Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Atelier Autodidactique

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. I want to take this moment to thank all of you. I appreciate all of you who have taken a moment to share a funny thought, an encouraging word, a philosophical musing, or an expert insight.

Thanks too to all of you who have given your time and talent to the weekly Art By Committee contest. And thanks for linking or putting me on your blogroll. I wish I could link back to each of you, but my sidebar is already way out of control.

I am a firm believer in the value of self-teaching. Whether or not each of us has been to art school, we never get to a point where we know enough. Learning about art is a lifelong occupation.

Right now the history of art is at a remarkable crossroads, with a convergence of knowledge between digital effects innovation, vision research, a new realism in painting, and an outpouring of creativity in caricature, cartooning, and animation. As a result of all this cross-pollinaton, there’s a lot we can learn from each other, and I've been learning a lot from you by doing this blog.

I hope you’ll visit Gurney Journey from time to time over the future months. There are dozens of new topics lined up for future posts, with material on everything from reflected light to rainbows, silhouettes to spotlighting, interactivity to idealization—plus a few bizarre surprises along the way.

Image: Unused concept sketch for The Voyage of Argo, National Geographic, 1985.

53 comments:

Mary Ann Archibald said...

Happy Anniversary! Thanks for a whole year of great art blogging!

Thomas Nackid said...

Congratulations! I honestly don't know how you find the time for such an informative blog and still have time to create all your wonderful paintings--but I'm glad you do!

Artemisio said...

thanks to you :D since a friend of mine made me discover this blog, like 2 months ago, i learned a LOT!
so happy blog-day and i hope there'll be many more to come :)

Rob Brown said...

I'll second Thomas. It's amazing how much effort you put into your blog and work simultaneously.
It's very useful and inspiring. Thanks for all that you do James!

Joan M. Mas said...

Happy blog-birthday, then! The topics you mention for future posts sound great. I enjoy every bit of what you do here.

jez said...

Thanks for the great blog! Always a great way to start the day.

bill megenhardt said...

This is by far the best blog that I have found and the only one that I read everyday because of the diversity of your posts. The creative process is difficult to explain but your blog does it very well, congratulations.

Dorian said...

Master Gurney! You drew that sketch the year I was born :)
Thank you so much for sharing everything you've picked up along the way - I hope there is some learning for you as well and the feedback from & interaction with your readers keeps you energized and you can feel every day how beautifully "art stuff" unites people!

Never stop!!

(BTW.: Besides the obviously fantastic content, something I really like is the length of the articles - just perfect!)

All the best,
Dorian

Matt Scheuerman said...

Happy Anniversary!

I have learned so much from your posts and it has been very beneficial towards my self-directed study to become a digital matte painter.

Your posts have had much to do with helping my visual investigation skills.

Keep up the good work and we can't wait to see more of your work in the future. Breathe Deep, Seek Peace!

Judegirl said...

I've been a daily reader since last fall . . . you have been a great inspiration to me, so much so that I have returned to painting. I learn something new from you every time you post. Thanks so much for your dedication to sharing your craft! :)

Anaïs Goldemberg said...

And thank YOU, mister Gurney ! It's a real pleasure and englightment to read your so interesting thoughts about art.

cegebe said...

Indeed - thank YOU!

Is learning something from the internet self-teaching or not? Whatever it is, your blog is one of the most informative treasures of knowledge I've come across so far.

DavidStill said...

Congratulations! And thank you! I've been a regular reader the last month and a half or so, and I find your thoughts and insights very interesting. I read Dinotopia when I was a child, and it was one of the first times I actually marveled at the art for the art's sake, not just because of the oh-man-dinosaurs!-factor. So it was really amazing to find your blog and read about the behind the scenes of your art.

This autumn I'm going to study in Atelier Stockholm, the Swedish academy of realist art. I think that between the schoold and contact with artists like you over the internet, the next few years are going to be very exciting indeed for me!

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to the art community conceptart.org, where you will meet professionals from the whole world.

Here's to another year of GurneyJourney!

Michelle Johnson said...

I'm glad I found your blog, it's been a fun read. You've given a lot insight into art and being an artist. Here's to another great year.

Eric Orchard said...

Happy Blogday! I'm so glad you don't charge for this 'cause I'd owe you a king's ransom for everything I've learned.

