Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best of Musings and Paintings: Celebrating One Year and One Hundred Posts

And you thought I’d run out of things to write? Never!

It’s been a year of Musings, with one hundred posts in all and nearly 12,000 readers per month. To mark the occasion, I’ve outlined below a ‘Best of…’ list based on your favorites (according to the stat counter) and mine, sprinkled throughout with George’s choices for his best paintings of the year.

(pictured, George Rodrigue in his studio, Carmel, California, September 2010)


YOUR FAVORITES:

The Nude Figure – I don’t know if people were shocked to see this classic subject from George Rodrigue, or if everybody just jumps on the chance to see naked women, but the numbers on this post were and continue to be staggering.

The Blue Cat – I think curiosity got the best of people here. You shared this on Facebook and Twitter as though I’d just announced free prints.

Who Dat! ...Plus Voodoo, Cow Heads, and DC Mardi Gras - You all flipped over this, and I have to agree. It's a blast, and I grinned from ear to ear while writing it.

Saint George – Not only did this send our phone ringing off the hook, but strangers stopped George on the street about it. At my class reunion, people I hadn’t seen in twenty-five years approached me laughing and asked: “How’s the rat problem?”

For New Orleans – Our personal story following Hurricane Katrina.

(pictured, East Bank of the Nile, 2010 48x72)


BLUE DOG FAVORITES:

Blue Dog in the Beginning – You visit this again and again in search of the real story.

Blue Dog Out of Control – Apparently there are a lot of skeptics out there, because you all really jumped on this one. Yes, there was a time that the Blue Dog was ‘out of control.’

2000 The Year of Xerox – This appeals to a lot of the same crowd as the one above. It lays the facts out honestly and poses the question: Did George Rodrigue sell out?

(pictured, Good Morning Acadiana, 2010, 40x40)


CAJUN FAVORITES:

The Aioli Dinner – I agree with you. This is an amazing post about an even more amazing painting. I’ve continued adding pictures over the course of the year, so it just gets better.

Early Oak Trees and a Regrettable Self-Portrait – I can’t tell you how many people have written to me over their surprise at the criticism piled on George over these works.

Jolie Blonde – The Cajun heroine is an endless source of fascination, followed closely by Evangeline.

(pictured, Pale Rider, 2010, 24x20)


Biggest surprise to me?

Eagle Scout - WOW! Who knew? Some days this one gets so many hits that you would have thought I just posted it.

Clinton, Bush and Obama: Portraits (or not) - This one, according to the keyword activity, is popular because it solves the mystery of George’s connection to the Blue Dog Democrats, something of far greater interest to folks than I realized.

Crossing West Texas (and the Moo-Cow Blues) - Far more of you related to this than I ever would have imagined. The posts following it (America the Beautiful and Alligator Crossing) received almost as much attention.

Mignon’s Flowers - I wrote this one totally for me, and yet it received more comments than any other post. It is this post, more than any other, that made me feel connected to my readers.

The Name Rodrigue with a Bit of History and Pronunciation - The dullest post, in my opinion, but you definitely disagreed. Not a week goes by that at least fifty of you don’t visit this link.

(pictured, Color Me Happy, 2010, 42x78)


Biggest surprise to you?

Oil Paint or Acrylic? - The mystery is solved behind this major shift in George’s work.

The Jazz Fest Poster, especially Part 1 – I knew that this post would be a shocker on several levels.

Blue Dog: The Dark Period – These are the paintings following Hurricane Katrina. People had no idea, and it inspired other bloggers to weigh in with their own articles about this poignant series.

(pictured, Blue Moon at Midnight, 2010, 40x30)


Which posts received little attention, but of which I’m most proud?

Rosalea Murphy, The Pink Adobe, and Paintings of Evergreen Lake – Even if you’ve never been to Santa Fe, this is a beautiful collection of paintings and a great story about a strong and dynamic New Orleans lady.

Miniatures: Manuscripts, Landscapes, Blue Dogs, and Blogs – It was both challenging and fun tying 15th century religious art to Rodrigue. Even if you skip past the manuscripts, George’s miniatures, along with their frames and history, are fascinating.

I First Loved Picasso – Even though he's uncomfortable with it, I love tying George to the masters.

Musical Memories: a Stream of Consciousness – I wrote this one on a lark, and it turned out far better than I expected. I still blush when I see that tattoo!

Rabbits and Chickens In and Out of Rodrigue Paintings - This post is just plain fun, with a surprise in every paragraph, and yet so many people missed it. More than any other post, it really spotlights George's sense of humor.

Childhood Summers (Remember Old Biloxi) – To me, this is the most endearing of all my posts.

(pictured, Colors in My Life, 2010, 24x18)


What are my best posts, according to me?

A Gallery of His Own (A Woolf Inspires a Wolfe)

Mignon’s Flowers

In these two posts I bared my soul, and if you don't give them a chance all the way to the end, you'll miss it. They were by far the most difficult to write, either because my thoughts ran away from me or because I couldn’t see through my tears. Both received huge and heartfelt reactions. As a result, I was stopped on the street for doses of encouragement, lectures on life, pity, and even finger-pointing.

(pictured, I'm Not Tied Down, 2010, 42x78)


Many thanks to my readers - I recently broke two hundred followers. Yeah! The ‘follow feature’ gives me a chance to visit your profile and your own blogs and learn a bit about you.

The rest of you … we’d be delighted for you to join us. Just hit ‘follow’ to the right of this entry. You’ll receive a notice in your ‘Reading List’ when I post, and you’ll be able to leave comments, something always appreciated.

When I started Musings on September 9, 2009, I had no idea if people other than my sister would tune in. In the first few months I worried that my writing was redundant, as though you’d all heard it before. According to your response, however, we've done a terrible job over the years of setting the record straight, of sharing the history of George Rodrigue and his artwork.

As my readership numbers and the reactions poured in, I gained confidence and became bolder as a writer. This paid off, because on the whole, it is the more personal posts that attract followers, comments, and sharing. And that reaction in turn motivates me.

How long will I keep this up? I have no idea. I have thirty or so partial posts standing by in a folder for that so-far elusive day of writer’s block. I figure that as long as George keeps painting, I'll keep writing.

Thank you for reading-

Wendy

Note: All paintings in this post are acrylic on canvas by George Rodrigue

In celebration of this anniversary (and due to our houseful of guests), I'm taking this week off. So, unless some free time and a pressing premise rush into my life in the meantime, I'll see you again on September 11th for the post "God Bless America," spotlighting George's painting and silkscreen following 9/11/01. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the "Best of...." WR

Best Blogger Tips

3 comments:

  1. Wendy - Thank you for sharing your life with us, I know that Craig would agree. Love, JB

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wendy, Congratulations on reaching the 100-post milestone! Good for you! Sorry that I'm late in commenting on the great job you do with your blog. I always find it fascinating reading and appreciate being able to easily reference past posts to fill in the history of George, his work and his and your interesting lives. I know from experience how much time it takes to create an interesting post and it's not an easy task to keep all those balls in the air. May you post at least 500 more!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Nancy! The year flew by, and I can't believe how much more I have to write! I so appreciate your reading and commenting-- Wendy

    ReplyDelete