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Joe's Daily Drawing

1998 Year 1 No. 35 Sep 22

renamed to:

now weekly

Joe's Weekly Work

361, friends


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361, friends
  

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Original Work

   by Tina Tacke, Gallery Clay at Art Quarter  

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First: Please be patient with my German English. Second: Things have changed... It is more than 3 weeks now that I started this issue. It was scheduled Aug. 31. What happened?

I started this way:

A new week starts today, I had a two day break from Daily Drawing but not from computing... I informed you of the problems I got with the list server at makelist.com of FindMail.com. I set up another test list this morning, unmoderated, and sent the Friday Daily Drawing which I received fine.

I like my html newsletters... They have endless opportunities. As it turns out, experience with this kind of newsletter is very scarce. There was a long and fiery discussion last week on one of the business lists I am on ([biz], moderated by Paul Myers).

I struggled long with FindMail. I found Amit, publisher in India, sending a html newsletter (Monday Morning Magazine) via FindMail and discussed things with him. I tested a lot, sent all to FindMail as feedback. I was about performing a major operation when I found out that things work again. Great relief. FindMail is now eGroups, by the way. Amit holds it's the best service available today.

Not ready yet. I joined some biz lists I really feel at home with. Kind of good luck. I posed questions and got plenty of good advice and real help. Look at the new entry page and you'll see how much it improved. New logo, too. A lot of work is still to be done, though. There is a new page about me also, in case you are curious.

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One advice was to reduce frequency to free up time for promotion. This was good advice, too. Hence Daily Drawing will become Weekly Work, and all weekly journals will be monthly now. Maybe I will switch back later.

Last week, an article I wrote 8 weeks ago for InternetDay was published - I'd given up hope. They got all famous contributors, so this is kind of an honor, too. I told the story of inventing all these journals. They got 12,000 subscribers when I subscribed back in April, 16,000 when I wrote the article and 29,000 when they published it.

From this article I got lots of feedback, hence a lot of work. Every now and then an enterprise starting really big gets buried under their own success. I really hope this doesn't happen to me.

But now I try to get on the track again, and I'll start Daily Drawing alias Weekly Work today. I will publish the next version on Pablo, too, and all subscribers of the other journals will get notice of this week's events, so they can check back in case they are curious.

Another novelty: How about some feedback or suggestion? My first site is kind of a home page. It features 170 works. Thumbnails are ugly, scans are not great, but I steal from there all the time to feed this journal. Using frames, I provide good navigation. Start from the page entitled Art and switch to either a chronological selection (take time for 170 thumbs to load), a selection by technique or one by themes (Curious about pregnancy? Very rare theme in Fine Art.). Feel free to suggest a painting to discuss here or pose any questions you have.

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The painting I chose for today is not spectacular at all. Just two male heads in close up with a stereotype landscape background. If you look for a while, you can tell a lot about these two. Compare to other 2 head paintings you already know:

617, with an angel

361

223, two heads
in blue

245, bridal

271a

But art does not have to be spectacular. In fact it often is not. Just as music does not have to be loud. Also I heard this objection: "Too many notes" (I don't know who said that about which piece - do you?) Quality is not a function of quantity. You can't produce value by size, weight, number. Sometimes I wonder if anything valuable can be said at all.

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A musician gave me feedback to the InternetDay article, and talking about music he wrote: "When the violin comes in, it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck." Now this is a strong statement, but what does it really say about the music itself? Same holds true with art. "Look this" and "look here" and "this color here" and "that stroke there" - you just can't get at it really.

If people are experienced and on the same level, they know they communicate something with this kind of baby talk. To others this seems plain dumb. If you know something is good yourself, can you communicate it to anybody else? Or any other quality? I bet you are an expert in some field. Can you communicate your quality judgment to others not at home in this field?

I got to tell you of a very disturbing recent experience to illustrate this point. It sheds some very sharp light on this difficult question.

My wife has a horse, bought at age 2, now 7 years old. She experienced 3 riding and one carriage accidents, all very severe. This horse is known by many horse experts, among them a great and famous expert in carriage driving (he trained her 14 days after the first riding accident). He was consulted after the carriage accident in May this year, when we faced death. He didn't know what to say. Finally it was given to an experienced Western Riding expert to find out any faults with this horse or maybe with the rider.

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Sunday I was off to Cologne. We attended a seminar with a famous contested horse guru (or horse whisperer). After half an hour I was so upset I had to get off for an hour to calm down. In the afternoon, this horse was shown. He looked at it, let it walk a little, touched it here and there, and after some 5 or 10 minutes he told the audience a lot about it, but the key point was that this horse suffered from pain. He claimed that it was not rideable at present and ought to rest for at least 2 months. He did not even see the horse trot.

We were upset. Nobody ever claimed that this horse suffered. Remember, this man is a controversial figure. He never had any formal training with horses. He wrote his first book after just 2 years of experience at age 30. All the experts with a life long reputation claim he is a quack. The Western trainer's reaction to this claim: "This man is ignorant altogether."

We had lots of advice already. We decided to take the horse to a veterinarian. Happily, we have a great horse authority in the vicinity, people come a long way to get his advice and cure. He did not have too much time, but he had a look at this horse the day after. He spent some 40 minutes with the horse, and this is what he said: "This man is right. The horse moves like a man with sciatica. We'll have a thorough examination with X-rays next week to find out more. This horse has to rest for half a year."

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And all of a sudden the accidents made sense. The horse moved the head up and backwards and probably had a sharp pain which got it off its feet. If you ever got lumbago you'll know how this feels like. It is bred from a trot horse and a thoroughbred and presumably has problems from birth on.

Now this is an example of an expert's expert. This quack knew more about this horse after 5 minutes than the carriage expert after 2 weeks of training or the Western expert after 6. He was not a veterinarian nor even formally trained as a horseman. This man knows something he has trouble to communicate to others. And it is hard to do.

You find this with art, too. Almost every day. Yesterday for example. In an art list, somebody introduced himself and invited to his home page. I had a look. I saw at first glance that I would give him at best a C if he'd been in one of my classes at age 17. He is nearly 40. A fellow artist on this list, expert in very fine Biedermeier style still lifes, had a look, too, and was very much impressed. She praised his work publicly at best.

I was stunned. What can I say here? Nothing, I'm afraid. Nothing to communicate. Best advice: Keep on looking. Make experiences. See for yourself. If you want to: I'll show you good and bad examples. You can learn from them. You don't have to agree. I'm sure you'll agree soon enough. Just keep looking.

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