What’s the big idea?

Moonset 214 process, oil painting being created by Roger Vincent Jasaitis, Copyright 2014 Roger Vincent Jasaitis, RVJart.com
Moonset 214 in creation

My digital presence (RVJart.com, This Speaks My Mind, Facebook) are coming up on the 3rd anniversary of their birth. It has been an interesting journey. I have become a writer and learned computer programming. I have widened the circle of interest in my work locally and globally. I have sharpened my abilities and discernment in communication and expression of the written word.

As with any new enterprise there are always high hopes for success. As well, there are ideas that didn’t turn out as expected. The most difficult thing is getting the public to engage with the content that I put up, to take the time to think about the images and ideas. All websites have to deal with this issue.

First I will use Facebook as an example. If I post a photo, I will consistently get 10 times more traffic than if I post a link (even if it includes a photo) to This Speaks My Mind or RVJart.com. Readers are willing, for the most part, to share a photo more than an idea and don’t tend to click links that leave Facebook (cheers if you are one that does!).  I don’t know if this has more to do with my ideas or the culture of Facebook?

Secondly, This Speaks My Mind shows what is going on behind the eyeballs. The ideas that percolate behind the process of creating the artwork that you see on RVJart.com. I have written 90 posts on this blog. Here are the top 10 viewed posts to date:

  1. A Visual Valentine
  2. Creativity Continuum Theory
  3. Beast of the Northern Wild
  4. Ode to a Camera
  5. Meet Jane Katherine
  6. Monday Moonday
  7. All you need is art
  8. The Idea of Color
  9. Art, accident vs. intent
  10. Octavio Paz and the war on drugs

A varied grouping, some dealing with paintings, some photos, and some ideas. Following this blog is an investment of time but you get more understanding of my thought process and work.

Lastly, RVJart.com has well over 100,000 hits to date and has steady traffic. Unfortunately this has not translated in a lot of sales to patrons that I don’t already know. It has made it easier for folks to see and purchase work that live distant to Vermont, but most of these patrons are already collecting my work. One benefit is that I can show my work to anyone, almost anywhere, on the spot.

The promise of living off of a virtual gallery is still not at hand for me, in spite of the fact that it cuts the cost of buying my artwork in half (no middlemen or gallery commissions). Que sera, sera…

Over the next few months I will be re-evaluating my digital presence. If you follow these pages you may notice some changes. I welcome your input.

I do thank you for your support, feedback and patronage over the past few years.

The featured image is a work in progress, Moonset 214, a continuation of a series of moon rises and sets over the past few months. Here are two others;  Moonset 5,   Moonrise 91.

10 thoughts on “What’s the big idea?

  1. George Signore 03/21/2014 / 9:45 pm

    It’s complicated . . . isn’t it? I’ve enjoyed the “behind the eyeballs” glimpse you have provided being a life-long friend/brother. (“Brothership” or “broship” for short — a phrase I’ve just coined to define the deepest of friendships among men). Your thoughts have given me more insights to the RVJ I have known and loved all these years . . . and all of what you have written so well has been both enlightening and endearing. Again, we are two of a kind, in that, we are of the deep thinker’s sect my friend and not all go there. Unfortunately, there are so many loved ones and beloved friends and family, that simply don’t have the need, desire, or sometimes, the ability to get us on that level. They still love us, appreciate our work, and even admire us, but simply don’t take the time for whatever reason. From the standpoint of an RVJ art fan/collector, sometimes, as you know, less is more . . . less is enough . . . some folks like to keep their favorite artists a bit of a mystery and let the interpretation of the work come from the imagined “within” so to speak. Reading this back, I can see how it may come off as being a bit snobbish, above the grain, or egocentric. I don’t mean it that way at all, I just mean to say that deep philosophical expression doesn’t always translate to everyone we know in the sense of being entertaining. As I said . . . it’s complicated . . . but, don’t give up — remember that Facebook is a “One-Stop-Shopping” for folks to see you and everyone else in their lives without clicking off, given the limited time most folks have these days. They mean to get back to reading the rest of your blog/post, but many just don’t get there . . . good intentions though, right? Marketing is tough and takes lots of experimentation to get it right. And, then, just when you’ve got it going in what seems to be in the right direction measuring from responses, the numbers seem to start falling off, and before you know it, what was right these past couple of years is now out and something new is needed to be explored. Keep the faith my friend/brother – whatever!

