Sunday, November 11, 2012

A note about this here blog.

In college, I was in the art program. One time, a well known woman artist (whom I really admired, and still do) came to visit. She lectured and then was able to give critiques of students' portfolios if you signed up. I was excited/nervous to hear what she'd think of my work and the day came that it finally happened.
I pulled out my notes to read what she said about my work: "You're work is superficial. All of this is just 'nice'. Demand honesty. No sugar coating. Dig deeper inside yourself... even if it's not pretty and pink. Don't be afraid to make your work ugly."

Wow.  Thank you?

In the years since, I've realized that the work I enjoy creating IS pretty (and I'm not afraid to use pink either!). I subscribe to artist Henri Matisse's theory: "What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter."  He also said, "In my paintings, I wish to create a spiritual remedy, similar to a comfortable armchair which provides rest..."
matisse image via
I like making beautiful and happy things.  In my opinion, there is enough hard, ugly, and scary things in life, that I don't want to focus on or "celebrate" that.

So, it's no wonder that this theory spills over into my blog/writing. Perhaps people who come to this corner of mine, in the world wide web, think this life we lead is perfect. Let me assure you, it's not.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I like to talk about the happy things that happen around here. This blog of mine celebrates the successes that go on this home.  Do I bake things all the time or have delicious home cooked meals often? Heck, no! But when I do, you KNOW I'm gonna take a picture to celebrate the occasion. Speaking of pictures, when I take photos of my kids/life, I like to scoot the messes to the side so I can zoom in on the happy subject. (Metaphorically and physically).  I've decided it's not very fun to take pictures of my sink full of dishes, or the diapers that pile up next to the door (that was for you, Em.  I know how much you love that), or when my kids are sobbing.  Call me crazy, but that just doesn't sound very appealing.

I get it.  Life isn't always "appealing".  I know that. Duh!  If you think it's dishonest for me to sweep aside the messes so I can zoom in on the happy kid, that's fine.  If you think it's superficial for me to not go in depth about different dramas that occur around these parts, then okay, I'm superficial. 

So, there you have it.  I am messy.  I am a worry-wort.  I am impatient.  I love to sleep (a lot). I am overweight.  I lose my temper.  I procrastinate.  I'm not perfect.  We have challenges.  Our marriage isn't perfect.  My kids aren't perfect.  But, as corn-dog as it sounds, this life is perfect for me.

This blog right here is my happy place.  So, in case you were wondering, that's how we roll around these parts.

Anyway, thanks for being my friend.
The end.


Becker said...

I really like this, Melissa. I appreciate the virtues of an "honest" blog that shares the bad and ugly too, but I feel the same as you. In my own mind, I have a hard enough time overcoming the drama and challenges and "weak" or "messy" parts of life. I don't feel like I want to dwell on it and flaunt it. I love your blog. It's one I always read. I think you're real and sincere, but want to focus on the lovely. Almost every time I read it, I think how much I wish I could get our little families together and how much we would all have as family friends. Anyway, love you. Love your blog. Love beautiful happy things. :)

becca said...

Great post. I think my favorite line was, "I like to scoot the messes to the side so I can zoom in on the happy subject." Let's embroider that on a pillow.

I completely agree about not celebrating the "ugly." That's why I don't watch the news.

Camie said...

I appreciate this post and your honesty... I will admit that I have thought that your life seems pretty much peachy-keen for your little family. But that's coming from someone who has had a very crazy life over the past few years, and it's so easy to compare my "worst" to someone elses "best" in life. I think posting about the positives is great. Your blog is a fun one to read and I appreciate your positive vibes (but it's nice to know there is some underlying craziness/messes in your life, too.) It makes me feel better about the dirty dishes in my sink :)

emily snyder said...

#1 thanks for the shout-out :) the diapers make me love you more. and it gives me something to do when i visit!

#2 one of my favorite things dad has said to me was while i was on the study abroad in europe. i didn't want him to know how hard it was because i was so grateful for his help to get me there. he said, "em, we want you to have these experiences to decide who you want to be." it was so relieving to know that i got to choose who to be and whatever it was was okay. i love that about your post. i love that you took the artist's criticism and decided who and what you were going to be regardless.

i LOVE that you are real. sooo love it.

and so love that you are really my sister!

Lois Walters said...

I read your blog because it is so sweet. It's like counting your blessings all the time. I could do better at that myself.

Jenni said...

Exactly how I feel, only I could never write it out that well!

Mark & Bek said...

I'm glad you said that, cause I always leave your blog so depressed with your perfection. Just kidding. Love you. Can't wait to meet the littlest Wood.

Tim and Melissa said...

Well said! I've heard too many people claim that too many blogs aren't real life and they focus only on the perfect things of life and paint a lop-sided picture. I'm with you. I want to remember and dwell on the wonderful things of life - and no one is claiming the other stuff isn't happening too. :)I miss you guys! Hopefully we can see you soon!

Erin said...

Thumbs up. I feel this way about writing...which is what I get paid for (well, and editing) like you get paid for making really cool visual things. And this is my rock-hard belief about Halloween and scary movies, too; there are enough hard, bleak, sad, tragic, and scary things in life without us creating fictional semblances of the same. (Haunted house = paying someone to scare me. I think I've had enough of that in real life, and it came free and without asking.) As I was changing the location of a piece you pinned (Rebecca Seale, house print) just a few minutes ago, looking at that image made me happy. That means it's a successful piece, to me. I don't dislike looking at art that provokes less-positive feelings; I just don't want it in my home. Keep on keepin' on. That's one of the reasons I really like your art. Does it make me ponder mysteries of the universe? No. Serial killers are still a conundrum to me. But does it uplift me? Yes. Done. I understand the critic's point, but I like to choose happy. And I like you, Melissa. I've said it before: I wish I'd known you better @ BYU, when I had the opportunity to do so in real (not interweb) space!

Kristen said...

This is why I love you and your blog. Even if your life were perfect, then I couldn't hate you for it because you are so darn nice and awesome. The only reason why I would air nitty gritty is for pity. lol I would die for your talent of artistry and I think your work is phenomenal. (I know you weren't fishing for compliments, but there are so many you deserve.)


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