Sunday, July 16, 2017

10 Years of Blogging

Today marks ten years of GurneyJourney. My first post was July 16, 2007, and I've done a daily post since then.


I started my blog “GurneyJourney” in July of 2007 at the suggestion of my publisher. The idea was to do a visual journal of the book tour for "Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara." It quickly expanded to become a daily summary about whatever I was learning about. The reason I like to blog is that it gives me a chance to explore ideas, to share discoveries, to think out loud, and to learn things from you, the reader. Thanks to all of you that are part of the GJ community, both the regular and occasional commentators, and those who only just read without commenting, which is OK, too.

I've tried to follow these seven goals:
1. Brevity. (Omit needless words).
2. Simplicity (One basic idea per post).
3. Variety (Funny stories, obscure videos, geeky factoids and useful studio tips).
4. Commercial free (No popups, ads, or sponsored content).
5. Information over opinions (I'm better as an explainer than a detractor).
6. Credit (Try to identify and link to stuff that's not mine).
7. Show, don't tell (Let the practice drive the theory).

The main way I've supported the blog and paid my staff is with links to Amazon. The way it works is that whenever you make a purchase through one of my links, Amazon sends me a few cents on the dollar from the sale. I like that system because it doesn't cost the shopper anything extra. So if you shop Amazon, just start your session through a sponsored link. You don't have to buy art books or art supplies for me to receive the percentage. It works for anything, as long as you enter through my link and while the tab is open you can buy your almond butter or dog bed or whatever.

Writing Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara in 2007
I didn't expect that blogging would lead to so many other things. The books “Imaginative Realism” and “Color and Light” grew directly out of blog posts, and since then I've released ten feature-length instructional videos and over 200 free YouTube videos. I made those books and videos to translate the ideas from the blog into a more comprehensive form. There are more books and videos coming and lots more ideas for the blog in coming weeks and months, so stay tuned.
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"GurneyJourney at 10" on Lines and Colors
Remember, the "Dead Vehicle Challenge" is July 31. And if you spend time at Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, please check out my channels, as I often post different things there.
Previously: Meet the GurneyJourney Staff

54 comments:

jeff jordan said...

I think I came aboard about 6 months after you started, Jim. I've seldom missed a day since, and no idea how much I've learned from the blog--a LOT! And it's been a ton of fun, as well! Keep em coming!

GJ said...

Thank you. A hugely valuable resource for me and also for my students here at the Putney School. gj

Glenn Tait said...

Congratulations on an achievement that has been a sentinel among the huge number of offerings available on the Internet. Not only do you share insightful technical information and introduce amazing historical figures from the history of art, amongst many other things, you do it with a unique approach; Open Source Sharing. You promote other professionals and their blogs, videos or books that others would shy away from doing for fear of losing readership. You've opened up space on your blog to showcase your readers achievements and ideas. You have helped to build a supportive community and mindset where artists work together for common goals and achievements. You invest in your readers through painting challenges, you listen and interact on a level where, I'm sure, most feel the comradery of a teacher, a mentor and a friend. I've been inspired by your example and work many times over. I know that Jeanette is a big part of this work, the two of you are wonderful soul mates (love to see more of her work). Thank you to both of you.

Joel Fletcher said...

Wow! 10 years? As a regular follower of your blog, I am constantly amazed at your productivity. With all the artwork and projects on your plate, you still manage to not only create a Gurney Journey blog post EVERY DAY, but all that other social media as well. I suspect you have figured out how to warp the space time continuum, and fit more than 24 hours into a day. Either that or you never sleep. Congratulations on your 10 year milestone!

David Webb said...

Congratulations on your ten years, James! Put's my blog in the shade. Last post was in May!

Must try harder.

Mitch said...

I congratulate you on your ten years of dedication and loyalty to your blog. There aren't many who can keep up with the demand of feeding the daily monster, but you never fail to deliver. I think you must be the hardest working man in the art world; I see you everywhere: this blog, Youtube videos, International Artist magazine, diners, hardware stores, laundromats, cattle ranches.... I don't know how you do it, but I hope you recognize the large number of fans out there who appreciate what you do!

Celia said...

Congratulations! I don't often comment but I appreciate what you offer us and often revisit certain posts. Admire your work and your blog. My son and several of my friends are followers as well.

Linda Navroth said...

Thanks to your blog, your dedication, and generosity with your knowledge I have learned a great deal not only about your art but other artists as well. I've gotten a lot of interesting, (sometimes) obscure, and useful art history through your posts (one of my favorites was Adolph Menzel). I enjoy all the videos and have learned so much from them (I even took a crack at making maquettes, which was a blast!). Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my art experience more fun and interesting! Blog on!

