Boston

My friend lives and blogs in Boston.
She is an excellent writer.
Go read her stuff.

Six Word Friday: Question

I suppose the only question is:

what the heck do I write?

Six Word Friday: Captive

I am captivated by your words

Slowly drawn in by your lines

by the careful crafting of sentences

and beautifully glimmering hand-turned phrases.

I am mesmerized by your story

hooked on every well baited line

reeled in, powerless against your pull

caught, ensnared, trapped by your metaphor

and furthermore, similarly, by your simile

at the end I am yours

gasping for air on the shore

dying, and still only wanting more

click here for more Six Words

Graduation Looms

Up until yesterday, I thought I had completed nearly everything I needed to do in order to graduate in a week and a half. I just had to finish up my classes. But now I have to do three more pieces to satisfy my review committee that I actually am good at art. or something. So now my head is going to explode. In light of that, I think I’ll just tell you about my friend’s blog. So you can go read her instead of my incoherent babbling. 🙂

Brenda over at My Truant Pen is a fantastic writer. Her posts have a simple elegance to them. She is an expert wordsmith. Her post today made my heart ache for my mom who was a hippie until the day she died. And it made my heart ache for the ideals of the time that seem to have been eradicated.

I believe I shall wear flowers in my hair today, in honor of those flower children of yesterday and their children protesting still today.

Where the Wild Things Are.

Last week we had to write a response to an excerpt from a book our instructor has been reading to us. This chapter specifically is dealing with leaving some of your artwork unfinished to leave it up to the imagination of the viewer. This is my response:

 

Art and Illusion Response

Where The Wild Things Are

There is quite a bit of merit to leaving some, or much, of your artwork to the imagination of the viewer. In much the same way as feeling disappointed in a movie after having read the book, receiving the imagery in its entirety takes away the viewer participation in the piece. I suppose this is why the art world often disparages realism. Because the imagery is there for you already, tied up nicely with a pretty bow and you don’t have to work at it. The interaction between the viewer and the artwork (and the artist) is the goal and one very good way to ensure that the viewer is doing their part is to leave room for their imagination to fill in the blanks.

We know from drawing class that just the slightest indication of crook of an elbow or bend in the knee is enough to indicate the human form and the positioning of the limbs. The mind will take these bread crumbs and follow the trail to a finished idea. We need to use the least amount of bait possible in order to “catch our prey.” Too much bait will just confuse the issue.

In psychology class we learned that people have preconceived ideas of how things should be. They call these “schemas.” For instance, we have an idea in our mind of what a kitchen looks like and what goes in it. Often it is very difficult to imagine and remember things that don’t coincide with our preconceived notion of how things ought to be. This, I think, is the one place where you wouldn’t want to leave too much to the imagination. If the viewer is filling in the blanks, they are relying on their schemas to provide the information for them. If you want to go against that, then you will have to spell it out a little more so that the viewer is led where you want them to go. The human mind will try very hard to find the familiar, the comfortable. The imagination may find images in the vague shadows, but the more logical processes of the mind reject those and look for a more prosaic explanation. It can be a task to dislodge the logical corner of the brain from its usual function.

That is, of course, one of the functions of the artist. The artist cultivates the imagination and tries to cage the logical mind so that it cannot control everything. Then the artist creates a space where the viewer can escape their cage and spend some time with their imagination. Teasing and cajoling, the artist lures the viewer out of their comfortable schema and into the place where the wild things are. Once you’ve ventured out into the wild and accustomed yourself to the scenery there, it can be very difficult to come back to the usual, the routine, the settlement.

Six Word Friday: How To

How One Might Write A Poem.

Prompt: How to. Let’s show ’em.

How do I do this, that thing?

Gnashing of teeth! Dramatic arm flinging!

Woe is me! What to do?

Agonize for days.( And forget, too.)

Obviously I have no marketable skills.

I pace and ponder. Worry. Wonder.

I fret. Self confidence is killed.

Hmm, wait. I do do this.

How though? The real problem is.

Talk to yourself. Write it down.

Add more words. Switch some around.

Try to make it sorta rhyme.

Attempt to make it keep time.

Google rhyming dictionary. Explore the thesaurus!

Edit. Refine. (Well, maybe next time.)

HOW TO go read more how-tos at Melissa’s link-up.

Cloud Shaper

My mom was a writer. That was her medium as an artist for nearly as long as I can remember. She was never published, but she should have been. I am a writer, but so far I haven’t had the staying power to write more than a long essay. My mom wrote books. She also wrote short stories and songs and things.

Later she started exploring some other art medium. I remember her telling me that she felt art should be impermanent. That’s one of the reasons she used chalk on cardboard. I am not too familiar with her artwork. Much of it happened after I moved away and while I was still a self-focused twenty-something. And then we began our disagreements and neither of us was sharing much with each other. Then it was too late.

