Monday, February 16, 2009

About Starting a Blog, Not Lost in Translation, and Art from a Photo

Sometimes things are "lost in translation", but saying it more than one way seems to help.....

The photo I took many years ago in the small village where one of my French aunts lives and beneath it is the watercolor interpretation/"translation" entitled "French Country Dreams" that I did two years ago. Prints of the watercolor will soon be available in my Etsy shop. Meanwhile I'm thinking I might like to paint this scene again, and I'm sure it would get "translated" differently yet again.

Google Translator
Experimenting with my blog, I located and added the gadget in the upper right corner, a google translator. A click on this gadget takes you to a page where you enter the url address of the page and choice of language translation. This is mostly for the benefit of any of my French cousins who may stop in for a read. I have been thinking of them a lot lately since one of them made a trip into the unstable Congo recently. But, what a great discovery this little gadget, since in past, I've found Spanish and Japanese art sites I couldn't now I'll be able to translate anything! We are all just a click away.

About Starting a Blog
For those looking to start a blog, it has been very easy to use Blogger. Go here to their page and just read and follow the instructions. From our local library I also checked out Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Gardner and Shane Birley. This was after I had already set up and started blogging, but it was useful as a reference on what I had already done and for going a little beyond the basics. A couple more blog books are on order from the library. Here are some concerns and thoughts I had when contemplating a blog, just bear in mind, it's all very subjective, and you must figure out what is right for you. I hope this will be helpful.

1. Why do it? Many reasons are possible, but I think mine is a combo of: self-expression, conversations with others with like interests & expanding my community, presenting my art, business, becoming visible, sharing something that might be of benefit or inspire others, doing it because I really want to not because it might be the trend.

2. Finding Voice: What do I want to talk about, identifying what really interests me, a unique perspective, am I writing for me or the audience or both, who is the audience; It took a bit of reflection but I summarized it in the header and the "about me" sidebar, and for me it's also a bit of a "virtual sanctuary" - I intentionally want an uncluttered peaceful feel, focusing on the positives, and a combo of writing and visuals.

3. Setting my own limits: How much time to devote, how many postings a week. Initially it takes more time, reading and figuring it out, but then my goal is posting a couple of times a week, not so overwhelming for me and enough time for readers to actually see and read something and comment.

4. Privacy: My personal concern about this is that basically what I said could be read by anyone, not just art friends. So, for me, certain subjects are off limits just for ID security, eg., personal info or family/friend info or pix, birthdays, etc. Nor am I interested in using a blog for heavy duty angst or personal problem solving as some are inclined, nor highly controversial topics.

5. Copyright: As an artist I want to show my work and occasionally be compensated for it. So in posting I added copyright statements and on some artwork I experimented and self-taught myself how to add watermarks with Photoshop. And as I respect others work as well, I won't post pictures of other artist artwork or pictures of people without their permission and a reference as to whose it is.

So far it's been a rewarding experiment, serving to help me clarify thoughts or my focus, meeting other artists, sharing art and writing. So, start up a blog if you haven't, and let me know about it.

About Posting
I must confess that until I started blogging myself, I'd been a "lurker" reading them and not saying anything. But now, I find it's very encouraging to hear from others, so now I do post comments here and there. Unfortunately on 3 of my favorites the system of comments doesn't work and I haven't debugged it yet! So if you are secretly reading my blog, I would love to hear from you and what you think... do drop in and say hello.


Melissa and Emmitt said...

what a great post! i love your translations and insights.
thank you for sharing them.
:) melissa

HeartFire said...

Thanks so much! I am having so much fun experimenting with it... Delorse

Anonymous said...

P.S. Delorse, I have just realised that I am one of the bloggers you are having difficulty with (I've checked back on my emails). I don;t know what the problem is; may be you could check with someone else whose comments you see on my blog. Thankyou meanwhile for all your comments via email - much appreciated. Ann.

HeartFire said...

It's the oddest thing, I write the post, enter either google or id/url, it shows the letters to decipher & type in, I do, then click publish & they disappear!! I've tried and tried, so frustrating. It works on other Blogger sites, so not sure what could be doing it. Anyone with hints would be appreciated!

JonesMoore said...

Great thoughts on blogging and "Why I did it"! I agree with you on all the 'whys' and your focus for the blog. By the way, your comments DO make it onto my blog, as I cut and paste them from the emails you send me! I do hope Blogger can figure out this problem of not being able to post comments on some sites!

HeartFire said...

Lisa, thanks for keeping in the loop & putting in my comments albeit a circuitous route!

Paula McNamee said...

Hi Delorse, Love your blog and this post to encourage others to start one. I learned some new tips, too. Thanks, Paula

Tara Ross Studios said...

I love the south of France, I have been there and this home reminds me of my travels.

HeartFire said...

Paula, I'm glad this post was helpful, it's been a learning journey for me! D