    • Roger Vincent Jasaitis 03/22/2014 / 10:21 am

      Thanks for your thoughts and sentiment George. I hadn’t thought about the idea that some folks would want to keep a favorite artist a “bit of a mystery” and let their interpretation of a work come from “an imagined within”. Understanding any artists work takes time and effort on the part of the viewer. However this effort is paid off bountifully in deeper insight and emotion when viewing the work. When people have some sense of the arc of an artists life they tend to view their work more favorably. Many artists become more well known after they die. I think that being able to tell a complete narrative about the artist appeals to art lovers, especially if the story is a tragedy or sensational (think Van Gogh or Warhol). Understanding the context of a work in an artists life gives the work itself a narrative to appreciate. Knowing about the art you are about to see in a museum or gallery (or in a friends home) makes for a more intense experience.
      Think about the process that you go through when viewing new art. It is challenging. Sometimes it takes time and multiple viewings to “get it” on some level.

  2. avidseeker 03/22/2014 / 9:09 am

    Dear Roger, congratulations on these past 3 years of your blog and growth as a writer and thinker and sharer of your own insights. I’ve enjoyed reading these insightful musings and being able to view your expressions of them in your art. Love, Ginger

  3. George Signore 03/23/2014 / 8:25 pm

    I agree totally and do believe that insights into the artist adds an interpersonal experience to the entire process. Living in our day, we no longer have to wait until someone decides to chronicle the life of an artist before we have insights to who they are, or who they were if it’s postmortem. We have instant access to virtually everything we might want to know about the artist via all sorts of media, or more accurately, we have access to what is made available (by the artist) for us to know about he or she.

    All that being said, for the sake of the devil’s advocate argument, I also entertain the notion of there being a sect of fans who let the art speak to them without insight of its origin. I see a piece of art that draws me in and I interpret it on my own level without needing or wanting to know about the source – the piece speaks something to me on a very personal level that makes me feel something and I don’t want that tainted by anything. I don’t want to know what the artist looks like, where they live, what inspired the piece, what they think about, in fact, I don’t want to know anything about the piece – I want it to be my own experience. Just another school of thought for giggles.

    I guess I sort of liken what I am saying to another artist many know and love by the name of John Lennon and one of his many beloved contributions – a song called Imagine. So many of us know it by heart and love the message, the catchy simple melodic structure and the overall feel good experience we get from listening to it or playing the tune. But then, with a little bit of digging, we find out John was a very troubled man — a man who personified the very old proverb of “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    He preached about peace, love and understanding. He espoused acceptance and brotherhood, making love instead of war, etcetera and so on. Yet, here was a man who by all verified accounts bullied women physically, cheated on his wife, abandoned his first son, took on political causes without any evidenced true contribution to them and presented himself as a loving house-husband and father who gave up his career to raise his second son, while publicly admitting he had no desire to be a father to his first born, had numerous affairs and who even was quoted saying “I’d love to save humanity, it’s just people that I can’t stand.” The list of contradictions and hypocrisies goes on and on . . . yet many of us loved him because all-in-all he was simply flawed and human as we all are to varying degrees – but, knowing all these truths cast a different overtone on the experience of listening to his music, especially those espousing love, peace and understanding.

    So, sometimes, when it comes to art and appreciation — less is more — sometimes.

    • Roger Vincent Jasaitis 03/24/2014 / 9:54 am

      The act of viewing is always your own experience no matter what you know or don’t know about the work or artist. I see your point of perhaps wanting it to be exclusive of influence by the artist, but then are you really seeing the work as intended? I say this somewhat tongue in cheek because you can never escape your cultural viewpoint. So if you are experiencing art that was created in a different time or culture than your own you bring your own baggage along. The generation that is experiencing Beatle’s music now do not carry the cultural context that we do.
      I have heard a quote that says that “an artist is always in the act of becoming”. Perhaps John Lennon was becoming what he espoused in his music but didn’t live long enough to realize it? Our lives are so much broader than we can ever capture in a “persona”. As you know from being in a popular band, your onstage persona is not entirely you. We pick and choose slices of our “selves” to market to the world. Sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.

  4. Whine And Cheers For Wine 03/24/2014 / 9:10 am

    I think the answer can be found in your comment “Sometimes it takes time and multiple viewings”: society today is all about instant gratification and moving on to the next thing. Social media takes this to the next level. I think this shows in your stats, as you mentioned the traffic you get with photos etc.
    Cool to see your top posts. Keep up the good work!
    Thank you.

    • Roger Vincent Jasaitis 03/24/2014 / 9:57 am

      Thanks Ernesto, you take the award for posting the most comments about my digital content. Where do you find the time 🙂

    • Roger Vincent Jasaitis 03/25/2014 / 4:26 pm

      Still wet, do you want to put your fingerprints on it so you are really all over it? 🙂

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