Timpa said...

Happy Blogday Jim! Agree with all above posters, this is the only blog i check frequently (a few times a day at least) not only for your own amazing paintings and tips, but for the sheer diversity of topics and technical knowledge you so generously give us. Before I go out painting I always refer to this site, and when I come back I check in to see how you or some other artist you posted have done it. A never ending source of inspiration you are sir! Sincerely thank you.
Tim

dragonladych said...

Well happy anniversary!

And I join my voice to the chorus, many many thanks for postig all this amazing information!
you have a way of explaining things that's so much livelier than books. You share your passion with us without ever being pedantic.
I will keep this blog in my RSS feed for a long time still, until you grow tired of posting !

Katherine said...

Ditto Tim.. Never stop Jim.

Glendon Mellow: The Flying Trilobite said...

Merry Blogiversary!

Thanks you for pointing down different roads for all of us.

You actually are a gentleman and a scholar, a renaissance man. All the best, Mr. Gurney!

Andrew Wales said...

The school's is a mouthful, but I'm a proud pupil of it. Although, we often "self-teach" through the help of so many others! I have learned so much here!!!

I agree that art history is at a crossroads. I especially love the genre of comics, and I sincerely believe that right now this art form is experiencing a renaissance. There is a flood of great material of all kinds of comics right now: historical, instructional, personal, etc.

Doug said...

You punch a lot of my buttons!

I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs and spent a lot of time drawing Alley Oop when I was little.

I have been an illustrator for decades now.

In recent years I have been learning to paint en plein air.

So... over the last year, just about everything you have posted is of interest to me. I'm looking forward to what is coming up in the next year!

As others have said... I don't know how you do it, but I am glad you do!

Jasons-Brush said...

Happy Anniversary, This is by far the best and most informative Art blog on the net. The Absolute Best...

Sincerely, Jason

Erik Bongers said...

For a minute I thought you were ending the blog. Phewww...

Congratulations!
You must be exhausted.
Have a seat.
And feel free not to post every single day from now on !
(if only to make us readers give the feeling that you are human too)

Moyse said...

Congratulations James, I've been visiting almost daily for the last few months, and every day there is always something fascinating to read and look at. Here's looking forward to another 12 months!

colin said...

Happy Birthday! I'm looking forward to another year of being educated.

Dianne Mize said...

Congratulations and thanks for your generous sharing. That we're all learning from one another is an amazing gift technology has given us, but the generosity, such as yours, which makes possible this sharing is the reason it all works.

nn said...

On the contrary, thank you! I've learned more from your blog than I have from any art classes I've taken, and all without throwing away a dime - and for that I am profoundly grateful. Thank you, again, for all the effort you put into this.

craigstephens said...

This is the most informative and fascinating art blog that I have come across. I check it every day. Congrats on your anniversary and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and insight!

Bill Robinson said...

I love this blog! I've learned more from it than any of the painting classes I ever took in art school. You should write a book...(as well as a blog.) Thanks for a year of learning and here's to many more!

doodle said...

Heh, happy anniversary. This blog was actually one of the things that convinced me I wanted to become an illustrator full stop. So thanks for that.

=shane white= said...

This blog feels like the Summer workshops that Rockwell was known to have with a select few. It's been an intense learning experience that has put most of my formal schooling to shame.

Though with art everything is a stepping stone to the next discovery.

Thanks for being so dedicated.

=s=

schlaefercharlieunddaskraut said...

THANKS JAMES!!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR UR ENERGY AND INSPIRATION!
LOVE UR BLOG SO MUCHH!!
KEEP DOING THIS FOR ANOTHER 100 YEARS PLEASE!!
Try to make to the exhibiton in Austria!!
Duc

Richard said...

Happy birthday. If you don't know this book it's my birthday present to you; The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air (Dover Books on Earth Sciences) by M. Minnaert (Paperback - Jun 1, 1954) written when Minnaert was a prisoner of the Nazis and deprived of access to his astronomical telescope.

art4marc said...