She was more artistically interactive with my aunt, I think. In July, at mom’s memorial my aunt shared that mom would always tell her that she didn’t have to explain her art to anyone. Immediately after mom died, she went into her studio and made three pieces which were far more abstract than she usually is. Then she didn’t make any artwork for nearly a year until the sand memorial that she built.

After we released mom (and rusty) into the sea, my other aunt was distraught and so I was telling her how mom wasn’t in any pain anymore. How she was now with family that had gone before her.

And how she had probably been put in charge of cloud sculpture.

Which is what this post is really about.  Because yesterday, in the midst of great thunderous storm clouds, my mom cleared out a bright shiny window and sent a puppy gallivanting through it. Maybe it was Rusty in his childhood puppy cloud guise. I do admit that it looked a little more like a Scotty dog, though.

That’s cute, mom. I see you.

Thanks for peeking in on us.

Easy Peasy, Right?

Come on, it’s only six words.

It should be easy peasy, right?

You call yourself a writer, yes?

So what is your malfunction exactly?

What makes this so hard today?

Why don’t these words flow freely?

Why do you put so much

pressure on yourself on this thing?

Struggling to paint a bigger picture.

Refining to just a few words.

Muscles taut, fists clenched, furrowed brow…

no wonder the words are stuck.

You won’t let them glide through.

You are choking yourself and them.

Relax. Breathe. Open your grasping hands.

Words flow like water, you know.

Caught, not by grabbing onto them,

But by gentle cradling to hold

them up so they won’t fall.

Grasping, clawing, fighting leaves you tired

and even more thirsty than before.

Easing your way, you can scoop

up more words than you need.

Splashing and dripping, they do sparkle

in the glorious light of day.

You should really take it easy.

After all, it’s only six words.

~*~

This weeks topic is easy over at six word fridays.

An Art Education

Yesterday I had my Portfolio Review to get admitted into the Fine Art Program at my school. I passed it and submitted the paperwork to change my major. So, I’m all official now. One thing I had to do was write a page about why I want a BFA. I learned last term that if you were to follow a science track, this is how the degrees go:

BS=Bull Sh##, MS=More Sh##, PHD=Piled Higher and Deeper

Since I figured I probably shouldn’t bring that up, here is what I did write:

 

I’m entering the Fine Art program to complete a Bachelor of Fine Art with an eye toward continuing on to complete a Master’s degree. There are a few reasons why I’ve chosen to pursue an art education.

First, I am an artist. For as long as I can remember when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my reply has always been, “An artist.” I am here to hone my skills as an artist by exploring new media and techniques in a collaborative and supportive environment. Along with that I hope to narrow my focus of interest somewhat by whittling away at media or techniques that don’t appeal to me as much as I had thought they might.

Second, because art is for the most part unquantifiable, it helps people who are not artists (but perhaps are clients or family members) to understand where you are and what you are doing on a benchmarked trajectory. Returning to school as an adult, I am completely conscious that this is a second chance that I need to put to good use. They say that if you do something you love than you will never work a day in your life. This is my opportunity try to translate what I love to do into a career.

Third, I hope to use my education and the knowledge gained here to promote Art in our society. I believe that art and creativity are vital to our well being as a society and, ultimately our survival as a species. Without creativity and invention, humans would not have come very far on this planet. From my studies of art and civilization I have learned that one important mark of a stable society is it’s ability to support and maintain an artist class of people. A group of people who are able to develop a skill set beyond mere subsistence living and trade the products of those skills for their daily needs. This is only possible if there is a steady stable surplus of food and other staples. We will not be able to maintain our status as a civilized society if we cannot elevate art to a high status in our culture.

I believe that artists are not unlike magicians. Who else, besides artists and magicians can conjure an idea and manifest that idea into reality, seemingly from thin air. My personal goal with this degree is to better manifest my imagination into reality. That is why I choose to pursue a BFA.

 

Writing Around

I haven’t been posting much lately. I guess I’m glad that I had already started doing the Six Word Friday posts prior to my mom’s passing. I wanted to keep up with it and was able to- just barely. I would not have started it right afterward, though.

The problem is that I have no words.

More accurately, I have so many words and they are so powerful and important that I cannot seem to get them out. This frustrates me because my mother was a writer and I am a writer and I feel like this is what I am supposed to be doing to honor and pay tribute to her. But, much as they did with her in life, my words are tangled in a knot and I can’t seem to get out what needs to be said.

So, you’ll have to bear with me for a while as I work this junk out. It’s still very fresh. (not quite 3 weeks)

I also know that I am still a little numb. Less so, but still. One of my instructors said it didn’t really hit her until about two years after her dad died. So, I know that it takes as long as it takes.

and that’s okay.

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