I've thought long and hard about posting this, but have decided it needs to be said:
Like many others have already done, I am leaving this forum.
As an amateur artist who loves aviation art, I was originally attracted to eHangar in the hope of experiencing others' artworks, learning from other artists, and having my work that I chose to post in the Work Critique Room or Ready Room receive some meaningful and, for me, valuable educational feedback.
But lately I've seen many amateur artists leave eHangar, no longer posting any works or comments here, which is unfortunate.   I'm sure the recent problems with the website have driven some away.   However, the following is my main reason for leaving (perhaps others who have left felt the same?):
Sadly, I've formed the distinct impression that only the professional and semi-professional artists here, and their works, are considered worth-while responding to and get any discussion -- it seems the amateurs are pretty much ignored. That's fine--I certainly don't need my ego stroked--but I think that pretty much defeats the purpose of this forum.   I've posted several works in the Work Critique Room in the past and had them completely ignored (as a result I deleted them from the forum)--and I have seen other amateur artists' works ignored (not all, but a lot). I thought the reason for the Critique Room was to have your work critiqued--good or bad (either way it's educational, at least for me)--but certainly not ignored. I guess I was wrong. Unfortunately, I've come to feel that my posting anything more on the forum is a waste of my time and eHangar's bandwidth.
I do absolutely wish all of you artists success and fulfillment in your artistic endeavors. For my part I will continue to draw and paint for myself the aviation subjects that intrigue me, and not worry a whit about what others may think--or not think--of my work.
Quick Guys....you lot surround Him & i'll Grab His keys so He can't get home      ****************************************************************              Captn71      I for once don't know what to say......what a sad post              You can't leave yet.......don't you want to see what kind of mess i make of this B-24, sure could be amusing              Well at least turn into a Lurker if you can & don't forget your password, you may decide to come back one day              The Grass is not always greener the other side of the fence ya know              What ever you do from here on............Take care of yourself
Do and post what you like but it seems the way to handle this is to voice your concern and ask for solutions but not under the pretense of taking your toys and going away. There is no need for that.   I am always suspect/skeptical of people who feel the need to announce their departure from a forum.   Just simply stop posting.                 You obviously feel strongly and possibly a little hurt by all this.   No need to take in personally.   These forums go through phases, perhaps you can try and post a work in a few months after the membership does more posting after this new format.   Maybe many members don't really know what to say in regards "amateur" works?   This forum has other positives............
captn71,      Sorry to see you go, but I can understand your frustration.      eHangar had serious problems with speed for many months.   Doing anything on the site was an exercise in frustration.   I'm sure it drove many members away.      Then the site went down while eHangar 2.0 was being developed.   Probably lost a few members there.      Then the  site came back up with problems.   I think everyone expected a few problems with the new site.   Unfortunately, Sunny is the only one working on the site and it's taken some time to solve them.   Probably lost a few more members.      Frankly, it's been a tough year for the site, and I imagine traffic is down substantially.   I certainly don't see many artists - professional or otherwise - posting on the site.      So, I wouldn't take it as a reflection on your art.   Rather, I think the site has been knocked back to ground zero in terms of participation, and it will take a long time to build it back up again.      On the collector side, it's been a quiet year.   The tough economy is clearly reflected in the lack of aviation art releases.   Couple that with all the site problems and there's not a whole lot for collectors to talk about these days either.      I'm hoping for better times ahead.   I don't expect it to happen any time soon, but I hope we can get there with time.      There aren't many places to go to share your interest in aviation art with like-minded people, so I plan on sticking it out here.      Hope you decide to return someday.      Kurt
I believe fuzzy has succinctly summed up the recent developments on the site so I don't need to go over them. Thanks, Kurt and also all the others who have chimed in!      captn71, I'm sorry to read you feel that way, and I respect your decision. Know that the site and forum will always be open to you, and thank you for your past participation. I'm sorry you didn't get what you were looking for here and hope you find what you need elsewhere. But even if no one passed any comments on your art, I'm sure you can still learn something from others' posts on other artists' works, professional, amateur or otherwise?      As to others having left, its possible that some may have made that decision. However, its impossible to verify it as a fact, and I wonder how anyone can even say that. I certainly can't tell if anyone has left permanently, or has yet to come back to the site. I receive email notifications almost on a daily basis of old members coming in to change their passwords. When v2 was launched, my programmer used a script that sent out email notifications to members informing them of the change in their passwords. I know, from members' feedback, that not all received this email, for various reasons. Many have emailed me to ask how to get back in. Many more have no doubt used the posts and links I created to inform on how to change their passwords, and they have self-helped their way back here.      