One year ago today I posted my first entry on the reinvented version of 'Arzigogolare'. To mark the beginning of this next year of blogging, I've decided to have a giveaway. Anyone who leaves a comment on this post—or any others I write before the end of January— will have a chance to win the item of their choice from my online shop. (You may send me an email if you prefer.) On the first of February, the names will go into a bag, box or basket, and I'll ask my daughter to choose one.
Today seems like a good time to share a few thoughts about my ongoing quest to record my creative life on a blog. One reason I switched to Blogger last year was to be a bit more 'sociable'. Sure enough, before long, I found two groups/projects to participate in—Book Art Object & A Letter a Week. I also started 'following' other artist's blogs and, in turn, learned of still others. This eventually led to joining in on the ROY G BIV photo challenge, which I really enjoyed. I have found a lot of inspiration, motivation and support during this blogging adventure, and am looking forward to continuing this year.
My initial plan was to write shorter, more frequent posts—to be 'less precious with my words'—but at one point I acknowledged that this simply is not my style. Unfortunately, I am a very slow writer, and like to thoroughly...slowly...indulge myself in the pleasure of the editing process (many blog drafts are waiting in the wings). Still, the desire to record more, and to share more, is there. I actually spent the first couple of weeks of December planning a 'Twelve Days of Christmas' giveaway, which would have gone hand in hand with twelve posts featuring a dozen projects either completed last year or carrying over into 2013. In retrospect, when I think about the traveling we did over Christmas, and then for New Year's as well, it seems like a crazy idea. Still, it would have been fun to follow through, so I'll keep it in mind for another time...
Besides being frequently foiled by the amount of energy & organization it seems to take me to pull together a post, I have also sometimes suffered from a bit of an 'identity crisis', meaning that I'm not always sure who my readers are, and therefore what interests them. When I first began the Arzigogolare blog in 2009, my audience was mainly people who had read The Piazzas of Florence (since that was the initial impetus for my website & blog), but then it began to include customers for PaperSynthesis, my online shop, as well. (If the latter, you wouldn't have found very much happening in the shop during 2012, as most of my time went toward the development of new projects). And now it seems that, going by those who leave (much-appreciated) comments, many of you are artists. In any case, I hope that—however you managed to find your way here—there's something of interest for each of you, between updates on the latest happenings in the studio, the details of everyday life in Florence & PaperSynthesis news. I am always trying to better integrate the different parts of my life, so it feels right to me to continue bringing everything together in a single place.
One of the things I finally hope to bring to life this year is the 12x12 project I had mentioned a few times last year; while I carried it forth quietly, and allowed it to guide some of my blog posts, it was still evolving as the year unfolded. Basically, it's a way to mark/record/define the passing of the year in a dozen different ways. This year I hope to talk more about the twelve monthly elements: words, colors, materials, flowers, recipes, fruits, books, to name a few.
And on that note, white is the color I associate with January: it's a time of fresh new beginnings—like an empty page or a blank canvas waiting for words, lines, color...a story. Even down to its being white, the studio table (momentarily cleared) seems like a perfect symbol for this first month of the year.
Continuing the theme of white, below is a peak at my favorite winter flower—Paperwhites—which I was thrilled to find yesterday (they are rare in Florence for some reason). I had a ball photographing them this afternoon, and will post some images once I have a chance to sort through them.
Much of the month so far has been spent gathering things—materials, photos, ideas—so my word for this January is 'gather'. More soon...in the meanwhile, happy gathering to all of you.