Warren JB said...

I'm no good at this kind of thing, but I feel the need to say something. This blog - and it's related books and videos - is such a tremendous resource and inspiration, delivered with even-handedness and good humour. Whenever a particular art problem or point of interest crops up, more often than not I think 'James Gurney had something to say about that!' A day without checking in on Gurney Journey isn't complete. Thanks for taking us along on that journey!

rotm81 said...

Congratulations on 10 years, James. It's been the one blog I read every single day for years and years now! It's an asset and a pleasure to read every day, and I always recommend it to anyone who enjoys art. Thank you!

Jim Serrett said...

Thank you so very much, you are a true inspiration. I love your blog, have all your books and most of your videos, and I am endlessly encouraged by them.

Fabio Porta said...

Congratulations James!
I have been following the blog for the last 4-5 years only, but keep going back to read all the pearls from the previous years too.

Thanks for sharing all this awesome material for free :)

Biff said...

Congratulations! I suspect we have a limited understanding of the amount of work surrounding your stellar blog, nonetheless, our appreciation of it is great. Your influence in transforming the talent of your readers into artistic results is great as well! Thanks for that!

I'm not familiar with how Amazon links work, but if you are not compensated for links to international Amazon sites (eg, Canada or U.K.), you might want to add those as well.

Live long and prosper!

Lou said...

I've been a follower since I met you at the second plein air convention. I will forever be in your debt for introducing me to casein which has transformed my plein air work. You and Jeanette are quite the team. I hope to send you a congratulatory note on your 30th year anniversary (no doubt transmitted telepathically from my flying car).

Evelyn said...

Many thanks, James for your dedication, visible (pithy, informative and entertaining writing) and invisible (thoughtful choice of topics to cover, and background research)! I appreciate your highlighting a variety of lesser-known artists. I especially love the instruction on technique. (Every time I paint hair, I hear your advice to think of tresses as ribbons!) I hope you produce more of everything -- with a special request for expansion of your posts on reflections on water (I'm just not getting that diagram of the submerged painter upside down -- what am I missing?).

Brian McElligott said...

Thank you so much for your dedication and for all of the fantastic and informative posts! I really look forward to clicking on the Gurney Journey every day. It is always a fun adventure!

Carole Pivarnik said...

I love your blog, James...so informative and always fun and interesting. You're practically a national treasure for artists! Congratulations on 10 years of blogging (that's quite an achievement!) and thank you. I have learned so much from you through your blog and videos. Supporting you through purchasing your books and videos is a bargain for all that you offer. I'll try to be more mindful about using your Amazon affiliate link when shopping!

Belen Rodrigue said...

Thank you very much for your blog. I find it very informative and inspiring . You give us information very diffucult to find elsewhere and in my case this has openned many windows and made me discover many artists. I read your blog almost every day and more often than not you surprise me. A very big thanks from Paris.

Jayson Mondala said...

Thank you for your blog and ten years of some of the most insightful and thoughtful posts on illustration and art on the internet. You've done us all a service, James. I hope we'll get many more decades of starting our creative days with you. :)

Karen Robinson said...

Thank you so much for all that you have shared. You have been and continue to be the single most important teacher I have had and your books are the ones I go back to over and over again. To blog daily for ten years is a quite incredible feat of stamina, determination, focus and perseverance. You are an inspiration.

Zach Heckert said...

Also dropping in to say thank you for all your hard work. Your dedication and frequency is just as important and incredible as the content of your posts. We're fortunate to have you!

Janet Oliver said...

My favorite blog. No contest. I've learned so much from you posts!

Christian Schlierkamp said...

Thank you so much for sticking to the Blog! It did not only become a constant companion on my travels through the Internet but a live changer from our first Interview for the epoch times via the book on Adolph Menzel to my stay with our friend Garin Baker. ☺️ Thank you so much, Jim & Jeanette! All the best from Berlin

Steve said...

We've all benefited from the breadth and depth of your curiosity and knowledge. Your range of interests is a daily source of life-expanding delight. It's all served up with heart, humor, and lack of self-importance. Deep gratitude for all you share, James.

Bob said...

Happy 10th Anniversary! After reading the previous comments it's hard for me to add anything else. Your blog showing such imagination and talent yet with characteristic humor and humility is -- well, Dinotopian!

Bug said...

Happy On-line Birthday!

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Quite an achievement. Hope you'll continue.

msp said...

James, you broaden our horizons: people, places, worlds, techniques...with dignity and class. All of your efforts are SO appreciated!!! I've followed your blog for many years and significantly hope you will continue blogging for many, many more. Happy Blog Birthday!

Michael Pagdon said...

