differentiate and fill a need. Currently, I offer abstract and traditional paintings, in markets overflowing with really good art of all genres.

Perhaps we have to grow into abstract appreciation rather than having it grow on us. The imagery may not be recognizable, requiring our mental engagement to understand why we are either drawn into, or repulsed by, abstract works. Abstract art conveys the artists' psyche, bliss or torment, as no other genre will. This review of a recent de Kooning retrospective, by Tom Ferrara, offers an interesting perspective on his art de Kooning at MoMA Review. Be sure to read the "didn't get it" comment, too.

Calder - link
 Though I don't actually have a favorite work, Rothko is a favorite painter, along with Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Miro. Alexander Calder mobiles are child's play to wonder over. After years of fascination with all the European Impressionists and love of Van Gogh, I'm ready to admit I love abstract art. It's easy to appreciate Impressionism with it's easy on the eyes colors, recognizable forms, and primarily happy themes of intimacy. Abstracts, however, can be difficult, a tough love.

Sunset on the Pier 2011
I've painted a tremendous number of small abstract acrylic art studies to populate my new websites over the last few months, and begun to produce larger traditional oil paintings for my new domain gallery site. Days of painting on the beach are drawing to an end as my inventory grows. I have a dozen more to upload now. It's been a state of pure bliss for me to spend hours on the shore, lost in my abstract depictions of beautiful Tampa Bay. But is it art? Gail Kent at Fine Art America

Three larger oil paintings are nearing completion: a hillside harbor view; a mountain lake, and a mountain dirt road in Fall. These beautiful colorful images, somewhat impressionist style, painted with palette knife and a little brush work are definitely fine art. No question. The small field studies I'm offering on my FAA site will ultimately become larger studio traditional oil paintings, as well. But is it art bliss? 

Forest Oil Study from 2005

My traditional art is fun to create, and challenging when there are color or composition issues to resolve, but it isn't my bliss.  I believe my two styles are transitioning into a new mix of the genres. Artists who paint in both styles will often say their traditional work is just to prove they have the skills coupled with knowledge to create pretty pictures. I have to say mountain scenes are a regionalism that lends itself to the "pretty pictures" approach rather than the simple colorist approach I use in abstract coastal subjects.

Is Abstract Art Really Art?  Yes, it's marvelous art.

Now I have to hunker down and  finish up - actually I have to start it again - had to have something to put in the gallery besides my photo and logo. 

What are your thoughts about abstract art?  Are you working in this genre or do you agree with the "didn't get it" comment in the MoMA review? Do you paint realism to "prove" you can?

Comments always encouraged. Or, if you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And Your Point?

Visual artists blog.  We blog primarily to gain exposure in a crowded market.
Then we Digg it, Tweet it, and Share it--basic marketing in the digital world.
But what are we saying in all these blogs?

It's hard to get to the point about imagery. Corporate America has the same problem. We look at their great web design layouts, ad pictures, bullet points, then move on. Try actually reading some website product descriptions--too much information! Boring!

This Inc. article (from 2010) addresses this question giving great examples of  website descriptions. Why is Business Writing so Awful?  The author, Jason Fried, wrote "Words are two dimensional. Your products and services provide the third dimension--depth." Great summary of  "the point."

I try to post on A Painter's Resources several times a week. This doesn't overwhelm me or my readers.
- I write my post,
- I submit it on Digg with a blurb,
- I then Tweet it with another short blurb,
- I then put it up on  Facebook, with still another blurb.

All of these words are to capture your eyes for a few minutes with the goals:
- you read my posts,
- you learn something new from the arts community,
- you share your comments with the community so we learn something,
- and we get to see new works and meet new artists with links and comments.
- Oh, and if we are moved to visit each others' gallery sites, we get to sell some art.

Afternoon Sailing

Giving titles and descriptions to my art, which can be very regional and/or abstract, is difficult. What's the point, isn't the point obvious? Well, no, it isn't obvious, words are needed. My target area is anything but regional. Afternoon Sailing may capture your attention because of the essence of tranquility and beauty in a Carolina outing, but it needs words to complete the imagery. I'll work on my descriptions sooner rather than later. Afternoon Sailing Prints

The point is to differentiate your product or service so it stands out as clearly unique or superior in a vast ocean of other choices, as a blog and as art.

As do many artists, I have a shop on Etsy where I interact with other artists, and offer some original art for sale. Etsy often posts great articles to help  members with marketing and other retail advice.
Your Point of Difference? is a great article that would apply to anyone selling visual arts. To summarize "the point" of this Etsy posting,  try to differentiate by:

  • Price
  • Variety
  • Features
  • Benefits
  • Availability
  • Convenience
  • Customer service
  • Story

 I have a lot to learn and a long way to go with my blog and with my descriptions of my work on all my sites.

Comments always encouraged. Or, if you're following great blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Artist's Eye and Perspective

( This post edited 01.26.2012 to replace photos lost in creating Google+ Page.)

