…I have always sought to be understood and, while I was taken to task by critics or colleagues, I thought they were right, assuming I had not been clear enough to be understood. This assumption allowed me to work my whole life without hatred and even without bitterness toward criticism, regardless of its source. I counted solely on the clarity of expression of my work to gain my ends. Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance are useless baggage to the artist. His road is difficult enough for him to cleanse his soul of everything which could make it more so.
After Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) this year, Dave Taylor invited me to go with a small group to the The Art Institute of Chicago to see the Henri Matisse exhibition. As I walked through the gallery, studying “The Back” and “The Bathers” series as it developed over time, I learned that Matisse returned to the subjects repeatedly, doing them again and again to find the “just right” perspective, never satisfied with the final project. I thought about how I return to my own art time and again, revealing my own artistic nature by revisiting the same subject over and over again.
People ask me why I blog about blogging. We all know how to blog by now. After seven years of blogging almost exclusively about blogging, most of them blogging about WordPress, haven’t I run out of things to say?
Again, to quote Matisse, “Truth and reality in art do not arise until you no longer understand what you are doing and are capable of, but nevertheless sense a power that grows in proportion to your resistance.”
Blogging is an evolving media. While it has been more than 17 years since I launched my first website, journaling before blogging became the namesake for the process, I’m constantly learning. I’m also constantly challenged by this medium of expression, and I love watching myself grow as my industry grows.
Standing in the museum, the quiet whispers around me, a sick feeling sank into me. It’s too quiet. I’m surrounded by art that represents expression – loud, boisterous, almost violent expression – yet people treat it like it’s a church. I wanted to laugh out loud. I wanted to shout. I wanted to dance.
Dave Taylor wandered near me and whispered, “It’s too quiet in here. The artists would hate it if they were here. They would want us to celebrate their art not revere it.”
I laughed then quickly stifled it, complying with the implied request for noise suppression amid the loud images on the walls.
It was a bloggy moment.
The True Magic of Blogging: Finding Like Minds
One of the joys I have in blogging is finding like minds, those who share my vision, and even my opinion, some commonality with what I write about. While some might say Dave read my mind, in a way, that’s what I want people to experience when reading my blogs. I want them to say, “You read my mind!”
The greatest comments I get on this blog are ones that thank me for having the answer after they’ve looked for it so long, and those telling me that this is a valuable resource for them. I have what they need. I read their mind.
In that vein, I decided right then and there that it was time to invite you into my head so you could see what I think as I contemplate and produce my own artistry. As Liz Strauss said so beautifully in her brilliant keynote at SOBCon, “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain.” Well, the wizard pulling the cords behind this blog is going to step out from behind the curtain and invite you into my world. I’m going to try to blog regularly in my Blog Struggles series to give you the behind the scenes process of how I blog. Consider it a blog diary on blogging on blogging, if you will.
Here’s hoping you like-minded individuals show up and help me make some noise, because it’s just too darn quiet around here lately!