“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”
You know, I have always really liked that quote. I don’t entirely agree with it and would argue that sometimes a more accurate version would be…
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait as much of the artist, as of the sitter”
But then Oscar, bless him, was speaking on the run if you will, whereas I have the luxury of hindsight and reflection. That is not to say that I don’t agree with the core sentiments of Oscar’s statement.
I am an artist and I would hope that in my art I try to capture and relate some of the character of the sitter or subject especially when painting someone or something that I love or respect or care for deeply. But I do accept that my art speaks also of me.
And creative writing is very much akin to art in that way isn’t it? When a blogger writes a piece for his or her blog about knitting or mental health or the race for the presidency of the United States of America aren’t they also giving of themselves in that piece?
Every now and then my email inbox will include an email notifying me that a new person is now following this blog. ‘[Voice of Glass] such and such a person is now following your blog’, the subject line will read and in the subsequent email it will give a little message and offer me a button that I can click in order to view that person’s profile followed by a list of the most recent posts on their blog, if they have one.
I have to be honest with you, I am very often bemused that anyone should choose to follow my stuff, but whilst I am ‘0ften’ bemused by this I am nearly ‘always’ interested in just who it is that has decided to do so. Because of this I nearly always click on one of the recommended posts so that I can get to know that person a little better.
Reading their recent posts, will often tell me just as much, if not more, about them than their ‘About the author’ or their ‘profile’ pages. Indeed even the way they lay out their blog, the theme they chose, the photos and illustrations that they include, the subject matter of their individual pieces – they all speak something about that blogger just as I am sure mine do about me.
I can tell you in all honesty that at 4 am this morning, having spent a little time yesterday redesigning my new Resonate Freedom blog (a blog I am in the process of creating concerning Self-Harm) I was up redesigning it as I just wasn’t happy with it and because that unhappiness with the design was playing on my mind.
I then, once I had improved it a little, and once I had realized that I was far too tired to sit up at the computer at that time of the morning retired back to bed and before sleeping once more checked my email and then spent an hour or so reading through the posts of the latest blogger to sign up to following this blog. And I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
And that is the thing about blogs and especially mental health blogs isn’t it? They are generally about people. Living, breathing, feeling, hoping, inspiring, sharing, hurting, healing people. People who care, people who need to know that someone else cares, people who want to show others that they care.
To return to, borrow from, and adapt my version of that Oscar Wilde quote…
“Every blog piece that is written with feeling is a written as much about the blogger, as it is about that piece’s subject matter.”
I for one am grateful to be part of the blogging community and I am both honored and privileged to be part of the mental health blogging community.