Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday 12, 2010

I recently read a book I really liked. BONE DEEP IN LANDSCAPE, writing, reading, and place, by Mary Clearman Blew. In this book, she says, "...for many of us, the western landscape is permeated with private associations contained in memory and family narratives. Language is how we move from private silence to shared story."

I see painting as a visual language, and for the artist it is a way we move from "private silence to shared story." Our story might be realist or an abstract narrative. But we have something to say, we are trying to express what is on the inside, and find that meeting place on the outside.

The photographs I took yesterday turned out good, and I was able to get the inventory up to date, this includes the Poems of the Desert. I am not saying "all" of the inventory is up to date. I find this an ongoing process.

I have been looking at a poem by Marge Piercy, FOR THE YOUNG WHO WANT TO. And I think she is writing this poem to the "young," but I thought the poem might be directed to anyone, who might want to________________, become an artist, a actor, dancer, etc.etc.

The first word she uses in the poem is "talent." Again I found this interesting., because isn't "talent" the great excuse? I don't have to "try" because I don't have talent. You have gotten where you are, because, you have "talent."

Then she talks about how it is only "after", we are published (we create the work, and have a successful show), and are favorably reviewed, that we know we are an artist, a writer, etc.etc. Before that "what you have is a tedious delusion, a hobby like knitting."

She talks about what you do, is not recognized as "work." Until after the successful show, successful book, etc.etc. Is not treated by the outside world as something that is sacred and necessary, but "friends keep asking when you are planning to go out and get a job."

She talks about, how your genius is not recognized until after after it is recognized by the "authorities," until then, "they accuse you of withdrawing, ask why you don't have a baby, call you a bum."

She talks about the artist's desire for an MFA, or wants to "take workshops with fancy names when all you can really learn is a few techniques, typing instructions and somebody else's mannerisms." She says it is because, "every artist lacks a license to hang on the wall." How else can we "prove" who we are?

But then she says, "The real writer (artist) is the one who really writes (paints). And her final words are, "Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved."

This poem reminds us, "Kiss an Artist Today." It's not easy to continue when after all we are the only ones who know what we are doing..........but the funny thing is that it is better than love, or maybe it is "love."

1 comment:

Ian Foster said...

Thank you for this, I am not a great poetry reader but I have just read the Marge Piercy poem you refer to and it has made me feel much better about my artistic efforts.