So as to this forum dying a slow death, I would say that such rumours, as the saying goes, are wildly exaggerated.      Like CBI says, each site goes through phases or growth and decline. We have had some technical challenges here, and as fuzzy mentioned, I am the only person maintaining the site currently. I've been busy with other projects and although I try my best, I have not always been able to resolve issues in a timely manner, or maybe as quickly as some want me to, and I apologise for that.      I am a member of many forums on the net, and I visit them on a need-to, want-to basis. I don't think there's any forum where I've shaken the dust off my shoes, swearing never to return again. There's no need to. Like others have mentioned, you don't have to announce it, you just don't post, even if you just lurk around to read what others are saying. I know that's the natural state of forums, that forum sites usually have more members who are content to just lurk and read posts, than regular posters. I don't question or rail against this fact - its just a law of nature      When I first started eHangar.com in 2003, it took a long while for the site to grow, as slowly, people found the site and spread news of it by word-of-mouth, and via the search engines. I have never advertised the site to get visitors. As I don't depend on this site for my living, I don't need to push for more visitors.      I'm confident that as I continue to develop the site and add content to it, and as members post in the forums, this site will continue to grow, as the site's new infrastructure is even better than the old one, in terms of being search-engine friendly. I'm committed to building this site into the net's biggest aviation community site.      So I hope no one feels you need to stay away, because I believe that there is a lot more you can get out of eHangar.com, now and even more in time to come!
Captn71-      I wholeheartedly can see how you may feel regarding the feeling of reponses on the forum, or lack of. Frankly with all that has been going on with it over the last 6 months or so it has been frustrating for me and I have not bothered posting as much as I used to. I still have to add a math problem to post which I thought had gone away....but I digress....      What Kurt, Sunny and others have said I could not have said any better, but I will offer you this and see if this can at least have you hang on for awhile longer here while attempting to hone your craft. I am by far no big time artist here on the forum, and I hope to not come across as conceited in saying this but here goes: if you should need the honest and sometimes brutal critique please send your work over to me or any artist you may admire on this forum and we can be of assistance. Recently I have begun teaching classes which helps me as much as hopefully it helps others. Also remember that no responses sometimes does not mean that people are not viewing the artwork, just that sometimes they may reserve comments as to not step on toes. I have been pleasantly surprised on what art receives comments sometimes and what does not, and in general I have been treated exceptionally well here, with my learning curve progressing leaps and bounds over where I had started when I first signed up many years ago. If you would like a mentor from myself or any of the artists on the forum please feel free to ask or send the art via PM. Generally us artistic types enjoy giving our suggestions and critiques as long as the recipient is open and willing to receive what is asked. Many times I have seen that the artist gives a critique then the other party gets their feelings hurt or may become angry in defiance and it sometimes becomes ugly.   I have asked a few artsts on here for critiques on certain pieces, some top names here, and they are extremely approachable and willing to assist you. Please consider these options before you take your toys andnd go home.      Brian
Brian,i am surprised you are still using the maths captcha,in the UK we have to match an object to put in the circle,maybe the forum  isn't  functioning the same all over.         I do hope everyone stays on here,i don't feel talented enough to critique others painting unless there is something that really sticks out like a sore thumb.         It would be nice to see some more of the old faces on here again
Ok, this is my final response, as I think some things need clarification:
Of course some will think I made my decision and posted out of anger, hurt, or just a temper tantrum.   You're wrong--none of the above apply.
I've read many posts here speculating why the membership has dropped off so dramatically, and wondering why.    When members get disenchanted with the forum and just disappear quietly without stating a reason, how can the forum or its members know how to improve it? That's why I posted--to just shed a "public" light on one person's reasons.   I certainly don't pretend to speak for others.
If anyone thinks that I'm just being a spoiled brat saying "if you won't play my way, I'll take my brushes and go home--oh, poor, poor me", or is suspicious of my motives for posting my "farewell", then you've missed the point entirely.   As I said before, I do not need my ego stroked, nor do I get angry or hurt at negative criticism or opinion.   On the contrary, I see them as very valuable learning tools (a "wow, another masterpiece" response doesn't tell me anything).   I found out early in art classes that the instructors (the good ones) were not afraid to "step on toes" if they felt a work was inferior or full of mistakes.   I appreciated their honesty and used their opinions and suggestions to try to improve.
