Contributed by Sharon Butler / In May 2022, I will have been publishing Two Coats of Paint for fifteen years. It’s been a long and strange but always fruitful trip. I started the blog when my studio was half an attic in a creaky Victorian house in Mystic, Connecticut. The enterprise was something of a lark. Then a professor at a regional college, I had stopped painting to pursue digital projects after my gallery in Soho closed in the wake of 9/11, and I was looking for a way back towards the New York painting community. I had no idea that the blog would also become an integral part of my art practice, and in fact an end in itself.
Two Coats began essentially as an art digest, reflecting my penchant for reading essays and reviews about painting. It was only later that I began writing original content, and early encouragement came in the form of readers’ comments. In 2014, and 2016, Two Coats was awarded Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation grants, and, in 2015, through the generosity of the Two Trees Cultural Space Subsidy Program, Two Coats moved to a space in DUMBO, which enabled me to start a small artists’ residency program (currently on hold due to Covid) for artists who lived outside the city. Residents came from all over the country to share their projects with curators, dealers, and artists in the NYC art community.
As Two Coats became a firmer fixture in the art-writing space, other artists and writers became interested in contributing, and we have published work from quite a few, all deeply engaged in the conversation around painting. In 2016, when Two Coats gained fiscal sponsorship through Fractured Atlas, we were able to raise money through readers’ tax deductible contributions to pay our talented contributors, many of whom were publishing for the first time. I am grateful for the editing, production, and creative help I’ve had from gifted artists and writers along the way.
Ever curious about new platforms, Two Coats is still expanding. This year, we produced a series of online conversations, broadcast through the Clubhouse live-radio phone app. Next year I plan to record and archive the Clubhouse conversations in podcast format, and develop more book projects under a Two Coats of Paint Press imprint. None of these myriad activities could have been sustainable without the generosity of our readers. All told, in fourteen-and-a-half years, Two Coats has published nearly 4000 posts. With your continued help, we’ll post 4000 more.
Thanks for your continued generosity moving into our fifteenth year. To make a 2021 tax-deductible contribution, please click here.
The first post: Op Art is back…again (2007)
Studio update: Two Trees Cultural Space Subsidy Program (2014)
Storage or dumpster? Organizing the archives (2016)