It was December 2004 and the Jones clan had gathered in Missouri to celebrate Christmas together. While there, my nephew Keegan told my two brothers and me that he had built a blog for us. We said, “Hey that’s great! …what’s a blog?” Blogging was brand new at the time, so Keegan attempted to explain the concept to his knucklehead uncles. I traveled home to Indiana, big brother Doug traveled back to Tennessee and little brother Don went back to his home in Missouri and from three different states we created BROTHER JONES – Mighty Fine Art – Neapolitan Style.
Today there are several different places on the internet where you can punch a couple of buttons and be blogging within minutes. You could not do that in 2004. Keegan built our blog from scratch using Adobe Flash. With neapolitan ice cream as our inspiration, we were assigned different neapolitan colors… Don chocolate, Doug vanilla and me strawberry.
Each brother had his own individual page to write on with a comment section where we could talk back and forth. We had no spell check and no way of controlling the comment section (which was WIDE OPEN) so that literally anyone in the world could jump in and voice their opinion on any topic. This made BROTHER JONES a pretty lively place on occasion. Anyone could say anything (and I do mean anything) and it would IMMEDIATELY pop up on our pages. I specifically remember one profanity laced argument a Christian and an Atheist had (much of it misspelled in the heat of battle), which made a short appearance on my page. It was the wild, wild west. All we could do was delete offensive comments AFTER we saw them PUBLISHED on our pages. You never knew what you were going to get when you fired BROTHER JONES up in the morning.
Even though we were billed as an “art” blog, we seemed to talk mainly about tv, movies, football and food. My postings started out as longwinded tomes, but quickly became much shorter. It seems that I spent most of 2005 posting random weird stuff as I tried to figure out what to do with a blog. I focused in on watercolor painting in 2006, took notice of digital painting on the web in 2007, tried to transition to digital painting in 2008, and by 2009 had bought a Wacom Cintiq and totally converted from being a traditional watercolor painter to being a digital artist.
Keegan created a beautiful web site for us and it won many awards. Sadly, while BROTHER JONES was cutting edge technology at the time, it quickly became obsolete. Spam became a huge problem on the site and ultimately killed it. I hated to see BROTHER JONES totally disappear because so many people had such a good time with it, so I have republished my pages..
…and it is indeed one odd little time capsule to behold.