And I don't agree with the statement "I'm not qualified to critique others' painting".   I think anyone here can voice an honest opinion--you like or you don't, and for these reasons (even if it's only the color of the clouds).   As for the aforementioned "stepping on toes", if anyone's ego is so puffed or fragile, or they are so insecure, that they cannot take honest criticism and use it to learn and improve, then they should not post their work and ask for opinions.   If all one wants is validation and glowing praise then one should only exhibit his/her work to loved ones.
I have absolutely no animosity toward anyone here. On the contrary, I have great respect for all.   Nor do I have any anger or hurt feelings whatsoever, either toward the forum or any individuals.    I just feel it's time for me to move on for now.   If that angers anyone, my apologies.
I can see what you are getting at, some people as you say post stuff to get Real opinions & others post to get Only Appraisal and get defensive if the comments are Not what they want to hear (or) what they think thier (status) deserves              A good example of someone who has status & is willing to put himself on the chopping block is Marl Postlethwaite just take a look at the video he has on youtube of the painting of BF 110's...he has the guts to show everyone the whole WIP with all the mistakes & umpteen changes that he had to make throughout the painting, that takes guts for someone who is renown to all of us & thousands of members of the public.........I must say I was very impressed by him for putting tha video on youtube      Others can't take any comments exept good glorifying one's              So why not weed them out & just comment on the one's who you know don't mind what comments they get, you can comment as much as you like on many of the people here, they are not all up themselves              I cannot remember seeing any of yours,but if you claim as Trumper does that He is not worthy then thats garbage, Trumper is as worthy as any one here, not one of us started of putting masterpieces strait away, painting is something that takes years to learn & even longer to become proficient at....there are  none here who can claim to have learned all there is to learn, even the greatest masters were never satisfied with all thier work & I doubt if many here are either if the truth were known              I think you are a valuble asset to this site,  maybe you have also pointed a few things out that needed saying, I haven't been here long enough to judge                I for one want you to stay..........if you do decide to leave then fair enough
Gollum said    I cannot remember seeing any of yours,but if you claim as Trumper does that He is not worthy then thats garbage, Trumper is as worthy as any one here, not one of us started of putting masterpieces strait away, painting is something that takes years to learn & even longer to become proficient at....there are  none here who can claim to have learned all there is to learn, even the greatest masters were never satisfied with all thier work & I doubt if many here are either if the truth were known              Hi Gollum,      I'm not sure I understand your above quote.   At no time did I say that Trumper was not worthy (in fact, I respect the hell out of him!).   I only responded to  his  statement that he felt  he  was not worthy of critiquing some else's work. My opinion is:  Of course he is worthy!   I said that I feel that  anyone  on this forum is worthy of an opinion, no matter what level of training, ability, or talent they may have. The fact that many do not feel like they should voice an opinion, or critique a work, is part of the problem here , IMHO.         Enough.         Elvis has left the building....
Trumper said>>>"I do hope everyone stays on here,i don't feel talented enough to critique others painting unless there is something that really sticks out like a sore thumb."              Thats what I feel like at the moment (A sore Thumb)   ("i don't feel talented enough to critique") thats the garbege statement i ment      Hard to reason things out sometimes, I tried   oh well...back to the drawing board
Hello there,              I must say that somehow, I understand   the frustration on this topic.      I also feel that only the "valuable artist gets attention". Also, some of those "valuable artist" didn't waste their time to comment or offer feedback to the less talented artists here.        Is it because it's less easy than by the past to have an aswer going thru the form now ?      As an example, I've tried twice to answer Gollum question about "what do you write on the back of the canvas" topic few weeks ago. Each time I tried, I got a "you're not allowed to answer this post"... so I let it down even if this glitch is solved now.              Also, I interact with other artist on facebook, and it become more easy to just "like" than posting an answer with advises and   critics.              Just as an example, I've got far more "return" on my B17 painting on FB than on ehangar where somehow the WIP as been finished without too much attention from the members. That's a fact... Not that I'm looking for "slap in the back" but I even clearely ask the B17 aficionados to critic the drawing as I'm not a WWII guy, nothing happened... nothing. Only Gareth came later on with good advises.      The number of view per topic is also dropping a lot. Breaking the bulge from Gareth get "only" 700 views on 5 months ! while it's probably the the best avart painting of the last few months.                I'd like to hear from the historical posters who have almost disapeared from here, are they feeling that the FB "like" trend is enough ?              Alos, one additionnal thing, i'm a bit pi**ed off by the fact that the artist section is now way down the forum ... looks like a secondary subject... well after the collector's corner the site happening, ehangar V2 and general aviation subjects.      Any reason ? did someone notice that ?              Cheers      V.
