While on the beach at the weekend I found a clump of fresh seaweed, still green for the most part. I love these little plump buds of bladderwrack that are so green and fresh before the sun and air turns them to burnt umber. I managed to get this one home and take some photos before its transformation into a brittle mass that will go into the compost.
The photos will be cropped and arranged until I find a composition that appeals to me and will try a drawing of it, likely coloured pencil. I can't resist trying to capture that fresh green of the fronds.
I'm overwhelmed with email. Its become the scourge of my existence at times, especially today. I think its slowly crept up on me, insidiously creeping into the inbox, through filters, to clog my life with drivel.
Now I don't mean the mail from friends and family who I always enjoy receiving mail from, but I find that more and more documents are send via email, from newspapers to local supermarket flyers to newsletters. Which brings me on to my next topic.
I have been asked if I will produce a newsletter from this blog. At this moment, I have to say no. There are a lot of newsletters out there and it seems few are long lived or, to be honest, worthwhile reading. When I consider what would make me stick with a newsletter it would have to provide the following, which almost sounds like the dating game. Aren't these the qualities you look for in a partner?
Consistent. I want a newsletter that will arrive on time, when I expect it, not at the whim of the producer. I want to know what to expect in terms of content and writing. If you let your 4 year old write a column, you'll just confuse me.
Content. This is vital. Content must give me something that I cannot find elsewhere. It can be about you and your art, how you produce it, where you get your inspiration etc. Inspire and entertain me. After a long day, I want that. Don't tell me about your social life, your food, your pets or your children unless they are in your art.
Visual Appeal. You are an artist, so make your newsletter live up to your reputation or the reputation you want to create. No blocks of newspaper text with poor quality images. Make me want to see more through high resolution images and imaginative layout and design.
Make Me Feel Special. I have entrusted you with my personal information - a direct line to me. How are you going to treat me? Are you going to give me special tidbits of information and perhaps a little tutorial tip. Or maybe a discount on the purchase of your art each month?
Don't Dump Me. I have stuck with you, so don't suddenly disappear without warning. I deserve more than that. Provide me with a warning that you won't be producing your newsletter anymore, don't just walk away and leave me hanging, wondering what I did wrong or that you're lying dead in a ditch somewhere.
I won't produce a newsletter just for the sake of doing so. I have seen them come and go, often with good intentions, but often as not simply because its the current trend to do so. I can't produce a newsletter that will please readers on a consistent basis for the long term at this point in my life. In the future, if I have something I need to say on a regular basis, I may consider it, but not now. I'd break every rule in the dating game!