Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sumahi Tumblr

I've been wanting for several years to create a blog for my artwork. I've produced hundreds of pieces over the years the majority of which I don't have any photographic record of, but were sold off at fairs, exhibits or just to people interested in my artwork. Although my work is pretty worthless and will most likely remain worthless even if were to die young from some stereotypical drug overdose or suicide, I still feel proud that my pieces are traveled over the world. People from places such as The Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, the US, France, Russia, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Germany and India have bought my work over the years. For the first year I was an artist I attempted to keep the contact information of people who had purchased my paintings so I could notify them about shows and other events in my "rise" as an artist, but the rise never really happened. It's hard to make money on Guam as an artist, and as I got more involved in academics and activism I still painted and created but could never put the focus I needed into developing myself into a full-time artist.

Nowadays I don't usually write down the names or the info of the people who buy my work, but I do like to snap a quick picture of them. I do this not so much to remember who the people are who purchased my work, but more so to have a record of the paintings I've sold; and to try to keep track of particular forms they take. The way colors worked in this one instance or the way I hit the form I wanted to in that image. Over the years I find myself painting the same images over and over trying to capture something, whether it be the distorted image of a taotaomo'na, the regal profile of a stone megalith from Easter Island, or something as simple as a sunset. I like to have pictures to remember those moments or fragments to try and reproduce them later.

Although I don't have any record of the majority of my pieces I've made, I do still have some photos (and plenty of artwork that I haven't sold yet (since I don't sell very much). And because of this I have always wanted to create some sort of website where I can collect and display them. For 10 years I had a website which was created to commemorate my first art show and my first year as an artist. Unfortunately the website no longer exists because it was hosted by Geocities, which no longer exists.

I have been held back in creating this website because of the fact that I already have too many websites and blogs, most of which I don't maintain very much. Furthermore, most of my blogs are built through the Blogger system and so they aren't usually as interesting or sleek as blogs started in later and more open formats. So creating something new which would look nice seemed like so much of a hassle.

A few weeks ago I found, for some reason, several of my students asking me if I had a Tumblr. I responded that I knew what a Tumblr was, but that I didn't have one. When pressed as to why I didn't have one, I responded sarcastically in one of the two ways: First, that I'm not a 13 year old girl with too much time on their hands, and Second, I am someone who likes to create original content and it seems that Tumblr is the cool way for people who are too lazy or too busy to post original things to create an internet space. I've often heard Tumblr referred to by people as a scrap book or a shoebox. A small place where you collect things which interest you or catch your eye. It's not meant to be labor intensive or take up too much of your time, and in fact with aggressive reblogging, you can have a cool looking Tumblr in just a couple of hours.

Although I looked down on Tumblr blogs for a while because of the way they seemed to create a way for people to reblog their way to content depth, without any such depth, I was still often jealous of how simple and elegant Tumblr blogs looked in comparison to the ugly lumbering overweight and syphilitic Brachiasaurus that is this blog. Don't get me wrong, I love my blog, gof ya-hu este na blog-hu, but I know it doesn't look that great.

Eventually I decided that getting a Tumblr would be the perfect way of finally creating that painting website that I've wanted for so long. Two weeks ago I started one, and every day or so I post a new painting of mine.

I decided to call my Tumblr I Pilan Yanggen Sumahi...  since my daughter's name is Sumahi, it's one of the coolest Chamorro words out there, and my daughter is the coolest kids out there. I try to mix up the paintings that I use, and I literally have 12 years of work to choose from. With each image of a painting, I also type it's name, the year it was painted and what its media is (monotype, watercolor, acrylic and on what surface was it painted). Here's a couple that I've posted over the past few days.

By the way I don't have a lot of followers yet and so if you're looking for a moderately interesting blog (with no reblogging) to follow, head over to my Sumahi Tumblr.



1 comment:

Tamagosan said...

Yay! I'm so glad to see you promoting your Sumahi Tumblr. Glad that you have taken the Tumblr plunge. I've been neglecting mine since I've been away from the computer, but I'll be back soon, as there's so much to blog about on Guam!

I really, really enjoy your work* and can't wait to get some more! When I return home (whenever that is), I will establish myself as the premier collector of Migets in San Francisco! Everyone will be jealous.

I just got back from vacation in Kyoto, where your "[Big] Napu" monotype is happily on the wall of my friend's home office. (And I love my "Ice 9" monotype on my apartment wall.)

Please fill me in, though, as I did search in vain: What does Sumahi mean?

*I know I "really, really enjoy" someone's work when I can look at it every day and always look forward to checking out more! I say this about my favorite artist (Max Ernst) as well as my abstract-loving good friend Nicolas in France, Caillebotte, Rothko, A.G. Rizzoli, Man Ray, etc, etc.

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