On the blog’s new look… and the Victorians
I just had to change the look of this blog. I was sure William Morris was going to be my inspiration for the spring term. And he still is in some ways (and truly as I’ve still used one of his wall paper designs again in the header), but I couldn’t stand the fuzz of my image and the crazy, busy background I went with. I needed something with purple, and wanted something plant-like, but I didn’t like what I had. I’m still not sure I have what I want, because this blog is about how I’m seen and I am not comfortable with what’s here. Isn’t that interesting.
I am really drawn to this image from the mid-Victorian period by painter, Ford Madox Brown, “Work” (below) which depicts all kinds of people from the period, from the youngest to the oldest from the richest to the poorest, in all kinds of professions… I teach British literature classes, too, and Victorian literature in particular on occasion, so that this painting really speaks to my sense of that era, but it’s also beautiful and intriguing and makes me think of many other things than just that time.
Please note the flower girl on the left which reminds me of Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady fame which came from George Bernard Shaw, author of the play, Pygmalion (1912) which came from W.S. Gilbert, a Victorian, Pygmalion and Galatea (1871)… which came from the myth about Pygmalion–a sculptor falls in love with his creation and she is brought to live by goddess of love, Venus. (By the way, if Wikipedia had been censored or shut down, you’d not be able to follow the map I just traced out for you about how I was thinking and what made me so connected to this painting and the flower girl on the left.)
"Work" (1852-1865) by Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893)
So here’s my dilemma. The theme I’ve chosen doesn’t allow for me to capture the full richness of this image. Hmmmm. Time for a theme change perhaps?
One of the reasons I like this image is that everyone in it is doing “their” job. We are like this painting–doing our various jobs in various departments, with majors and minors, and in various ways on teams, in jobs, in clubs, or whatever, wherever. We work. So this image is more me than a wallpaper design, but what will I do with it?
Anyhow, I’m on the fence about the whole image thing for my blog. It’s because the argument I’m making with my blog’s appearance isn’t the one I’m happy with. I will have to tinker around with it for a couple of weeks. Last term, I was committed and happy with what I had, then I had to go and fool with it.
But can I claim it wasn’t my fault–it was the fault of my knowing about visual rhetoric? And that is:
Visual rhetoric is a form of communication that uses images to create and analyze meaning or to construct an argument.
Images stay in our minds a long time, and I don’t want you to remember what I had/have… so I’ve got some work to do.
In the meantime, I have essentially given you a very messy map to get you where I want you to go as readers of this blog–or at least a messy map for remembering me and who I am and what I mean. My bad. But it’s a good exercise in visual rhetoric which is a fine thing for me–I need to be visually and rhetorically savvy (WWSG says so).
Pirate treasure maps and online writing…
More on this tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Until then, did you notice the way I wove around and added in hyperlinks and took you through a virtual map, a little history, of Pygmalion through one tiny part of the painting as my starting point and then told you why the painting mattered to me and how we all have to work… a pirate treasure map in a way.