Stop PIPA and SOPA

Stop PIPA and SOPA
If you stopped by Lines and Colors yesterday, January 18, you may have noticed that Lines and Colors had gone dark, along with a significant number of other sites, in protest, and to raise awareness of the “anti-piracy” internet censorship bills looming in the U.S. Congress.

If you didn’t happen to stop by yesterday, but would like to know more about why it matters, what I had to say about the issue, and why the continued existence of Lines and Colors and websites like it hinges on the defeat of these bills, here is the page that was up in place of the site yesterday.

The effort to raise awareness of this issue across the web has apparently begun to have an effect, as a number of legislators have withdrawn their support for the bills, at least in their current form. But the fight is far from over; the hugely powerful and influential lobbies that represent the entertainment industry will not slink quietly away and call it a day; they will continue to pressure congress to give them the kind of extraordinary and frightening control over internet content that these bills provide.

Those in other countries may feel this doesn’t affect them (it will if hundreds or thousands of websites go dark at the whim of the big corporations), or you may feel frustrated that you can’t affect it directly. Right now, the spread of information and awareness is important, and those of you in Europe and elsewhere will soon enough have your own fight on your hands over similar legislation that these companies are trying to force into law around the world.

Those in the U.S. can directly affect the immediate danger of these bills passing by calling or writing your U.S. senators and representatives and urging them to reject the bills. Here is a site called Stop American Censorship that has more information on how easy it is to do that.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that if these bills pass, Lines and Colors, and significant other portions of the web, will cease to exist.



2008 Bloggie Nominations

2008 Bloggie Nominations
I’m normally not all that concerned with awards unless they serve a purpose other than ego massage, but I’m going to ask you to help out and nominate lines and colors for these awards because there is such a purpose here, namely the possibility of wider exposure for the blog, and by extension, for the topics, people and kinds of art featured on lines and colors.

I haven’t done this in the two years plus that I’ve been writing the blog, but this year there is a new category for “best art or craft weblog” into which lines and colors would fit nicely. (Previously there was “arts and entertainment” in which no art blog could outmatch the popularity of film, TV and music blogs, and “crafts”, which wasn’t quite appropriate.)

One of my stated reasons for writing lines and colors is the desire to open as many eyes as possible to the amazing visual treasures that exist in various times, styles, genres and approaches to visual art; and in particular, to expose people to visual arts in areas other than their usual favorites; in effect to cross-pollinate the genres.

Obviously, the wider reach a blog like this has, the more effective that effort becomes; so I would like you to help me do this by taking a few minutes to go to the nomination page for the Eighth Annual Weblog Awards and nominating lines and colors in the category for “best art or craft weblog”. (That category is about half-way down the page, on the left.)

There is a “what you need to know” section at the top of the page, but here are the most salient points:

You must supply a URL for the weblog (for lines and colors, that would be “”).

You can only submit one nomination form; if you attempt to re-submit at some point your new ballot will replace the previous one.

You can nominate as many other blogs in various categories as you like, but you must nominate at least 3 different blogs total somewhere on the form for it to be a valid nomination. I’m sure you all have some favorite blogs in other categories, and additional choices in the “best art or craft weblog” that you would like to see promoted. To nominate three blogs should only take you about 5 minutes.

You are required to supply a valid email address, but I believe they have a good privacy policy.

If you want a chance to participate in the final judging of nominees, be sure to check the checkbox at the bottom of the page, above the space where you enter your email. Three panels of 50 participants will have the ability to vote by email in the final judging.

The nominations close at 10 PM Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5) on Friday, January 11, 2008.

I believe that the nomination process is more important here than the final voting. The objective isn’t to be “winner”, but to get lines and colors listed as a nominee, thereby exposing the blog, and the topics I cover on painting, drawing, illustration, comics, cartoons, concept art, matte painting, animation, paleo art, science fiction and fantasy art, digital painting, artist tools, painting-a-day, museum shows, the great classic illustrators, and all of the individual artists that I write about, to a broader audience.

If you feel that what I’m doing with lines and colors is worthwhile, this will be a great way to show your support.



Addendum: Nominations have closed. Thanks to all of you who took the time to nominate lines and colors. Whether lines and colors is on the final ballot or not, you can vote for the 2008 Bloggies from January 22 to January 31.