Tag: art

Painting, Like Most Things, Is Great For Second Chances

I’m a writer, mostly. But, I grew up with a pen in my hand, crayons in my mouth, markers holding up my pony tail. I grew up, curious, touching cheap canvas, smelling paints as my dad set out his oils, desperately trying to get pictures from my brain into reality. I draw, I paint, and I love to leave the mark of my mind on things that will outlast it.

I was painting yesterday, and this wonderful thing happened where, in the silent of the house, fingers gripped to brush, swirling colors together like an art-alchemist, my mind hit the smooth pavement of its thoughts and cruised. It felt dangerously free. It felt inclined to remind me of everything I wasn’t really wanting to think on at the moment. But, at times, it simply was. I simply was, and my fingers did the talking.

It’s great to paint with cheap acrylics because there’s almost no such thing as a permanent mistake. I drew a quick sketch with an art pen, mixed my colors and slathered on the first layer. The freedom that comes with that sloppy strokes, covering ground recklessly, is knowing that the first stroke is nothing but foundation, nothing but a primer to cling to the better stuff to come.

As I progressed, I adjusted. I saw that things weren’t quite right, and I went darker, deeper, thinner, fatter, clearer, more detailed. Sometimes my shaking fingers didn’t quite get the curve right, didn’t quite capture the precision I was going for, so I let it dry and tried again.

With painting, there’s no pressure. You experiment until it feels right. I wonder why it’s so much harder to accept this in other disciplines and in life in general. With writing, we think it must be perfect on the first draft. I’m a bad writer if I make that mistake, if I can’t quite portray what I mean to.

But writing, like painting, is made for second chances, second drafts, and second opinions. It’s made for fresh eyes and readjusting.

Don’t let the mistakes get the best of you. Just adjust and try again.


Grammar as Part of the Art Form E2

EPISODE TWO: Grammar as Part of the Art Form

In this episode, I discuss the trend of writers refusing to learn or use proper grammar or techniques because they are able to pay editors to fix the issues with their work.

I also include some learning points from a book review on Asimov’s Foundation, and I include a couple helpful quotes on creativity and writer focus.



 


Fantastic Beasts, Creative People

I had the utmost delight of going to see the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them today.

Movies are incredible. I’m actually a book person, but only because movies effect me too deeply, too all-at-once, they are too sharp and pointed for repeated sittings. With a book, I may slowly marinate on their magnificence for 200 pages or so. I may let the ideas, the scenery, the characters slowly infiltrate my mind and touch the creviced, receptive landscape of my brain. Not so with movies.

Movies are like crowbars to me. They are so much. They are images, they are music, they are talent and creativity. They are ideas, they are change, they are incredible, and I only have 2 hours or so for those things to break into my skull and fiddle about inside me, uncareful hands and unquiet voices. Often, I am deeply affected by them. People astound me. They astound me!

I place such a high value on J.K. Rowling, her works, and on movies which win me. I cried through half of it because of how strongly it wrecked about inside of me just by its association with Harry Potter which was a powerful transformative force for me as a person. I cried because I am frequently in awe at the creative capabilities of human beings and the amount of collective creativity it takes to go into a movie like that…creation is probably the most pure, God-given force on the planet. If anything in this world can save humanity, it’s art. It’s creation. It’s because of the gentle touch of books and the forced-entry of movies, the confused flutter of breath from a painting or drawing or sculpture, the delicate dab of a kiss from a photograph, the feather on the back of the neck from a poem…it’s all of these that grip people by the heart and tell them to learn. It’s all of these that have the capacity to save, change, and to destroy.

I may be one of few crazies that derive so much from a movie, imaginings of a revolution of art from a story about magical creatures, but art has always made me crazy. And hopeful. It is perhaps strange to witness, me, throttled and ready to erupt after a short sitting through a film. It is like this balloon of feeling frequently wells up inside of my stomach, nudging my heart until there’s no room for it, it envelops it, overwhelms it, and it comes spewing out of my mouth and fingertips when I can’t hold it back anymore. Movies are like an air pump into that balloon, already packed so tight with feelings, sometimes hopeless ones, sometimes ecstatic, awe-struck ones. It, I think, is the experience of an empathetic person to find things so common to be absolutely exhausting simply by their manipulation of emotions, their collection and use of the witness’s participation in their world. Oh, but I do it so willingly.

What fun would a movie be if that world were shattered, if I didn’t offer it everything I had for the short time I payed to be enraptured by it? It would be shallow, and there’s nothing I despise more than a lack of depth, a lack of investment.

Despite the fact that movies have frequently broken an entering into my mind and heart, I hold them in high esteem. I hope that as the art of other incredible humans transforms me, saves me, and inspires me, that my creation may do all the same for me, and perhaps, if the world sees fit to accept it, it may be that force for others.

To you creatives, your art means the world. It is that important. It means the world.