Reflections on Five Years of Blogging for HuffingtonPost Arts and Culture

The past few weeks have been busy, so an important career milestone almost slipped by with my having noticed: May 13th was my "Five Year Blogaversary." On that date in 2010 my first blog appeared in the HuffingtonPost. Titled "Picasso's Recession-Proof Harem" it appeared in the HuffPost "New York" section, as the Arts page hadn't opened yet. HuffingtonPost Arts--now HuffingtonPost Arts and Culture--officially opened a month later on June 15, 2010 under the direction of its amazing founding editor, artist Kimberly Brooks.

"Picasso's Recession-Proof Harem" was the first of a total of 259 blogs (this one included) that I have posted over a five year span. That means I have averaged just under a blog a week over time. When I started, I had absolutely no idea that I was capable of writing so much or so often. Blogging has been a huge surprise for me: it has been a life-transforming experience and a door-opener.

2015-05-24-1432485450-746359-Couper_Seed_Banner.jpeg
Ex-voto painting by Matthew Couper
Matthew Couper's wonderful ex-voto painting, sent me to me as a gift early in 2011 does a great job of capturing the spirit world of my newfound avocation. Seated productively at my computer, a grid of red circuitry connects me to Mat Gleason--another early HuffPost Arts blogger--and also to an all-seeing eye and to a painting by my mentor, the late Nathan Oliveira. A head by Jean-Michel Basquiat--an art world frenemy from many years ago--rises over the floor tiles to my left while my journalistic patron saintess, Ariana Huffington, raises a knowing eyebrow to my right. Christ, crucified for art, adds an additional touch of religiosity and devotion to the tableau.

2015-05-24-1432488890-3941616-John_office.JPG
At work in my office
Matthew's painting captures some of the imaginative and psychological forces that surround my interest in writing. A photo of me at work in my real office shows some interesting correspondences. I do spend a great deal of time leaning over my laptop, and a work by Nathan Oliveira--one of his "Tauromaquia" monotypes-- does hang in front of me as I write. A large model plane that I built and put too much work into to actually fly hangs over my head, a reminder of a hobby of the past. The energy that I used to put into making things seems to all go into writing these days. After recently re-organizing a bookshelf in my office to contain all of the catalogs and books I have contributed to over the past few years all the effort suddenly seemed tangible.

  2015-05-24-1432489804-752893-IMG_5961.JPG
Art catalogs and books
The following list contains some reflections, notes and comments from five years of blogging:

  A few things I have learned: Every word matters. You never know who is reading your blog. Every blog is important.

  My favorite quote from an artist: "The bravest thing in the world is to take a position without a pre-planned fall back." - Kyle Staver quoted in "A Brother Honored"

My favorite reader comment: "Read it. Excellent. Loved the Mao." Steve Martin responding to my blog "I Don't Deconstruct" on Twitter:

Blogging is different from other kinds of writing: You wake up in the morning, drink your coffee, and blog about what you want to write about in the way that you want to.

Blogging is truly social: I have never had so many friends. Oh, and a few frenemies too...

Something I need to do again: The "Paintings and Palettes" and "Studio Visit" blogs were a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Click here for one...

A common misconception. I have written predominantly about representational painters. For that reason, some people have come to think that I don't care for other types of art. That isn't true. I write about representational painting because there is simply so much good work out there that hasn't gotten the attention that it deserves.

Humor is important: You can say things with humor that you can't say another other way. A list of my satires can be found at this link. 

I'm often asked if I have a favorite artist: Yes, it is the artist I am writing about at any given moment.

Artists need to have their stories told: Interviewing artists has allowed me let artists tell their stories. An index of the 75 interviews I have conducted since 2010 can be found on my personal website.
http://www.johnseed.com/p/interviews.html
Some Acknowledgements: I owe a great deal of thanks to Arianna Huffington, Kimberly Brooks, Kathleen Massara and Katherine Brooks (my editors). I owe even more to my wife Linda who has supported me, even when I have been writing when there is laundry that needs folding.

To my readers: Thank you for reading. There is a lot left to write... more blogs are on the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment