Subscriber Thanks, Some Artist Site Favorites
To my continued surprise, this website has gained more subscribers than I ever would have expected. When I resurrected Amdall Gallery from the ancient blog burial grounds last August, I assumed I would mostly get traffic from friends and family. As it turns out though, WordPress has a large and supportive community of artists, painters, poets, and authors who interact through the WordPress Reader and subscription features.
I admit, (almost) 300 subscribers is not a huge number, especially compared to other sites that count their subscribers in the thousands. But, as I said, it’s vastly more than I expected. In pondering that milestone, the first thought that crossed my mind was a desire to thank viewers/readers who’ve been checking out these posts. This includes friends and family, but a significant portion consists of artists and owners of other sites. My next thoughts drifted to planning; I decided it would be nice to highlight a few artist sites that I particularly like, and folks who I’ve interacted with often. And then I thought it would be cool to have a giveaway. Nothing too huge, but another way to say thank you.
Update: The Giveaway is live now, and can be found at https://jonamdall.com/2018/04/19/subscriber-appreciation-giveaway/. Good luck to everyone!
As I got into this, I realized it would probably be too long for one post. So, the “subscriber appreciation” topic will be split in three; in this post, I’ll primarily discuss some subscriber sites that I’m a fan of, along with a poll. Next, I’ll post statistics from an unnecessarily detailed spreadsheet I made, then the third post will include a contest/giveaway. I’ve never done a giveaway before, though…so I’ve included a poll below. Some prize ideas, like art supplies, I’m not sure would work, because people may not be comfortable giving a stranger (me) a shipping address.
Now, to the subscriber sites. I’ve mentioned previously, in my opinion there are some amazingly talented artists and writers who share their creations via WordPress sites. I’ve found them (or they’ve found me) mostly through the WordPress Reader. Although I’m only going to list a few here, there are actually tons of sites that I really like. In fact, I’m currently subscribed to 356 of them! Unfortunately, it would be impossible to talk about all 356 of them…so I’m just going to talk about a sampling that have provided some inspiration or lessons to my own drawings.
Also, I’m mostly focused on artists here, since that’s primarily what my site is about, but there are many other fascinating blogs I’ve followed. The topics are quite varied, including things like life hacks from iScriblr, online gaming from Alunaria’s Avenue, observations/writing from Rantings of a Third Kind, finance from Thomas Taylor, and many others. There is some incredible content out there! I highly recommend exploring the WordPress Reader.
Note: This is not a ranking or any such thing, and the list is in no particular order. I’m just giving a shout out to a handful of the many artists that I’ve really enjoyed. Also, I’ve included a small thumbnail example of their art; if you find it interesting, check out their sites which I’ve also hyperlinked. Finally, I am not an art expert…so my descriptions may not be the most eloquent! I’ll just tell you what I see and why I like it.
As much cake as you want, https://asmuchcake.com/
As much cake as you want‘s art has a very unique style; scenes often involve people in the city, with a short story or discussion about the scene. The style is really effective in depicting busy people rushing, and in showing semi-creepy people, or portraying people with quirks. The artist’s style is quite effective at illustrating the feeling of a scene. I could easily see As much cake‘s illustrations in a book, and I enjoy seeing the scenes the artist comes up with. This style also conveys to excellent effect into portraits.
Blu creates art on a variety of mediums, including ink, paint, and digital art. The art is extremely elaborate and impressively detailed. The subject matter can be fairly dark, and seems to be packed with hidden meaning. It’s certainly original, and many pieces are quite fascinating. Blu’s art shows exceptional realism blended with dream (and nightmare) environments and subjects. Blu also has a high degree of technical knowledge that is freely shared.
Hilda Rogers, https://hilda5462.wordpress.com/
Hilda is a talented artist with an extremely diverse skillset. From the many images I’ve seen on her site, she’s expertly skilled at similar levels in creating portraits and painting scenery, which is very impressive to me. The ability to tackle realistic human expression just as easily as a beautiful nature backdrop clearly reflects her talent. She is also quite supportive of other artists, and willing to pass along advice and encouragement.
Lemanshots is definitely one of the most unique and thought provoking art sites I’ve come across. The artist creates these imaginative photography and digital art pieces, which show some very surreal imagery. It’s really an impressive, creative collection. Even though I’ve already viewed most of her art, I find myself going back sometimes just to check out the compelling scenes.
Na Rysunku, https://narysunku.wordpress.com/
Na Ry is another site full of unique and interesting creations. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, to be honest. The artist creates small sketches and illustrations that I can only describe as pure products of the imagination. They are fairly abstract, many are unusual, and often cause me to think, “wow, what exactly could this be based on?”
Outside Authority, https://outsideauthority.wordpress.com/
Outside Authority has to be one of the most productive and adventurous artists I’ve come across. The sheer number of pieces in the artist’s archives is very impressive, and subject matter and stylistic exploration ranges greatly. There are realistic portraits, landscapes, abstraction, line experimentation, and much more. In my view, this is a very bold artist, who seems unafraid to try new things. It’s especially admirable to me, because I am quite the opposite.
Edoardo Dispenza, https://dispenza.wordpress.com/
Edoardo Dispenza is a very skillful artist, who seems to mostly use pen and watercolor to create scenes. His subjects range from portraits, to scenes with people, and cityscapes. Most of his paintings, to me, are quite beautiful and just generally pleasing to view. I like the look achieved by not filling in all color, causing painted areas emphasized by contrast.
Michael Ehrhardt, https://michaelehrhardt.wordpress.com/
Michael Ehrhardt is a painter who often creates nature scenes, portraits of people, or people in nature scenes. The artist’s scenes are often saturated with color, and look vibrant and full of life. His use of bright colors gives his art a confident, compelling style.
My Tatty Sketchbook, https://mytattysketchbook.com/
My Tatty Sketchbook features mostly pencil sketches, many of which have a very interesting subject matter. Often, the subjects are part of his “midweek commuter drawing” series, which I find to be a fun concept that I’ve enjoyed viewing. His style is a rough, looser sketch, which is actually sort of similar to mine in some ways.
Ganga Art Gallery, https://gangaartgallery.wordpress.com/
Ganga is another very skillful artist, whose subject matter is often animal portraits. Her pencil sketches of animals are quite realistic, and as an added bonus, some of her post include video of her progression through her artwork. Her site is relatively new compared to some of these artists who’ve been sharing creations for years, but I really look forward to see her continued work.
Drawing Through, https://drawingthrough.com/
Drawing Through is another fairly new art site, with a variety of art subjects and mediums used by the creator. She has a unique style that, even before she described the technique and inspiration in a post, seemed to make colored pencil almost seem to blend together as paint. Viewing her progression and style helped me move towards thicker application of colored pencil and more aggressive blending.
Graham McQuade, A Diary of My Painting, https://grahammcquade.wordpress.com/
Graham McQuade is another of these artists with high degrees of technical skill and artistic talent. He paints a lot of city scenes with people walking around, which have impressive balance of shadows and color. He also paints other subjects, but my favorites are the people/city scenes. As I’ve mentioned, I’m no expert or anything, but his paintings seem to have everything I would expect of a piece in an art gallery.
Kingbird Graphica, https://kingbirdgraphica.wordpress.com/
Kingbird Graphica features a variety of different subjects, but what really blows me away are the bird paintings and sketches. I mean this with no hyperbole; it wouldn’t shock me at all to find out the artist actually did textbook or professional illustrations of birds. The detail, clear species anatomical knowledge, and realism are incredible.