When it said "you're not allowed to answer this post" you probably weren't logged in, it happened a few times to me untill i noticed i hadn't let myself in              As for where the Artists section is you have hit on something there, maybe it could be put above the collectors section, i know there are more collectors than artists but without there (first) being artists there would be no collectors              As for Facebook, I stear clear, i cannot even find your post..( my facebook knowhow is Zip!) to me it's like putting a Spitfire pilot in a modern fighter...I don't know how to work it
When I look at where it says "Most Users Ever Online" at the bottom of the page, it says 44.      When the old eHangar was going strong, there would often be over 200 users logged on.   It was always well over 100.      Then the problems started, and they persisted for a long time, and there are still things that need work.   Most of the time when I log on, there are less than 10 people logged on.   Maybe in the teens.      It seems like the hardcore fans are coming back.   Not as many are posting as before.   Gollum is a great addition and is almost singlehandedly keeping the lights on around here!   I've got lots of things to post, but just don't have the time right now.      Given time, I think the site will get rolling again.      fuzzy
Fuzzy is right....you could here a Pin Drop in here sometimes              E-mails need sending out again, and maybe if any of you who do come here who have contact with missing members could send a (Hint) that they are missed
Frenchie said      Alos, one additionnal thing, i'm a bit pi**ed off by the fact that the artist section is now way down the forum ... looks like a secondary subject... well after the collector's corner the site happening, ehangar V2 and general aviation subjects.      Any reason ? did someone notice that ?
Vincent, until you mentioned that in here, I hadn't noticed this at all! Not sure why it was moved down as I didn't arrange it. Anyhow, that's why I need members' inputs when they spot something amiss here as by myself, I can't be aware of everything.      I have moved the Artists section back to the original spot below the Collectors section. Thanks for alerting me to this.
I guess many of us are creatures of habit. The old ehangar was familiar and I could quickly find the interesting posts that appealed to me. The new ehangar just takes a while to get used to. Gollum,similarly Facebook seems confusing at the start but after a while it is SO much fun and informative. Ehangar even has a Facebook page. The beauty of that is, I can put my aviation art photos straight on there without the long process of uploading/downloading/sideloading/adding/resizing and so forth and so on.      Now,let's see....drop pencil into the circle....yup,did it !!
I've been thinking about this for a while, and have another reason for lack of participation on the site:      The Homepage      First of all, when I bring up the homepage, it doesn't say "aviation art" or "aviation" to me (I know Sunny wants to broaden eHangar's appeal beyond just aviation art).      It says commercial.   Ads for various and sundry products (watches, books, die-cast, etc.) dominate the left half of the site.   Ads for art supplies, RC helicopters, etc. sit at the top.      Are there even any aviation related images on the homepage?      Only the 5 most recent posts from the forum are on the homepage.      On the old site, seems to me there were about 15 posts on the homepage.   They were broken into categories as well - collectors, artists, etc.      With only 5 posts on the homepage, things can disappear pretty quickly.   The casual homepage checker will never see them.        The first time eHangar visitor must be confused as well.   I wonder what they think the site is about?   As I said, it sure doesn't scream "aviation art", or even "aviation".   All it really says is, "Hey, buy something!"      I guess a marketing person would read all my jibber-jabber and think "branding".   What is the eHangar "brand"?   Is that communicated on the homepage?
My link to ehangar brings me strait here              This forum should be the home page......the home page should be linked from here              Personaly i come here 99% of the time & only visit the home page (to be honest) by accident
I guess I should join in, and if ever there was evidence of a malaise that has crept in, its that this is the first time I've noticed this thread. I think that historically I am a top-five poster on this site, but all those reasons noted by Fuzzy and others have certainly contributed to my hesitance in contributing over the last few months. I have also been very busy with some commissions, which I can't share with eHangar at this time. I am trying to post more lately.              My biggest complaint, and the factor that almost  subconsciously  works on me, is the  appearance of the home page, which Kurt alluded to earlier. The sense I get is that advertising is the most important thing, and that promotion of forum items is secondary. The dominance of the advert column renders the posts status almost invisible. I personally prefer the old format better, although the rest of the site is fine.  I don't know how contractually obligated you are Sunny, but I really think this should be addressed.              Anyway, in light of Capn71's (and others) concerns, I intend to take more interest in new work posts. I would hate to see any further decline.              Cheers,              Steve