Art — I still don’t get it

Posted: October 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
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We’re started to watch this reality tv show about artists.  I forget what it’s called.  Something clever like “The Next Great Artist”.  Neither one of us does anything with art, at least not the paint and brush kind of thing.  So this is a little different, a perspective into another world.  They have a bunch of young adults, give them some sort of inspiration and then turn them loose to create something around that theme.  It’s all magic to me, since I flunked finger painting in kindergarten.  I don’t know how some of them come up with their ideas.  Others of them, I’m glad I can’t see into their heads.  It doesn’t look like it would be a fun place to be.  You can tell there’s a lot of trauma in their background.

What I like about the show is what they call the “crit”, the critique.  They bring in experts from the world of art who will take a blob of an art piece that holds no meaning for me and dissect it into something I can almost kind of sort of understand.  The brainiacs pull out meaning, tie it to personal experiences that they draw out of the artists, and then give them suggestions on how they might improve their work.  It’s fascinating to me.  More than that, it makes me think about how I do my own art.  They explain what they see in the piece, how they interpret it.  They ask the artists to create from their souls.  I have to think about what that means for my own craft, to write from the soul.

For me, it means to create my characters and infuse life into them.  I want to give my readers a full sensory view into my main characters, if I can.  I’m learning to let go and grow my characters.  When you’re just writing something for school, you are limited by the length of the piece.  When you start moving into realm of novels, you have so much more real estate on which to grow your characters.  But I still think small.  Old habits, you know.

Mark Twain supposedly said, “Don’t say the old lady screamed.  Bring her on and let her scream.”  I’m learning how to let her scream, to make you feel the scream reverberating through your mind, to see your breath in the chilled air as you rush through the darkness of the rain washed night, to sniff that little lingering scent of old fashioned lavender from her perfume.

Like the photographers in my family, I’m learning to play with aperture, focus, light and composition.  I still want to muffle the inner critic, at least for this year.  I’ll finish my NaNoWriMo novel in November, then let it sit a bit before going back in and adding the content it will need to be a full length novel.   There will be time for the crit later on.  For now I’m just observing and learning, growing my soul.

As for the art, I still don’t get it.


  1. Karmen says:

    I’m an artist with paint and I still don’t get it….I just like all the pretty colors I think

  2. Louise says:

    Oh no! Art – i DO get it. I am an artist and i can interpret (that’s what i call it because it does seem like another language that acts like a bridge). It IS like reading a soul and that might sound cool but there is not a way to turn that off, it is how I live. It can be quite tormenting because there is a relentless undercurrent of message and mayhem that others cannot see, a bit like living with a nagging ghost. People think I’m weird (at best) or psychic or misjudge me as a crackpot. I’m none of those. Some people live very shallow lives and are out of touch with who they are, were or could be. I can SEE that in people’s art or in any work of their hands (wood, sculpture, pottery,). I don’t know if you can learn it, it seems it is just a “way” of seeing, way of living, way of giving and deriving meaning from the world. I am older now and don’t explore my inner darkness as much and i purposely look for beauty everywhere, in every place, person, face and soul.

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