There's a great German word, which has also become a great English word, though you don't often hear it  outside academia. The word is weltanschauung. Literally, translates as world view. Figuratively, you could apply it to almost any inner or outer view of  "things" from your own perspective. Weltanschauung was my immediate reaction to the following article on today Jobs and Eames Many similarities in these creative designers.

From the same site, a great classic video from the creative genius of Charles and Ray Eames that is a beautiful expression of placing things in their proper perspective. Eames Powers of 10 Film  From EamesOffice: "In 1998, "Powers of Ten" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

My numbers career focus, coupled with visual artistic endeavors, have resulted in an unusual perspective of time for me. My view of things runs along a continuum that is also circular. Not double speak--think of a mobius strip. I'm certain that every event of our entire past life experience is/was another block leading us to where we are in the present/future, and that we tend to go in circles in our life cycle events. Some blocks are cornerstones, others are "extras" that fill-in or add-to.

During the December holidays, a birth and a death on the same day touched my family. These life cycle events have touched every human being who ever walked the earth. An amazing concept to me since the birth of my children brought it into clear focus. One minute there is a vibrant being who leaves us; another minute and there is a new human being in the world to begin a new journey. Amazing.

Sigmund Freud, regardless of errors he made about the human psyche, gave a great lecture on weltanschauung, which was really about religion, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. It's a short read, pretty much in plain English, Freud's Philosophy of Life Lecture

Listening to Israeli Skies
Freud on art: 
"Art is almost always harmless and beneficent, it does not seek to be anything else but an illusion. Save in the case of a few people who are, one might say, obsessed by art, it never dares to make any attacks on the realm of reality." Silly me, I thought all artists were obsessed by art.

Freud on religion: 
"The religious man’s picture of the creation of the universe is the same as his picture of his own creation." Oh, well, we do have a lot of unique religions.


In the Beginning
Freud on science vs. religion:
"Earthquakes, floods and fires do not differentiate between the good and devout man and the sinner and unbeliever... it is by no means the rule that virtue is rewarded and wickedness punished, but it happens often enough that the violent, the crafty and the unprincipled seize the desirable goods of the earth for themselves, while the pious go empty away. Dark, unfeeling and unloving powers determine human destiny..."

He's saying Science governs the world, this physical world, which may be true. Are fractals (we learned about them in elementary science class) just scientific accidents of nature that repeat, repeat, repeat? 

The painter's eye sees much in simple subjects, and reduces the complex to simple imagery.
Our perspective is whatever we decide to make it when we begin a new creation. We can be "harmless and beneficent" or we make powerful visual statements as Picasso did. We wholeheartedly attack "the realm of reality" when we choose to; at times we are obsessed because we soak up our environments, process the input, and move on to create. A few are so obsessed, they achieve to the level of Jobs and Eames in creating. Awesome!

Comments always welcomed. Or, if you're following great blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iran, China, Oil and Fine Art Painters

(This post edited on 01.27.2012 to replace photo lost in creating Google+Page)

What's an artist to do when even a tiny painting is affected by world leaders' global oil games and the value of a dollar or a yuan? Stock-up when you get all those sales e-mails in your in box.

Fortunately, we don't job cost our works by the cost of raw materials, which just increased, and time at minimum wage rates which also increased today.

How Iran, China, and the price of oil will affect your purchasing power at your favorite art supply house:

1.  Painters need surfaces, likely a natural product not locally produced, prepped with a ground. My canvas is sourced in several countries, I don't recall buying any US-produced recently. Whether you're painting on canvas or other surfaces, freight costs will pump up the cost. Canvas is produced in the US, but it's beyond my price range.My grounds are almost always acrylic paint undercoats of blue, grey, or lavender. Acrylics, synthetics, are petroleum based products, though they aren't "oil" paints.
Gamblin's site -they're a long way from my home and shipping costs will affect pricing.

2. Painters must have brushes, knives, and all sorts of tools to apply their chosen media. These tools are primarily imported from China in all price ranges for natural and synthetic. Trekell Brushes  are a US product that I don't find in my stores, but I'm a knife painter who doesn't take care of fine brushes and must use disposables when I do use brushes these days.

3. Painters select their media for many reasons including preference in application, pricing, allergies, etc.  Most paints we use are affected by the price of oil, even if we paint with "water-cleanup." My artist's grade paints are $20 per tube or more when oil is $100 a gallon. Oil is 10% higher today.  Crude Oil Pricing  Maybe even higher in the very near future. I use linseed oil, white spirits or turpentine with my oil paints - other petroleum products I must have.  Artists' Solvents

4. Painters love to travel for subject matter and workshops - need I say more?
Wherever you go, you may pay a premium to get there, especially for international travel.

Morning Fog

The future's looking a little foggy today, and, if headlines can be believed, may get worse before it gets better but we'll get through it.

I won't be painting in Europe or Israel for awhile, but I do have photos for studio work, and beautiful surroundings that I can paint every day of the year. If oil paints get too pricey, I'll switch to water color or pencil renderings.
An artist has to create.

Morning Fog is a small acrylic field study original offered only on my Etsy site.   

If you're following great blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here. Comments always welcomed.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -