A Small Reflection and A Big Thank You

I’m in the middle of signing up to do some courses at the Open College of the Arts, which is a distance-learning establishment. I need to do so before September 1st to avoid a major hike in fees (approx 62%). Had I enrolled before the end of May, I’d have got the cheap rates all the way through.

When I originally checked out the site at the beginning of the year, one thing that struck me was that they encouraged students to exchange ideas through blogging. Blogging? I’ve heard about that on the radio. Some young girl had become a celebrity photographing and talking about her school dinners. But surely such virtual people couldn’t compare with chatting about art with real people, could it? No, definitely not.

Since then, and for totally different reasons, I have started my own blog. One of the first people I followed was Down by the Dougie, who lives in Wigan about ten miles from where I live in Bolton. He has introduced me to Abbot Hall and Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House which I have since visited in reality. I have travelled with him all over Britain, Ireland and even to the South of France with the Wigan Warrior fans.

Recently I’ve walked on the sandy beaches of Australia with Philippa; I’ve flown across the States for a wedding and to eat pierogies with Drew; I’ve sat in the garden with Rosie and Spartapuss, her cat; I’ve walked the streets of Nottingham with Andy and the streets of London with Richard. This is starting to sound like Dylan’s “Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”!

But what I’m getting at in a long rambling roundabout way is that now the thought of using a blog to exchange ideas with other students seems to be one of the most natural things to do. When I was at secondary school in the sixties, I had a pen-friend in France. I could write him a letter and within a couple of weeks actually get a reply that had travelled all the way from France to Britain. Amazing! as Brian Cox would say. Nowadays I can post my humble opinion on Mr Hockney, say, and within seconds get comments from Alaska to New Zealand.

That is the “small reflection” bit of the title. The rest is the “big thank you” bit. There are several awards for individual bloggers. May I suggest that the whole blogging community deserves an award just to say a big thank you to you all? I recently asked for advise about which direction I should take for my screenprints. Why? Because I value your comments and opinions. I spend a significant time in the Blogoshere rather than just sitting watching TV. Why? Because I regard you as friends and wish to spend time with you all. So thank you! Thank you!


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
This entry was posted in Art, Artists and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to A Small Reflection and A Big Thank You

  1. ms6282 says:

    Hi John

    A good post. It’s interesting to read your thoughts on why you started blogging and what you’ve got out of it.

    And thanks for the mention and kind words. Good luck with your Open College of Arts course. What are you aiming for?

    • The reason I started blogging was explained in my very first post: https://notestothemilkman.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/hello-world/

      I’m still very much aware of the transience of aspects of the art world. Only yesterday I was watching a TV programme about the Medicis which stated that “Michelangelo resented every minute he spent on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He regarded himself as a sculptor not a painter.”

      What am I aiming for? My formal qualifications are in science – before retiring, I spent nearly 20 years as a physics teacher! I have done various art courses at the local college and at Hot Bed Press, but fancy a longer more structured approach. I’ll probably only do the three Level 1 courses which are introductions to drawing, painting and printmaking. They seem to be skills-lead rather than concept-lead. The first activity for the painting course, for example, gets you to find out what marks you can make with your different brushes used in different ways. The second activity is “Throw your brushes to one side – what else can you mark make with?” I’ll let you know how it goes!

  2. Nancy Farmer says:

    ‘Spartapuss’, superb! I want a cat called Spartapuss! Actually I wanted one called Oedipus, for much the same reason, but as we have 4 already I’m not allowed any more at the moment.
    …er, sorry, you were saying…? 😀

  3. Drew Kail says:

    Thanks for including me in your post. I always enjoy reading what you’re up to and can’t wait to see some new prints. What courses are you signed up for?

    • Thanks, Drew. As I mentioned in one of my replies above, the courses are effectively First Year Uni ones, as I have no formal art qualifications or training other than a few adult learning classes.

  4. Great post, John and thanks for the mention. I like the idea of the blogosphere being an online art school. The group tutorials can be tough, but…

  5. seascapesaus says:

    Hello John, from a time warp. I thought I commented a few days ago when I first saw this lovely post… (wordpress and I play hide and seek occasionally). I am honoured to be on your list and really enjoy our exchanges and the whole damn thing. The two courses sound good – like the way the first leads into the second with a crash! hope you enjoy it. Philippa

    • I was worried I might upset some people by not including them (not the same as excluding them!). I could have continued with many more such as “I’ve ridden rough rural roads in India with the Cardinal” but I had to draw the line somewhere. It was the flavour of the blogoshere I wanted to represent. Must go and get rid of this sand between my toes!

  6. Pingback: Time for a New Tate Gallery? | notes to the milkman

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