Congrats, James! This and MuddyColors are the two blogs I visit daily and I can't imagine what my life was like before and what it would be like without these two incredible resources. You've done a great thing for the entire arts community with this blog. Sincere thank you for everything that stem from this project as well (the books especially are FANTASTIC and I reference Color and Light at least once a week). Keep them coming!

nuum said...

Master,

>>There are more books and videos coming ...

I would love to know the contents of the books,
But I know you won't tell me.

I'll buy it , anyway.
They will join to the ones I have.
Yes, I have The Sketching one.

When they will be on amazon.com ?

Paulo
Rio - Brazil

Lane Brown said...

Thanks so much James! This blog has been such a trove of knowledge and inspiration.

George Carr said...

Congratulations! Wish I had discovered your genius blog earlier!

Teri said...

Congrats Mr. James Gurney! I love your blog!!!!!!!!!! (10 exclamations)

pfelelep said...

happy birthday and congratulations indeed!

Sam Weber said...

Thanks for everything James, Gurney Journey has meant so much to me over the years. I read it every day without exception. Congratulations an Happy Birthday!

Amanda said...

Congrats on the milestone. I'm pretty sure I've read every post along the way. Thankyou for making them!

Sonia said...

I really appreciate you sharing your process, tips and tricks. I don't think I have followed your blog from the very beginning, but many years ago I borrowed, from our local library, your book on travel sketching - that really was the start of my artistic adventure. So, many, many thanks.

Edward Morris said...

Thank you for your blog. I have your books and have followed you for years. I look forward to seeing what's on your mind each day.

shropshire climbing centre said...

Thank you for producing such a wonderful resource, James. I, like many others on here, have your books and videos, but check in daily to your blog, always to find something new and inspiring. here's to many more years!

David Apatoff said...

Wow, ten years-- congratulations, James. You have a lot to be proud of.

You didn't list it as one of your 7 goals, but there is an 8th factor which I think has been more important to your success than any of the others on your list: your blog consistently has a cheerful, optimistic, constructive tone that welcomes and warms your readers. You have a generosity of spirit that comes through and makes learning your content that much easier.

You've made a great contribution to the art world over ten years, and I'm looking forward to the next ten.

ricardo said...

Thank you for doing this for 10 years, James! I sure have passed links of your posts around for all this time!
Seeing that picture of you writing JTC made me all tingly with nostalgia! :D

Carol Scown-Raynal said...

Congratulations ! Félicitations !

Curt Marthezé said...

Thanks, always encouraging to have you online, preempting en plein air, and more. It will be my blogs ten years next month too, so thanks for the list. Maybe one of these days Ill get it together and earn a badge!! blessings

Rich said...

Congrats as well.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody. I read through all your comments, and I deeply appreciate your stories and sentiments. I'm working on a whole lot of new content for you, and I look forward to placing it on the table before you.

Tryggvi Edwald said...

In addition to simply congratulating you on the continued success, I would like to thank you for your unstinting generosity with your methods and tools. I always start the day with your blog, and this invariably improves my mood and fortifies me for the (decidedly artless) day ahead. Thank You!

Michael Lukyniuk said...

Ten years already! It makes me feel a bit older since I've been following since your first year. What an accomplishment. You've inspired me in many ways - I've built a pochade box along your suggestions, I've been educated on different techniques and impressive artists, and I've been encouraged through your endeavours to paint my world and post my results on my blog. Thanks and congratulations.

Mary Aslin said...

Have enjoyed your blog tremendously and have learned so much. Thank you!

Ruth Squitieri said...

My favorite blog! In addition to having your books, some of your videos and reading everything you blog about, I also recommend your blog to all my students: If you only have time for one, it's James Gurney's blog, as it contains so much varied information!

Rhonda Suhrie said...

James, you are certainly one of my favorite artists. I especially love your Dinotopia paintings. You seem to be an endless wealth of information and I try to read your blog every day!

Kyle said...

What an awesome milestone, James! I haven't been around for that 10 years, but I sure have enjoyed all of the posts! Thank you for sharing your knowledge Experience and skill!

Patricia Wafer said...

Thanks for all the GREAT posts and information and artwork shared with us. Thanks esp for all the great info on painting with gouache which I really enjoy doing in my plein air work. And as always thanks for the MONKEY who always cheers me up!!!

Mei-Yi Chun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mei-Yi Chun said...

Have you thought about placing an Amazon.com sponsored link in a more prominent position in your sidebar?

Some sites have a generic Amazon.com link which works the same way but is not associated with a specific product. The following is an example:

http://www.twotruefreaks.com/main.php


In any case, congratulations on Gurney Journey's excellence so far, and best wishes for even greater future successes!