Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What is Your Joy?

I had a totally different blogpost planned for today.  Last night, before I closed up "shop" (the computer) for the night, I noticed a direct tweet from Mark, a fellow twitter/artist/friend living in Canada, (check out his blog/bio/links).  We were throwing comments back and forth during the evening, along with other twitter people.  The last tweet I saw from Mark was asking to see what I look like in person since my avatar is an Andy Warhol type of abstract, multi-color photo of me and a painting in the background. 

Now, the thing is this: Do people on social networking sites want to be anonymous or right out there in detailed real life?  I've got nothing to hide, but still, who are the people out there?  As an artist, I do want to have a network of like-minded artists sharing a virtual art world on the net.  With all the identity theft of late, it could be a scary world out in cyberspace.

Actually I believe artists are pretty benign bunch.  Okay, we have a different sensibility about things.  So I don't find it odd that Mark, and I'm sure other cyber-friends want to see who we're communicating with.  Hey, some people don't add their real name! And it's a human nature thing, too.  We want to connect with other human beings on a more personal level.  This computer stuff is not the same as eye to eye contact.  

Well, I offered a recent photo of my real self taken last fall when I visited the Nassau County Museum of Art for the Norman Rockwell exhibition.  I didn't add the photo to my blogpost, but it was a less unflattering photo than some others I had, you know, you want to look semi-decent, not like a hag.  I was so happy on that Artist's Date, my first.  The weather was beautiful, I had a great time by myself and the art, I found hiking trails on the grounds of the old estate and took a quiet walk.  A wonderful day and I felt happy and light. 

This morning I saw Mark's tweet: "You have the gaze of a joyfully expectant seeker.... what are you looking for? What is your joy?"

So the big question is:  What is your joy?

I was stunned by such a thought provoking question at the start of my morning.  My twitter answer: "Well, I seek to find the who I was, serene, w/turps as my perfume.." 

As a kid I considered myself an artist.  Of course, as a young person you have no responsibilities except to schoolwork, family, my art.  Once we grow up, marry, have a family, there are some things the person who stays home gives up.  As I've said before, I tried to stay in the creative world by doing creative things on the sneak, so to speak.

Snatching little bits of time to draw, pastel, knit, anything art/color related before kids come home from school, time to prepare dinner, in between loads of laundry.  I remembered my favorite college fine art professor who told me that women artists don't make it because they end up focusing on the family instead of their art. 

Well, the day I took the photograph of myself in the woods was the day I felt I was re-introduced to "myself" of a long time ago.  With less to do since my sons are now adults I'm able to take my inner-artist out to explore, to spend time re-discovering my artist voice and create, play, and just be me. 

Thanks, Mark.


  1. I have a glass avatar on my FB profile since I consider the art I create more interesting than a pic of me- that doesn't really represent the inner me- get it? As an arist I am visual & love looking at interesting things. You never know where the next inspiration is coming from. & there is always the ID theft problem too.

  2. My avatar now is a picture of my artwork but it did use to be a photo of my face tripled which I thought showed an aspect of my personality. I hope that my work speaks for me and I suppose I hide behind it sometimes. It is too bad that we have to be careful of being used by unscrupulous people but that is the risk of the internet. I really like the wonder in the photo of you--that is the artist's gaze! always searching for the next inspiration...I really value this internet connection with other artists and how you share your work with us! I'm glad that you are playing and finding your voice again.


The Latest Work With Permission

©Dora Sislian Themelis, 11x14 Watercolor, Patmos Sunset Available for purchase The latest work is from another person's photograph...