The Blog is Back in Town!
On the days I teach (at the School of Visual Arts in New York City) I spend about 25 minutes commuting each way on the Long Island Railroad. Sometimes I try to read, but it’s a frustratingly inadequate amount of time. It feels like the minute I get settled and into the flow, they’re announcing my station. So, since I can’t really do any serious reading, I tend to gaze out the window and listen to my music. As each scene merges into the next, my thoughts do too. Occasionally, an idea for a blog post pops into my head, but up ’til now I haven’t been able to use my travel time productively.
When I launched this blog over the summer, I could devote time to it because I was off from teaching and wasn’t spending a chunk of each day commuting. I was creating posts at what seemed like a pretty prolific pace (for me) and most importantly, I loved doing it. However, since school started up this fall, I’ve been super busy and haven’t had the time to put anything together. I’m not interested in posting random thoughts just for the sake of posting something, but between my commissions, my teaching schedule and my family life, I haven’t had a minute to spare. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, these days it’s great to be busy, but still, it’s very frustrating because I was really into it. I also want to create a book about my approach to painting, so I thought working on this this blog would be a great way to polish my writing skills.
I was looking forward to the start of the fall semester because, first, I love teaching, and secondly, I knew that the interactions between my students and myself could be a great spawning ground for interesting topics. Ironically, when starting this blog my main concern was that I would run out of things to say, but it never occurred to me that the main issue would be a lack of time.
So, for the past several months I’ve tried to come up with a way to use my commute productively, but up to now I haven’t been able to work out a workable solution. I need to be able to create something that is ready to be uploaded. Jotting down ideas doesn’t cut it, because I still don’t have the time to convert them into something postable. I tried typing on my iPhone, but for anything more involved than texting, it sucks. The screen is just too tiny, and being right-brained, I need to see everything I’m writing, not just a sentence or two. By nature I’m a tinkerer; its how I paint and how I write. I like the process of tweaking and evolving so I need to keep scanning back over what I’ve previously written.
Using a laptop also didn’t work. The train is very cramped and there wasn’t room to open a laptop and comfortably access the keyboard. No place to put my elbows! Plus, I’m already so anchored down with supplies and books, I don’t need to add additional weight. I also checked out the iPad, but, unfortunately, there wasn’t enough wiggle room for it either.
Then, suddenly, the technology gods spoke to me. The other day I stopped by Tek Serve, a New York store that specializes in Mac sales and service. As I entered I saw a display featuring the new iPad Mini. As soon as I picked it up a hallelujah chorus rang out and a beam of light descended from the heavens. (Okay, maybe it was the sound system playing Christmas music and a strategically placed spotlight.) But none the less, it was the perfect size, giving me the ability to type away without disturbing my neighbors without adding any significant weight, and I can comfortably scan the page as I write. My prayers have, after all, been answered.
So here I sit, not staring out the window perusing my thoughts and dreaming of blogs that will never be, but putting the finishing touches on my inaugural run as a commuting portrait painting blogging iPad Mini user.
Until next time…