A Suggestion on How to Get DMP's Mojo Back

I've been browsing through several past discussions in the Off-Topic and General discussion categories and I got the feeling that this website use to buzz with an energetic vibe once. Reading some of the discussions from long term members suggests to me they feel that this forum is starting to fade away slightly.

I'm a total newbie here (about a week ago I joined) and I'm a complete beginner to painting.

But I thought I'd lay out a suggestion that may help to refresh things

One discussion I came across (I can't remember who?) mentioned that there are people that come here just to show their paintings but they rarely offer anything back to the other forum members. And I can understand why other members may feel a little miffed at that.

I'll be honest... when I joined up I was quite eager to show one of my paintings... as a beginner you can't help but feel a little excited about someone (especially an accomplished artist) commenting on your painting (good or bad)

I also came here with the purpose that I could ask for advice from professional/seasoned artists as well, and take a look at their work.

Maybe if the site was to create a few new categories, possibly two or maybe three


Beginners Corner



That way people like myself would more than likely head for the Beginners Corner because we'd all basically be on the same level and probably relate to each other better. Same would go for the other artists on similar levels

And it wouldn't stop anyone visiting whichever category and interacting.

Anyway just my thoughts.


  • edited December 2021
    Hi @Nate, and welcome.

    I am one of those who posted about others not contributing. I have realised that some, even though they are accomplished enough to do so, will not contribute. Though they appear to enjoy posting their work and lapping up the praise.

    I unfortunately I dont think that is going to change.

    I understand the issues some feel about not feeling competent enough to contribute, we’ve all been there.

    At least there still are a fair number happy to contribute. 

    I like your suggestions and ideas, but you know in many ways you can still feel pretty much like a beginner when you start a new piece, even if you have done a fair few.   :)

    The only snag I can see for getting that off the ground is Mark Carder, who used to be much more involved with the forum in its earlier years is no longer involved as much, if at all.

    So I am not sure how it could be implemented.
  • @Nate
    Creating new categories should  be done by the admin in Vanilla. Vanilla being the forum hosting software.
    But I don't think that would solve things.
    Every image seems to be stamped with an awesome badge. Little constructive comment is given. It's hard to grow when honest comment. Not that individuals posting for comment aren't seeking some honest support and guidance. 
    There are far fewer none participating 'posters' than you think. Simply posting is a positive event.

    Try this. If you feel that a 'poster' is not offering enough private message them. Offer a compliment or critique. Not everything has to be hung out there in the open. They may not feel confident to discuss things in public. I do this often.

  • Cheers... I'll take some that on board
  • Appreciate the feed back MichaelD
  • edited December 2021
    @KingstonFineArt, there's plenty of constructive and honest comment posted here. What's remarkable about this forum is that, even though it's more or less self-moderating, the comment and criticism is generally well directed AND respectful. That last makes a big difference. As you know all too well, when a lack of respect is shown by a poster who comments on other's work, especially that of beginners, other members will step in to chastise the offender. But offenders are few and far between and don't seem to last long here. They are often the ones who come here to poach members for their own site.

    @Nate, this place works for those who work it. It goes through quiet periods like all forums. So, just paint, submit work for comment and comment honestly and respectfully on the work of others and enjoy the place. If everyone continues to do that, the forum will continue to be the great resource it is for painters.  :)

    @MichaelD is right - there will always be freeloaders who come to dump a painting on us, lap up the praise and then disappear until their next dump. We don't like that but can't do much about it. However, one way to discourage freeloaders is to stop commenting on their work if they don't give back to others. Those who give get, those who don't, don't. Tit for tat is the best way to discourage offenders.  :)
  • Well spoken Tassieguy.... appreciate your points
  • I'm yet to post one of my paintings, I came here for the techniques of Mark and stayed for the community of artists who are helpful, super friendly and can bounce knowledge around to each other.
    You are always going to have 'hit and run' posters in this age of social media, likes, validation and upvotes...craving those says something about your own internal well being.
  • Glad to have you on the forum, @Nate.  I'm fairly new here too.
  • You as well AllforChrist
  • I get it .. 
    But how do we really learn ? Would it just be beginners praising each other’s work ? Or giving their personal opinion ( taste ) on the painting ?
    One thing that’s invaluable to me is learning the jargon , getting a critique from an artist , what yo look for , etc .
    I post my paintings and people mention all sorts of things that I , as a beginner , would have totally missed .

