What is the name and homepage of your art history blog?
What or who fired your passion for art history?
I have always had a passion for art and art history. It was all I ever wanted to do or read about since as early as I can remember - it must be innately in my genes.
How long have you been blogging about art history?
I just started recently.
Does your blog have a particular art-historic focus?
Right now I am posting chapters of my graduate thesis on my blog which is about the performance art of Ray Johnson and his relationship to the Fluxus movement. In the future I hope to cover other areas as well.
Have you run into any negatives while doing this?
I do run into a lack of time since I am a working mother of three. I also had some concern about never being able to get my thesis published since it is posted online for free, but Ray Johnson gave his art away for free and the thesis is about him so I thought I would follow his lead.
What about art history blogging fulfills you?
I did not start college right out of high school because I was consumed with the delusional over-confidence that affects so many late teens/early twenty-somethings and I was quite certain I would have no problem becoming a rich and famous artist. However, when I turned 27 and found myself a single mother who bar-tended for a living, I decided school wasn't such a bad idea after all. I signed up for college and declared art history as my major.
My art history classes were better than church, yoga, meditation and therapy combined. I was always disappointed when they were over, they were such an escape for me. Inside the warm, dark classroom, the slide projector flashing one beautiful image after another, the professor’s calm quiet voice – it was like being in the womb or some safe cave of wonderfulness. My favorite images were from the Renaissance especially paintings of the Madonna and Child. I also had an obsession with images of the Annunciation and I still do, my favorite one is by Joos van Cleve. It's so beautiful it can make you forget everything horrible for a short while. The flow of the angel Gabriel's robes, the Holy Spirit floating down to Mary, Mary's soft white skin. That painting helps me feel better and that is what I love most about art – it can stop you in your tracks and fill your head or heart with overwhelming feelings and thoughts that cannot be emoted with words.
A marriage and one more child later I finished graduate school and aggressively started looking for writing and teaching opportunities in my field only to immediately discover I was pregnant with our wonderful "surprise" third child. Needless to say, art and writing fell to the wayside for a while but I am now ready to get back to it!
I loved writing about art so much I can not even begin to explain how much I miss it. Starting this blog gives me incentive to write again. I decided to post my thesis because there is so little known about Ray Johnson and I wanted people who were interested in his work to have available information about him.
I also manage an art gallery part time in New Jersey - s.h.e. gallery - and I organize a yearly art and music fair to promote local NJ artists and musicians. This blog will also help me continue to promote NJ arts by writing about local artists and venues and the roles they will play in the history of art.
- I just started so I would not do anything differently yet - I will have to let you know!
Shelley Esaak, Art History Guide, says:
Children do have a wonderful way of sidetracking things, Tracy, don't they? You must have superpowers to be completing your Master's in the midst of everything else you've got going on. If you have a secret formula for this, please bottle and sell it to the rest of us puny mortals!
I still wake up with a bad case of the creeps, from time to time, over the scene in How To Draw a Bunny ... you know, the part where the detectives are going through Ray's house, and every single canvas is facing the wall except that self portrait? (*shivers*) His gaze haunts me ... or maybe its just that he did so few works that weren't collages? Anyway, glad to see that you are keeping his name out there, and thanks for promoting local artists, too. Best of luck with your studies!