The first art history course I took in high school started with Impressionism. That was a weird place to start since most starter art history courses are the general type and start with cave paintings, but the teacher decided she wanted a more narrow focus and also the set of videotapes she had for us to watch started with Impressionism. I had heard of various art -isms before that but I’d never really thought about what that suffix meant before. I’d never thought about how it meant a group of artists who, although different in their own ways, formed groups. After the old patronage system broke down and artists were pretty much on their own many still got together around a shared idea. This held well into the 20th century, even as there was greater emphasis on individuality. There were a few one-person -isms but there were dozens more that formed large, even international, groups, even if the rules about what made anybody part of a group were pretty relaxed. Seriously, you’d never guess just by looking at their paintings that Paul Klee and Franz Marc were members of Der Blaue Reiter. They were very different individuals too, but there was still something that brought them together.
What I’m getting at is that even though most of the time making art, especially painting or writing, is a solitary process artists are people and, with some exceptions, we like to be around other people. Most of us put our work out into the world because we want to share it with others and get feedback, or at least just interact with others. And, as almost any creative person knows, feedback can make your work better. It can also be inspiring. Unless you’re just making art solely for yourself and hiding it in a drawer or a basement sharing it with other people can prompt new ideas and, heck, even Emily Dickinson came down from the attic once in a while.
What I’m also getting at is I know there’s something going on with the commenting system on this blog. I don’t know why some comments get through while others get hung up in the spam filter while others just get zapped. I’ve tried experimenting with the settings, although I don’t have a lot of technical know-how so I’m afraid I might hit the wrong button and destroy everything, and also I’ve found that certain settings just mean I get hit with even more spam and legitimate comments that real people put a lot of thought into still get zapped.
I really do appreciate comments, and I’m sorry if yours are not getting through, whatever the reason. I may be slow to respond but I read most of them as soon as they appear, and, time-consuming as it is, I go through whatever gets automatically flagged as spam very carefully because I don’t want to miss anything. As other bloggers have shown spam itself can also be inspiring, but that’s another story.
Thank you for visiting. And thank you for commenting, or even trying to comment, even if you’re only dropping by to tell me I suck because, hey, at least I know I did something worthy of a response, and maybe that’s some legitimate feedback that will prompt me to try and suck less. Or more. Whatever works.