Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Yesterday a discussion on the SAQA Yahoo group, which started as a request for links to interesting blogs, evolved into a more wide-ranging examination of two other issues. One thread examined the reasons for blogging - are they personal, commercial, a mix of the two? What is an appropriate frequency? The other thread involved the issue of making the blog available to the largest number of readers. Just a few years ago people were willing to check in daily with their favorite blogs. Now subscriptions and RSS feed services are in demand. They ensure that readers will have access to the latest posts by their favorite authors at a click of a key.

I participated in the discussion because I have been giving a lot of thought to why I am now writing a daily blog post, how it is affecting my life right now and what the future holds. I am having no difficulty creating a new post every day. I realize that some of my content might not interest anyone but myself but that's fine. I have no commercial interest so the number of readers and their interest in my art or my teaching is not relevant to what I write. This blog is mostly a personal journal - a place to record a sampling of my thoughts and the events in my life. Next year I will know where to look when I want to know what tomatoes I planted and when. In a few years when I want a pick-me-up puppy shot I know there will be a few readily available on the blog. I will look back in a few months and see that cancer was just a blip in my days.

I have already experienced a shift as a result of the blog posts I have written in the last month. When I reviewed them I noted something that was new to me. My posts about art and art quilts reveal a pattern. It is clear that I am interested in large scale work, possibly ephemeral, and that repeating forms fascinate me. I am also not married to the traditional view of art as immutable and to be cherished by the viewer in its original state. I like the thought that something could change through time. I know that a lot of artists use weather to create that change. I am much more interested in the role of human intervention in altering the work.

That realization has led me to develop a concept for a second series. It would consist of large scale pieces composed of a large number of smaller units which could be placed in multiple ways on the larger 'canvas'. I would get to choose the original layout and might also alter it at will. But I would like to see what happens if viewers could also modify it in real time - if they could reach out and make it what they need it to be. 

I don't think it is a coincidence that these ideas have come to me at the same time as my cancer diagnosis. As I think about this project I think about community. I am such a geek that I write a mission statement for myself for every project I undertake and I always incorporate 'creating community' as one of my goals. I never thought of myself as a member of the communities I create or sustain but recently those communities have rallied to support me. Suddenly my viewpoint has changed and I have realized that I am a part of what I have created. 

Over the course of my appointments and surgery this week and next I will be working on small units that can become part of the first 'community' piece. My FAB friends have also contributed some units. When I have a sufficient collection I will lay them out and see what can be constructed from the hands and imagination of many people. I bet it will be wonderful. And it will be even better when others get a chance to arrange it in ways that appeal to them.

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