Last night I got a message on Facebook: “Are you the Julie Lomoe with an MFA from Columbia? If so, I own one of your paintings, and I adore it.”
I didn’t recognize her name, but that doesn’t mean I never met her. I was active in the SoHo art scene in the late Sixties and early Seventies, and much of that time passed in a tumultuous blur. I wrote her back, of course, adding a “friend” request and asking her to tell me who she is and which painting she owns.
I’m increasingly amazed at the connections the internet stirs up. Sometimes they’re weird or even fictional. A couple of years ago, when Googling myself, I came across a post by someone in England describing “a painting by Julie Lomoe”. As I recall, the title was something like “Soldier in Winter.” The only problem was that I’d never done a painting even remotely like that, and I have no idea how or where the guy came up with my name. But I guess that’s the way legends are created.
Now I’m creating a new online persona, and I’m finding the process is more complex and multilayered than any static work of art I’ve ever created with paint on canvas or words on paper. In my Nia* class at the YMCA** today, and later on the weight machines, I was inundated by thoughts of blogging – possible topics, new categories and pages, people to contact or check out online. The ideas swirling through my head were so engrossing, I was practically oblivious to the influx of half a dozen unfamiliar but hunky young men in the weight room (the college semester’s obviously over!)
Now what was I saying? Oh yes, about blogging. After the Y, I dropped by Staples to pick up a spiffy new bound journal, a small one that’ll fit easily in my handbag so I can jot down all those ephemeral ideas before they evaporate. And I’ve vowed to stop beating myself up about “not writing” – I’m writing every day online, and I’ll be back into visual art as well once I have time to delve more deeply into the intricacies of web design.
For those other writers out there who may be guilt-tripping about the time they’re spending online – my unsolicited advice is to get over it. This strange new world is every bit as creative as writing a novel.
*If you want a marvellous workout that’s spiritually and musically engrossing, check out the Nia website. There may be a class near you. It’s the only exercise form I’ve ever been able to stick with for more than a couple of weeks.
**Speaking of the YMCA, for those of you in the Albany area, the Village People will be playing an Alive at Five concert at the park beside the Hudson River on July 2nd. All together now, hands in the air – Y M C A!