There are a lot of nice sites and blogs out there which can impress, but how many can also conjure up a sense of wonder and better yet, a unique sense of discovery?
It's that sense of discovery that puts this blog on a higher plane. I don't think I've honestly ever taken a peek in here and not learn something new ("Oh yeah, that makes sense, vertical edges would look a little softer than horizontal ones due to the placement of our eyes...amazing thought!").
Plus, I finally got to read The Technigue of Oil Paintings after you posted that great quote!
Congratulations Jim, and keep on with this voyage!

Pinflux said...

This blog is amazing James, I've been keeping a tab on it for almost that long, though I assumed it had been going a lot longer!

Thanks so much for the continued insights, and here's to the next year!

John P. Baumlin said...

Happy blogiversary, Mr. Gurney! Sincerest thanks for the many insights into your working methods plus regular peeks at some very inspiring art over the past year. I've learned a lot and look forward to more of the same.

Dave H said...

There's not much I can add that hasn't been said. This blog is great. It's at the top of my favorites list and the first blog I check after my reading my e-mail. I recommend it to every one I know who has an interest in art. Thank you for your insights, inspiration and encouragement.

And to think that you do it for free.

Dave

Randall Ensley said...

I first found out about the blog, how? I believe on Charley Parker's Lines and Colors, and I've been a daily visitor since. Very educational and thought provoking. Plus, I love dinosaurs!
Congratulations James and Thanks!

Paolo Rivera said...

Jim, I had no idea you'd only been at this for a year. Congrats and happy blogging!

John-Paul Balmet said...

What a great resource! Thank you for keeping up the blog, and like all the other who posted here before me, I look forward to another informative and inspirational year.

IOWA CITY, IA UNITED STATES said...

Thank you so much for all the time you've put into this blog James. The things I've learned here are invaluable to me.
Here's to you and to many more insightful years to come!

tanaudel said...

Congratulations! I've really been enjoying this blog - it's one of the most helpful (and visually beautiful) places I've found online and I've learned a lot.

The Professor said...

Thank you so much for a wonderful year of blogging! I have enjoyed the art lessons as well as the truly new ideas like Art By Committee. I don't know how you do it but I'm glad you do.
Your posts are a highlight of my day. Between the Rabbit Trails and your wonderful sense of humor, I don't know how I got along with out this blog.

Roberta said...

"Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach."

Thank you James... you do it all!

Michael said...

This blog is amazing! It is us who should be thanking you for all of the amazing insight and work you've shown us!

James Gurney said...

I’m speechless. You are all so kind. Yes, let’s keep doing this blogging thing. Sometimes the Internet seems so vast and impersonal, but as Dianne and others have said, the technology provides an amazing Petrie dish for ideas to flourish.

Cegebe, by self-teaching I meant what Andy said, that each of us is picking up knowledge from all around us and sharing it freely with each other on this blog.

The Minnaert book that Richard mentioned and the Hamilton Field book were references that I knew nothing about until I learned about them from you all.

So let’s see where Year 2 takes us!

Wasker said...

Congratulations on your b-day, mr Gurney.

Dinotopia was one of the first books ever given to me when I was a kid and I still regularly dive into it every now and then. Your insights have helped me, today, as a self taught artist tremendously.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Happy Anniversary James - I'll give it a mention in my 'who's made a mark this week' post on Sunday and hopefully send you a few more new fans! :)

As somebody who not only believes in and subscribes to the value of continuous learning but also actively promotes the value of sharing, I'm very happy to recommend your blog to those who want to develop their skills in drawing, composition and appreciation of art generally.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Katherine,

And for anyone who doesn't know about her legendary blog "Making a Mark," please check it out. If you like GJ, you love it. It has some great new stuff on color schemes in today's post.

http://makingamark.blogspot.com/

Mike said...

If anyone's giving thanks right now it should be from us to you. There's not a day that goes by where I don't a trick that I found here.

Translating years of experience into words clearly is something I've always seen attempted..
seeing that truly accomplished here day by day is mind-blowing in itself. thanks dude.

Casey Klahn said...

Happy Birthday, Gurney Journey and James.

Adam Cope said...

happy birthday to blog & artist!

enjoy the journey, the path is the goal

Ripsey said...

Happy anniversary James!

I have to say, it's quite a selfless thing you do with this blog - imparting your knowledge of art and art history for the masses!

I completely agree that learning about art is a lifelong occupation; and I've learned a heckuva lot from this blog.

Keep it up, I look forward to seeing what comes next!