One more, and then I really must go clean something … anything! The irony of pausing now is that in the last several weeks I’ve begun using a new series of techniques that really have me excited for the future. Starting with my September 16 post ‘Passerby’s’ and culminating with this one, ten works total, or nine works with two variations of one, depending on how anal one wants to be. Of them, I would place ‘The Chalk Artists’ from September 23 as one of my best ever – top ten at least, maybe top five. And maybe a couple others in that class. It is so life affirming, after all the photographs and all the art and all the years to still be able to create something completely NEW! I’ll repeat words from the September 16 post – In the end, the art creates the artist.
Perhaps for that reason this is actually the perfect time to pause; focus on other aspects of life, clear my head and put what I’ve just accomplished here in perspective. Incubate. If nothing else, there are other sections of this web site I haven’t touched in months that need to be updated, plus there are other projects I’d like to delve into. After all, we don’t want this blogging thing to become, dare I say the word, a JOB!
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So my web client people from Weebly did indeed get back to me as to the discrepancy in the way they once tracked page visits vs. how they’re doing it now. They explained:
I can live with this explanation. Give them credit for owning the change as well as being conscientious about explaining it to their customers. They’re a quality web client I’d recommend to any artist looking for a platform for their work.
Doesn’t mean the wind still hasn’t been taken out of my sails, leading, of course, to this little vacation. Logically, I could argue nothing has really changed – the wind I thought was in my sails wasn’t really there after all. Call it an illusion that emboldened me to sail into deeper seas. Not, I guess, necessarily a bad thing.
My web provider – Weebly if it’s not listed somewhere – routinely provides statistics as to the number of page visits and unique page visits made to their customers website. This blog is now a year old or something close to that. In that time I’ve watched with great delight as the number of page visits has constantly grown. Especially beginning with my tornado works in June, page visits over the previous week climbed into the 400s, and then 500s, and then 600s, and then 800s! A couple weeks ago I was astonished to see that the number of page visits for the previous week – that encompassed three posts as it usually does - had surpassed 1,000! As this has gone along, I have tried to place greater priority and dedicate greater periods of time to creating new art and posting new blogs exhibiting that art. As page visits crossed 1,000 I thought, WOW, I’m really accomplishing something here! I had begun, over the months, to feel an obligation to create new work. In doing so, I thought, I’m contributing just that little bit to the creation of a better world.
Last Monday, as I went out to upload a new blog, total page visits for the previous week were listed as 1,065.
Last Wednesday, as I prepared to upload another new blog, I was met with a notice by my web provider that they had changed the way they counted page visits such that it would be more consistent with the way Google does it. Or words to that effect.
Those 1,065 page visits had suddenly become just 47.
Forty fraking seven! Hardly worth the effort!
To be clear, Weebly offers terrific tools for creating and maintaining beautiful, efficient, and productive websites. I can’t complain one iota about their services. How their page visit accounts have been so wildly inaccurate is beyond me, and, yeah, I tried to ask their customer service that question, and no one has gotten back to me. I suppose I should be grateful they came clean with their error and didn’t continue stringing me along. Talk about flummoxed.
Understand, over the months I’ve let any number of other activities slide. At one time, my wife called me the “kitchen police“ because I couldn’t stand to let any kind of dishevelment alone. Right at this second my kitchen looks like ogres from the woods out back have been entering every night to cook slime. The garage cleaning activity I had planned for the spring has yet to be touched. Long-distance friends I have for years regularly corresponded with are asking where I am. My long sought-after and fragile sense of mellow is under siege as I have put more and more emphasis on the photo blogs while trying to cram in just the least amount of other responsibilities I could manage.
What a perfect time, I have reasoned, for a little vacation. Leave the art alone for a while. Stop fixating; stop stressing. Get some things done around the house. Talk to actual people. Come out of my studio. After today’s work I have one more I want to exhibit before the end of the week, then I’ll slow down for a period.
Fear not – after all, how abroad can a damn photo artist travel.
I actually created four versions of Chalk Girl, one of which I threw out immediately, and after it was too late started thinking about it (yeah, I’ve been told never to delete anything), a version I find interesting but not nearly as good as my previous post which I think is the best of them, and this one. An artist should be able to determine which version of any series is the one they want to represent them, but artists, as we’ve established before, are nuts. I wasn’t going to post this version at all, but I keep being drawn to it. So here it is.
So you tell me? Version 1 as shown previously, or Version 2 as revealed today. Or just Nuts. Click on ‘Comments’ below and tell me.
Recently I undertook, at a doctor’s recommendation and prescription, consumption of a new drug. Again, I tempt HIPAA, so details will not be forthcoming. The drug has a number of conditions which it is intended to improve, one of which I own. And indeed, it worked! It worked wonders actually. I would even use the word remission. It solved the problem. Unfortunately, it created three more.
After several days and a withdrawal period we dropped the prescription to a third of the original, the lowest possible. That went for a few weeks, by which time every possible side effect plus a few new ones re-emerged. A longer withdrawal period and I thought I’d try a different schedule for consuming it, which only took a couple doses to reveal its futility.
So take the last week of August and the entire month of September and throw it into the dumpster. Label it my zombie period. It was a sucky month in Cubsland anyway.
What’s my point? My point is that we do this as artists. We take an idea that sort of works one way and doesn’t work three other ways and obsess and work it and make ourselves crazy. Sometimes we can pull that process off and create something really great – might take years and might feed any number of psychoses first, but, hey, success. Of course, until that happens, we’re just feeding psychoses.
I suppose there’s a parallel to life in the shadow of Wrigley Field. Or am I still obsessing?
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More from the Chalk Festival – one I’m especially happy with. There’s another version of this work coming shortly. We’ll discuss!
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.