Keeping it real…(and I’m not talking about painting style)

Detail of a current work in progress, oil on canvas

There is a glut of artwork on Facebook, it seems to have become THE PLACE for artists to share and promote their work. It’s free, accessible and easy to use, of course it comes with its drawbacks like tons of spam and having your name added to groups that you don’t want to be added to, but it can be a helpful marketing tool and means to get exposure for your work if you teach and/or exhibit and sell your work professionally. So, how do you get your work noticed? Here is what I find attracts me most to the artists whose work I regularly follow. I’m not a groupie, but I do know good work when I see it and the work I enjoy does have some common threads:

Keep it real.

With all the work being shown on Facebook, I find that there is only a handful of artists whose work I regularly notice and pay any attention to. The work that stands out is unique, original and consistent. It has a clear message and the artist’s hand is obvious in the work.  I know just from the thumbnail that shows up in my newsfeed who the artist is (without seeing their name) and that I am going to be rewarded with something interesting if I click on the link. While the majority of work that falls into this category for me is abstract, there are several representational artists who have taken their work to exciting levels because of its content, not just because they know how to draw and paint. I also find that photographers are very adept at originality, particularly those who have a keen eye for design and composition.

Don’t just follow the crowd.

Conversely, there is a horde of work out there that all looks the same–technically proficient (for the most part), yet lacking in originality. In a recent post, a friend referred to it as “so what?” art, I love that term, because that is exactly how I feel when I see it, so what?!

I recently received a promotional email that featured an interesting “test” where you had to match the artists names to their work, the idea was more interesting than the actual test! While the work shown was top notch in terms of skill, and the artists featured are all well known professionals in their field, I was amazed at how similar all of the paintings looked! I couldn’t possibly have matched the artists to the paintings. That was a revelation to me, it really made me appreciate those artists whose work I see on Facebook and recognize immediately as theirs. They have taken the time to develop their hand and creative eye to a level that their unique vision shines through every time. That is what I want to see when I’m looking at art.

The artists whose work interests me covers a range of styles and media: abstract, representational, photography and 3-dimensional. Most are professionals, but some are new to the game and their talent and creativity shine through  nonetheless.  Most are not as popular as the Facebook “stars”, but that doesn’t matter, good work never goes unnoticed  for very long! 🙂


3 Responses to Keeping it real…(and I’m not talking about painting style)

  1. Peter Prest says:


    This is a fine piece of ‘blog thought’. Most don’t add to our collective knowledge about art, but your piece is an exciting step forward. Can you match the work to the artist as a test….thank you!

  2. M.C. Guilmet says:

    Nice, enjoyed reading this. Well said.

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