Thursday, September 9, 2010

Am I Right or Am I Wrong? The Time & Space Conundrum

The crew at warp speed

So here's the deal, for the past couple of months I've been posting a weekly feature called The Questionnaire, based on the so-called Proust Questionnaire. It's a quasi-interview that lets me ask a few questions of artists and post images of work by their favorite artists as well as images by the artists themselves. It's been pretty popular and attracts a good readership.

Now here's the rub, I recently received an email from a reader who asked whether there wasn't something I could do to fix a problem that s/he noticed with these posts:
I've noticed that the Proust postings have huge spaces vertically, any idea why or how to fix? 


To which I replied:
I put them in on purpose so that you can look at the images by themselves without seeing another image - like looking at a show in a gallery with a lot of space on the walls.


But still s/he insisted:
visually i think the format with all that space is confusing and difficult to view




Now I put it to you - Am I Right or Am I Wrong? I hope you will give me your opinion and the reasons for it. Are the posts really more difficult to read? Do you get my idea about extra space making up for the missing text? And the extra space giving the impression of spaciousness in a roomy gallery for the work? I also hoped that the space between answers would add some time to let the answers sink in as you scrolled between them instead of all mushing together at once. But I'm willing to listen.


So that you can get a better idea of the difference, I am repeating below this week's questionnaire (featuring Lynette Haggard) in two modes: first, as it appeared this past Tuesday in all its spaciousness and secondly, without the extra space. (Note - Wouldn't you know it! Blogger is acting up today and the vertical space really is acting funny, but I'll do my best to make it look the way I want it to.)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Version 1 - With Extra Space
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2010

The Questionnaire: Lynette Haggard

The Questionnaire is meant to be a lighter version of a bio, a little more revealing in some respects and personal without all the facts bogging it down. I supply the questions and the respondents supply the answers. Either one or both of us supply the images.




          L y n e t t e  H a g g a r d          



What is your favorite color?


Green 



What is your favorite word?

hmm, hoogie. It's my word for turmoil or freakout; borrowed from my friend Lisa O. 





Lynette in the studio



What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Music, poetry, yoga 




Louie and Ella, Lynette's dogs



What turns you off? 



Ass kissing, people who are dense 





What profession other than artist would you most like to be?

A dancer or a scientist. Oh maybe a writer. 





What is your favorite book or movie?

Pablo Neruda Five Decades: Poems 1925-1970. Pretty much anything Neruda. 

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician NeftalĂ­ Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name in honour of the famous Czech poet Jan Neruda.



One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
BY PABLO NERUDA


I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.


TRANSLATED BY MARK EISNER




Who is your favorite musician, musical group or style of music?

Keith Jarrett, jazz piano and guitar, Latin, and classical 



What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty, energy, candor, warmth 



Name three artists whose work has influenced your own or whose

work you most relate to.


I want to mention 4: Cynthia Carlson, Marcia Meyers, Ted Larsen, Emily Mason 





Cynthia Carlson, "Schwangunks" 1976, 11" x 23" x 2", acrylic paint








Marcia Myers, "Frammento del Muro MMVIII-XVII, fresco on linen, 46" x 46" x 2"








Ted Larsen, "Joist", 2006, found metal construction, 26"h x 23"w








Ted Larsen, "Air Time", 2009, plywood, salvaged steel, rubber, 18"h x 50"w x 7.5"D










Emily Mason, "Greening", 2008, oil on canvas, 22"h x 20"w







Name an artist whose work you admire but which may be unlike yours.

Jane Piper— a lovely woman who inspired me while in college; was generous enough to give me her studio for a summer in center city Philadelphia. (Oh I wish I knew then what I do now...) 





Jane Piper, "Red at the Center", acrylic on canvas, 48"h x 60"w




What is your idea of earthly happiness? 



Going for a walk with my husband and our dogs at the beach or trail, and sharing a meal with good friends. 




Works by  L y n e t t e  H a g g a r d








Reveal, 2009, encaustic on panel, 30"h x 20"w













Blossom, 2010, encaustic and mixed media, 6"h x 14"w x 6"d













Rhythmo No. 3, 2010, encaustic on 3 panels, 16"h x 52" w













Rhythmo No. 1, 2010, encaustic on panel, 20" x 20"







See more of Lynette's work at lynettehaggard.com

and read her blog at lynettehaggard.blogspot.com (Lynette specializes in artist interviews)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 2 - No Extra Space



TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2010


The Questionnaire: Lynette Haggard

The Questionnaire is meant to be a lighter version of a bio, a little more revealing in some respects and personal without all the facts bogging it down. I supply the questions and the respondents supply the answers. Either one or both of us supply the images.


          L y n e t t e  H a g g a r d          


What is your favorite color?
Green 

What is your favorite word?
hmm, hoogie. It's my word for turmoil or freakout; borrowed from my friend Lisa O. 



