Words from the heart
Breaking, teaching, healing
The deepest, purest form of art
writing is like being in love. You never get better at it or learn more about it. The day you think you do is the day you lose it. Robert Frost called his work a lover’s quarrel with the world. It’s ongoing. It has neither a beginning nor an end. You don’t have to worry about learning things. The fire of one’s art burns all the impurities from the vessel that contains it.
We possess art lest we perish of the truth.
That day I behaved like a good artist, one whose job is to build rather than break.
People in coats and ties were milling around the Talley gallery, and on the wall were the minimally rendered still lifes by Giorgio Morandi, most of them no bigger than a tea tray. Their thin browns, ashy grays, and muted blues made people speak softly to one another, as if a shouted word might curdle one of the paintings and ruin it. Bottles, carafes, and ceramic whatnots sat in his paintings like small animals huddling for warmth, and these shy pictures could easily hang next to a Picasso or Matisse without feeling inferior.
We will feel conviction about the things we create only if we keep discovering, within those creations, new reasons for wanting them to be that way.
Deal resistance a death blow and make sweet love to your art all night long. Put on your fishnet thigh highs and your patent leather stilettos and your special occasion lingerie. Seduce the hell out of your own creative soul. It’s time for an epic lap dance. Dance for your paint and canvas, for fingers tripping across keyboard, for the open arms of motherhood, for the layers of flavor in the meals you create. Wind your hips down for the click of the shutter, for the 3 a.m. bathroom poem, for the late night lesson planning
This recognition of the truth we get in the artist’s work comes to us as a revelation of new truth. I want to be clear about that. I am not referring to the sort of patronizing recognition we give a writer by nodding our heads and observing, “Yes, yes, very good, very true-that’s just what I’m always saying.
What is art if not a concentrated and impassioned effort to make something with the little we have, the little we see?
The only real influence I’ve ever had is myself.