Thursday, February 23, 2006

F Level and Proud Of It

Road To Toddsville, 2005, Oil on Panel, 18x18

I started reading blogs about a year ago. I know, I know, late to the game as usual. My friend Cecily sent me her blog site and I was hooked. I went from Cecily's blog to her friends' to politics to porn (oops) and finally to art blogs, where I have kind of settled in. I had thought about starting my own blog for awhile, but I wasn't really sure that I had the time (I don't), and definitely didn't know what I'd say and how personal I would be. Finally, I decided to start one up and just put up my work. I did one entry, but the temptation to say something pulled me in and here I am, writing everyday, planning what to write next and obsessively checking my stats to see if I have more hits yet (I don't-but at least my mom checks in everyday). After reading this article about the blogging hierarchy I now realize two things.

1. I still know nothing about blogland.

2. I have entered into yet another environment where I will probably not be popular.

As far as the first one goes, I will learn as I go, like usual. But the second realization is a bit more troublesome. You see, I have never been particularly popular. I had a slightly unconventional childhood in a town that was very conventional, so I was in the outsider category from the start. In high school, I wasn't cute, thin or funny, didn't smoke, didn't play sports, didn't do theater or belong to the chess club, so I really didn't fit into any of the cliques. I did have a bit of respect because of my art skills, which basically meant that I escaped the outright torture that the other outcasts suffered. All of this should have prepared me for art school, the ultimate group of outsiders. But even then I didn't feel like I fit in too well. My art wasn't edgy, it was representational and TOO conventional. I was sort of popular for a brief time at the two dive bars that I frequented in Philadelphia, woo-hoo! and then I met my husband who thought I was cool and I began my life as a responsible adult. Unfortunately for my potential popularity, I was foiled again by our frequent moves. I did reach a certain level of notoriety in Utah when I was the president of a local arts org and was pretty involved in the community. I had a number of great friends, we received phone calls, invitations to lunch, to dinner, to parties and we even vacationed with friends once, but it was all too brief. Despite our friends, I couldn't bear to continue to live in Utah for the rest of my life. So we moved back east and I am an outsider again. But this time I have a secret-I have a new circle of friends because of my painting. I may only see them once in awhile at a gallery meeting or an opening reception, or have email contact. But this works for me now, I am a part of something and it feels permanent. So it's ok if this blog doesn't get 15,000 hits a day or if it doesn't make me enought money to retire. I will find my niche in blogland and within that niche I will probably meet at least a few new interesting people, have good discussions, inspire and be inspired. Hopefully I can still do that from the C, well actually, the F level that I am at.

Today's image is one of my favorite barn paintings, and it just recently sold. I have painted this row of barns several times, it's a scene along a road near my home.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy!

Cecily sent me. ;)

I once read a personal essay (before there were blogs, you know) about why geeks were geeks in high school: they had better things to spend time on than maintaining social position. Sounds like you had (and have) something much more worthwhile.


AndyT13 said...

Hey. Cecily sent me too.
You art is lovely! If you have a moment check out
I do a lot of different art and music, but I like to hear what other artists have to say about my painting. It's kind of expressionist I'm told.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Hi Andy,
I visited your site and I really like your drawings, they have a very nice quality about them. What kind of work will be showing in Nyack. You can email if you like. Thanks for the compliment and the visit!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Hi SusieJ,
Thanks for visiting. I definitely agree-having the goal of being an artist sure helped me handle "unpopularity". Is that even a word?!

Anonymous said...

....and this is 'mom checking in'...
You did so have friends in school!
And even if you didn't have a lot of friends, you had friends that were 'true' friends. The kind that last a lifetime and are more important! Just remember that everyone is different and that doesn't make you 'unpopular'.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks, Mom, but I am sorry to ruin your illusions about me. I was pretty much unpopular!

Sarah said...

Welcome to blog land, Tracy...good to see another outlet for your art, which I love.
This is Cecily's friend Sarah. One of these days we'll meet, and that will be so weird since we each hear so much about each other! ;-)

Anna Lear said...

"I have entered into yet another environment where I will probably not be popular."

Yep, me too! But it's great to go back through my archives, and you'll surely enjoy that, too, especially as a record of your artwork. Which is just beautiful -- I love your color sense, and (being a rural person myself these days) I find your themes both comforting and compelling. Really nice stuff!

Anonymous said...

This post made me laugh. I've felt like an outsider for most of my life, and I had the same sense when I started my blog. I will never be popular, and fortunately, I honestly don't care anymore.

Making A Mark said...

Nice to revisit this post again. I remember reading it first time around (I loved the fact - both then and now - that you got a comment from your Mom!) and here I am reading it again and commenting on it in October 2008.

I wonder what that says Tracy! ;D