First of all, I know there are at least one or two long-suffering friends of mine out there who are wondering where the new paintings are. They are coming. Tomorrow. I promise.
OK - that's out of the way.
I recently joined a website called BrushSpace, and I wanted to call people's attention to it. It's basically an open gallery/artists' community, without a particular structure, or even much of a stated goal (it claims to be invitation-only, but it looks as if anybody can register).
Artists upload their paintings and say a few things about themselves (which I still have to do... does anybody even read artists' statements?). People can then choose to follow those artists they're interested in by entering their email address. Presumably, when those artists upload new works, their followers receive an email (I haven't yet tested this).
The catch is that the gallery only displays the top 100 artists, in terms of number of followers. I have some mixed feelings about this, as it becomes more difficult for those artists who are just joining or have fewer followers to be seen (as of this writing, there are 312 member artists). No, I'm not arguing against The Way The World Works or crying sour grapes (I actually have a respectable ranking at the moment)... just have mixed feelings in this particular case, that's all.
HOWEVER, the thing that is absolutely brilliant about the site, is that by choosing artists to follow - essentially voting - the site becomes whatever type of gallery people want it to be. I like that. It's democratic. It's also given me the opportunity to discover a good number of artists I find very interesting, who I may not have otherwise found. I was happy to see a number of artists I'm very familiar with as well.
So, I strongly encourage everyone to visit BrushSpace. It's a neat idea, lots of fun, and you'll discover LOTS of great art. Of course, I wouldn't object if anybody wished to follow me as well :) You can find my profile page here.
UPDATE: The gallery at BrushSpace has been modified so that artists can be viewed by ranking, alphabetically, or by most recently added. In my opinion, the gallery view was the major deficiency of the site; this enhancement fully addresses the issue.