Sunday, October 11, 2015

Life of a Blogger

I have put this blog off for a few years now but as “Missives from the Art World” completes its sixth year of publication, it seems as good a time as any!  The thought first came to me waiting for a train in Heidelberg, Germany, a beautiful university town, which was one of the places that my father studied.  I made a few short notes then but decided that two years was too short a time for that blog to be written.

It all started because my associate, Vince Hickman, said to me that people enjoyed my stories, so it was a way of staying in touch even if the gallery no longer existed and I was, already in transition to Santa Fe.

My wife also writes, but she is a scholar who finds a subject and delves deeply into it.  She will often work with original documents for which she must go to the library.  She can spend months on a single article while I am knocking these pieces out on a weekly basis, so they are naturally not as thorough.  But then we are not trying to achieve the same goals.  Penelope is trying to teach while I am looking merely to entertain and hopefully make my reader think or even gain a new world-view.

 Blogging began in the electronic age and became the phenomenon it has become with the Internet.  It is more personal and independent than any previous form of publication.  No matter its faults and there are many one can still get a lot more information on the internet on a lot more subjects than from any single encyclopedia of old.  When people talk to me about the errors on the Internet I point out that one can find errors in many books if one does not pick up the “right” one!

Looking back now I see that my weekly blog was an incredible discipline for structure but,
my problems in writing and subject matter have changed in the last years.  As I have cut way down on my European travel, my trips have become more U.S. oriented and less frequent so I sit at my computer almost every week thinking what is worth writing about.  Sometimes it is pretty late in the week until I have an idea. 

I have lots of help because after I write, my wife edits, which at times is stressful for both of us!  Then my text is sent off with images that I have received, taken or found and put in Dropbox for my Blog Guru, Vince Hickman in New Jersey.  He figures out how to insert the images, and sometimes edits them in Photoshop or splices the videos and publishes the blog at midnight Sunday, Eastern Standard Time.  Then early on Monday he corrects any mistakes I or someone else finds.

BTW, I have had a few friends point out mistakes that I have made on a regular basis. Thank goodness most of those corrections are of a grammatical nature.  I am extremely pleased with those who point out errors because, first of all it shows that someone has read the Missive, and second because what is posted on the Internet will not disappear.  If I write about a Rothschild for instance, Google or some other search engine will pick that up, so years from now someone might stumble on my piece and it will have been corrected.

Almost every week I think, why am I doing this?  I have continued even through a number of surgeries and so far I have done 52 a year every year. and every week I wonder whether I will, or want to, continue!  I realize, however, that I derive pleasure from getting new ideas and researching those simple subjects that turn out not to be so simple.  Learning more is always stimulating, if also frustrating at times.

There is another reason that I continue, there are people who seem to appreciate it and that makes it worth doing.   I was sitting in a lecture in New York last year when a curator from the Getty Museum tapped me on the shoulder and said,  “I read your blog and particularly enjoy it when you write about the old days.”  That is not only an ego booster but makes me realize maybe I should tell some of my old stories.  Then I will see someone who I have not seen in years and they tell me they have been following my blog.  I had a museum director, once, say hello and start to tell me all the places I had been recently.  I said, “how did you know that” … you know the answer.  Not long ago I was asked whether I was interested in joining a very important board in Santa Fe and discussed it with 2 good friends, an art person and a lawyer in town.  I said it would take so much time to do the work properly for this board that I would have to make a choice between the board and the blog.  Since they had both encouraged me to join the board I was totally surprised when they both said, “Do the blog”.

What will I write about next week???

No comments:

Post a Comment