Consumer vs Creator

One thing I notice about my own computer habits is that increasingly I sit there waiting for the internet to spontaneously spit out some gem of information or inspiration. Of course, it doesn't work that way. Even though the internet is ever increasingly controlled by corporate interests, we still can contribute content. That is a big reason blogging, especially by creative types, is important.

Remember back in the early days, ten years ago or so? There was a great groundswell of internet content generated by individuals. For a moment there, we might have changed the world, or at least it didn't seem too crazy to try. Too soon, the internet became just another venue for marketing, a tool for rendering people into passive consumers.  It's a powerful thing, and I notice myself succumbing.

Then I remember: "You are a creator, not a consumer. Make Good Art, Dammit!"
So, lately I find myself obsessed with salal, the ubiquitous understory plant of the Pacific Northwest, and beloved by florists everywhere. I had this idea I would hook a mat with an image of salal growing out of a nurse stump, a very common sight around here. But then when I went to draw the salal, it confounded me. A single spray doesn't tell the story. A whole mass of it is impossible. Even Emily Carr didn't address it.
Well. Maybe she did. In her way.

I'm still working on it.


  1. Salal is the best. There is no more useful plant for flower arrangements, but you are right about the difficulty of rendering its essence in art. You are also right about the commercial take-over of blogging. I, too, resist.

  2. Ah, salal. Got nearly completely lost in head-high thickets on a small island one time. Following sheep trails. True story.

    There's still a lot of personal blogs out there and some are resisting "monetizing" them. (Mine for instance!) However you're right, Heather. It's not the wild and wonderful place it was back in the day. I don't know though. You wouldn't want it to stay static, would you? That would be so boring! Things evolve. You can take what you like and leave the rest like at any smorgasbord.

  3. had to look this plant up I don't know it at all Heather it looks like a cool temperate zone plant that would fry here in the hot summers of the Land Down Under

  4. As a florist of 37+ years, i HATE salal!!!! I've used it, picked it, sold it (though that did put groceries on the table for self and son for a summer on the Sunshine Coast....)and have never understood the attraction!
    As to content, yeah, sometimes we forget it's only online if we put it there ourselves. I miss the "old days" though when it was all new and exciting, real art being made, new discoveries and mediums and methods; now it seems most is gushy DIY re-inventions of the wheel, sycophantic blindness and slapping everything into the same piece. Few are focused and serious!

  5. I love your forthright feistiness, Arlee.


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