Lynette in the studio

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Music, poetry, yoga 



Louie and Ella, Lynette's dogs

What turns you off? 
Ass kissing, people who are dense 


What profession other than artist would you most like to be?
A dancer or a scientist. Oh maybe a writer. 


What is your favorite book or movie?
Pablo Neruda Five Decades: Poems 1925-1970. Pretty much anything Neruda. 



Pablo Neruda


Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician NeftalĂ­ Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name in honour of the famous Czech poet Jan Neruda.



One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
BY PABLO NERUDA

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
TRANSLATED BY MARK EISNER


Who is your favorite musician, musical group or style of music?
Keith Jarrett, jazz piano and guitar, Latin, and classical 


What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty, energy, candor, warmth 


Name three artists whose work has influenced your own or whose
work you most relate to.

I want to mention 4: Cynthia Carlson, Marcia Meyers, Ted Larsen, Emily Mason 



Cynthia Carlson, "Schwangunks" 1976, 11" x 23" x 2", acrylic paint




Marcia Myers, "Frammento del Muro MMVIII-XVII, fresco on linen, 46" x 46" x 2"




Ted Larsen, "Joist", 2006, found metal construction, 26"h x 23"w




Ted Larsen, "Air Time", 2009, plywood, salvaged steel, rubber, 18"h x 50"w x 7.5"D




Emily Mason, "Greening", 2008, oil on canvas, 22"h x 20"w

Name an artist whose work you admire but which may be unlike yours.
Jane Piper— a lovely woman who inspired me while in college; was generous enough to give me her studio for a summer in center city Philadelphia. (Oh I wish I knew then what I do now...) 



Jane Piper, "Red at the Center", acrylic on canvas, 48"h x 60"w

What is your idea of earthly happiness? 
Going for a walk with my husband and our dogs at the beach or trail, and sharing a meal with good friends. 





Works by  L y n e t t e  H a g g a r d






Reveal, 2009, encaustic on panel, 30"h x 20"w





Blossom, 2010, encaustic and mixed media, 6"h x 14"w x 6"d




Rhythmo No. 3, 2010, encaustic on 3 panels, 16"h x 52" w




Rhythmo No. 1, 2010, encaustic on panel, 20" x 20"

See more of Lynette's work at lynettehaggard.com

and read her blog at lynettehaggard.blogspot.com (Lynette specializes in artist interviews)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So there you have it, which one do you prefer? Please comment and let me know your opinion.
And thanks for reading - space or no space!

10 comments:

Jhina Alvarado said...

I don't see how extra space would be confusing. It's not like it's directing us into another area and we can't find our way back. It's linear. Just aim downward. I also don't see how it adds difficulty in reading the text. It's just extra space for pete's sake.

I like your idea of the extra space making it feel like being in a gallery. You don't want the images to be crowded together. As for the extra space between the questions and answers, I have no preference. Looks fine either way.

Binnie said...

well put Jhina...I agree completely!

Joanne Mattera said...

I wondered about that, too.
Now that you explain it, it makes perfect sense.

While my personal preference is for a bit less space, I think you should do it the way YOU like it. Even though we all use the same few templates, every blog is a unique experession of its creator.

Pam Farrell said...

NN: I agree with Joanne. As I began reading the post, I had the thought that one of the things that has the potential to make any blog post inviting is the personalization of the templates.

While I too prefer a little less space, version one is just fine with me, especially now that I understand the reason behind it.

Keep on posting baby!!! You're on a roll....

CMC said...

I'm with Joanne on this one as a personal preference. At first I thought you meant about the amount of space you have in the second one. I like this for my own blog or website.

But, it's up to you..it's your blog. I don't find it confusing or anything.

Yes.. sometimes Blogger seems to add more space than you thought went you pressed enter too enthusiastically like I do sometimes. When I look at the preview, I sometimes have to delete some spacing.

On reading. Short paragraphs with space are SO much better to read on the internet to me.

Joanne Mattera said...

I'm amending my comment. I vote for Door #2.

Lynette Haggard said...

OK OK OK so I've been stalking this post and now have to confess. IT WAS ME WHO CRITIQUED THE SPACING!! I love Nancy's blog (oh and of course Nancy). But my graphic designer genes weren't taking to the extra spacing. It is personal preference. I get the concept but the white space seemed to jumpy and uneven for me. THAT'S ALL!! I'll get over it. Oh wait! I'm SOOOOOO over it.

Nancy Natale said...

Thank you, everyone, for commenting and giving me your opinion - even Lynette and even those who change their minds - Joanne. I will take it under advisement and continue doing just as I please because, after all, that's why I made this blog in the first place.

annell said...

I like the space. Or either way, how's that for being definite? Love your blog. Thanks.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Space. The white around the work helps me really see the work.
I am really enjoying this series Nancy.