    Id probably be reading on the professional page all the time , for learning .

  • TedBTedB -
    edited April 24
    I may be mistaken, but I suspect it's part of the lingering effects of the Pandemic. The casual impression I've had is "art" has suffered a major hit to it's vibrancy and energy. The En Plein Air movement has died as public places closed...and outdoor painting, drawing was effectively banned. Urban Sketching has been similarly shut-down. Classes and seminars canceled, galleries closed (temporaily*).

    With all that's happening, "art" has been pushed to the backburner or abandoned all-together. I haven't been inside my "local" Jerry's in over two years. 

    Radical Fundemunsellist 
  • edited April 24
    Yes, @TedB, I think the pandemic has had a lot to do with the art scene going quiet. When I had my last show back in early January this year we were in the middle of a major surge in COVID here and, although my gallery was open, people just weren't going out. There was hardly anyone on the streets and very few turned up for my opening night. I still sold some on the night and made some sales subsequent to the show but it has not been as good as my January 2021 show when COVID was well controlled here.  And it was not as good as my January 2020 show when we had just started to hear about COVID overseas but it had not yet arrived here. We're approaching 90% fully vaccinated here but people are still wearing masks even though it is not required in most places and the streets just aren't crowded like they used to be. And in many countries tens or hundreds of thousands of people have died of it and many more were very sick with it before vaccines came along. So, yes, I think COVID is part of it. 

    Furthermore, in respect of this forum, there has been a concerted and somewhat successful effort to poach members to a newly opened site. The perpetrator had links to his site on this forum before they were finally removed and may have contacted members individually in PM's.  I know of a good number who have gone over to his site.  There is nothing to stop people doing so if it suits their purposes better than DMP. They have a right to go where they wish.

    People going over to Instagram and Facebook has also had a lot to do with it.

    Then there is the natural attrition rate. People come to DMP and become highly skilled painters and then quite often go off to to make their own way in the art world. DMP has served its purpose for them. Fair enough. And there are also a lot of people who become members and start off quite active here but sooner or later lose interest in painting and just disappear. That's just how it is.

    And finally, all forums go through quiet periods and then pick up again. I think we're in one of those right now.

    So it's been a combination of things that have conspired to bring us to where we're at now. Let's hope things pick again up soon.  :)

  • I've still seen more detailed C&C, genuine interest and support and helpful advice here than on any other forum or on Instagram/Facebook.
  • Quite right, @Richard_P. That's why I'm still here.  :)
  • It's interesting to see that the other place is even deader than here. Maybe someone has poached all his members. Karma.
    I'm sure some of them  would have just got bored and returned to Instagram where there's more daily action. 
  • @Nate @tassieguy @Richard_P I'm with Instagram since 2015. I know what it has become since last year! It's just become an entertainment tool nothing more. I guess YouTube still has a huge place in learning. Blogs are not dead. I sometimes ignore YouTube info to look for blog contents for more authenticity. 
    This forum is certainly not dead. There are people who would want to learn the method. I still feel that the new guys need to follow the DMP method for sometime and then they become one of the senior guys. I have a lot of info that are bookmarked and I return to them quite often.
  • I'm on two facebook sites only because they have expertise and good information, but the format for facebook groups is dreadful. If you dare ask a question that has been asked before you'll be hectored for it, but search facilities are woeful, and information is buried somewhere in 83 comments under the fifteenth result in your search, which has taken 20 minutes to get to. The tone of both includes a mix of intolerance and obsequious. If someone doesn't follow the accepted doctrines of the group others will let them know(!) at times without explaining the rationale. The leaders can be high-handed at times like old-fashioned academics - but very insightful.
    I can't think of a social media site I've ever been on that has a better sense of community than this one. On any topic.
  • It's good to know that there are stayers here on DMP despite all the distractions elsewhere.  :)
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