I read in the Cascadia Weekly yesterday about an artist who lives just 25 miles south of Bellingham, in a tiny Skagit County village called Edison (population 133 per the 2000 census), and I was really impressed with her work and felt a kinship as a fellow blogger.
While I do my best to post something here at Fish & Bicycles everyday, Jessica Bonin does a painting each day and writes some musings to accompany every piece, musings that may or may not have anything to do with the painting, and she posts these on her aptly-named blog: one a day.
Now that’s dedication!
Sure, like me, Jesicca misses a day here and there, and while I don’t paint and write, we’re very different bloggers, and I’d guess that the time I take to compose my posts — browsing the interwebs for stuff to write about, compiling links to include, finding just the right graphic, photo, or video to include, etc. — is probably fairly similar to the time Jessica takes to paint and write.
I was particularly taken by what Jessica mentions in the Weekly article about her process:
“I found a good formula by mainly choosing common objects around the house and drawing from life,” Bonin says. “That way, if I didn’t have a lot of time, I could choose something simple; a baseball or an egg. I also realized: the more I sandbag, the harder it is to motivate. These days, I try to get my painting done early in the day.”
So, when you scroll through her blog, you’re not going to be blown away by every piece. In fact, many of Jessica’s paintings, taken individually, might seem incredibly mundane, like the everyday objects that they are.
But one of the things I think about all the time as I’m working on Fish & Bicycles, is that the whole blog, everything I’ve done here since my first post on October 2, 2009, is really one continuous work in progress. Sure, I work hard to make every post as good as it can be, but I’m always aware of how transient blogging is. Every post I publish has it’s moment in the spotlight, showing up in the Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds of the folks I’ve been fortunate enough to count as readers, and each post sticks around here on the Home page, but then they’re all archived away, and I never know if they will ever be seen again.
So, when I browse through one a day, it’s similar, an experience of this living art process, and as a result of seeing the work in that light, all of those mundane images transcend the mundane, and you feel like you are getting to know who Jessica is and how she sees things, what catches her attention, and how she imbues her work with who she is.
(Note: This post is a kind of follow-up to a post I did a few weeks ago — Bellingham Bloggers: A Shout Out. It’s always nice to discover neighbor bloggers. It makes me feel part of a creative community. So, I’ve added one a day to my Bellingham Blogs list in the sidebar, along with my other neighbors.)