Review 3549

“Canvassing my Friends” is a blog created by graphic designer and painter Sarah Ritchie to showcase her wonderful art, and as she puts it: “….to make myself accountable, for my painting, to all my ‘friends’ on Facebook. One by one I will paint my way through my list of friends, using each person as the source of inspiration for one painting – their personality, life story, my memories, our interactions, etc.”

As someone who makes her living through her obvious artistic talents, it surprised me to read that Sarah has felt constrained by a bit of fear in allowing the painter inside of her to emerge. But of course, most creative people have self-doubts regarding their talent and are often reluctant to actively produce.

It is a credit to Sarah that she is confronting this fear, and is brave enough not only to admit it on her website but to push through it by actually producing as she has promised herself, her friends and–through her site–the whole world. At the moment there are nine canvases featured on “Canvassing my Friends”, each one of them inspired by a person in Sarah’s life. While this is Sarah’s way to hold herself accountable in her stated effort to produce more, one has to believe that the world is a better place for her having executed her plan as well.

This is an absolutely inspired format for a website! Just imagine how honored any of Sarah’s friends must feel to have a painting dedicated to them featured on this site. Apparently it’s working for Sarah too, as there are over 100 blog posts on “Canvassing my Friends” already, and the blog is only six months old. Keep going Sarah!

I also found Sarah’s musings on art and creation interesting; it’s a pleasure to read the thoughts of a creative person as they consider their world, and one gets the feeling that Sarah’s written expression of her thoughts on art history and related subjects informs and potentially expands the scope of her art.

Blogging lends itself very easily to presenting the fruits of a creative person’s labors, and it gives them a way to give meta-commentary on their art and their life at the same time. In this way a fuller picture of the artist emerges, one that complements the art without complicating it or diluting its impact. “Canvassing my Friends” is a perfect example of this, and also a reason why Facebook, wonderful as it is to help us reconnect and stay connected to friends, isn’t quite enough to adequately present the work of a person who has a lot more to reveal than what they had for dinner last night.

I hope Sarah continues painting–having created a perfect context in which to present her art, as tributes to/celebrations of friends, I suspect the momentum evident on this blog will continue.

One very small suggestion I would have for the site is to give us a larger photo of each of the canvasses: there are obviously deserving of it!NULL

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