Thursday, December 20, 2012
This Is My Art
Writing here, my occasional blog post, I now realize, is my art. I'm an artist, it turns out, as much as anyone. Only instead of dabbling with oils, watercolors, or other pigments, my art is the weaving, expression, and/or putting forth of words. Phonemes, sounds in the form of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, with a good solid chunk of virtual type as the result.
The weird thing about it, if there is indeed anything weird about it, is that they never mentioned it quite like that in art class. They completely divided it up, as I recall, so art was painting, drawing, and molding (like the time I made my dad a clay ashtray about an inch thick), and writing was just an orphaned offshoot of English class. Looking back on it now, to me, that's weird. What's it got to do with English? You could just as easily write in some other language if you knew one.
Art class, though, obviously wasn't so strictly isolated. You don't even need to know how to talk to do art. You could grunt along, living in your old little world, and still make a halfway good ashtray. Or the Venus de Milo, were you so inclined. The foreign speaker would be at no disadvantage in doing art as my school narrowly defined it. He'd just babble out something incoherent, then dazzle the entire world with a painting of waterlilies.
I guess I must have had a good education in one sense: It laid the groundwork for me to come independently to this conclusion after around 50 years, that they were all wrong about art and writing. So that I can today declare, finally and definitively, writing is also art, and I'm writing, so I'm an artist. This is my art!
I was just in a bookstore today, true story. And if that's not enough, I was also at the library. And I saw a lot of books. Mostly crap, probably, certainly a lot of it I wouldn't be interested in reading. I more or less lump several genres in the crapper, like mysteries, true crime, popular religion titles, and certainly romance. For the most part, just to make a comparison to painting, these are the paint-by-number pictures of the writing world. It's a lot of hack work, churned out cynically and worth our scorn. Then there's the good stuff, actual literature, etc., etc.
Of course I classify my own blog posts in that last category. With the good stuff. Art as it was meant to be, nothing rushed out for an easy buck, but agonized over, and full of blood, sweat, and tears. Picasso couldn't do better. Monet, Manet, and Minet, all, would throw up their arms. And that makes me very proud. I'm to be envied. I use initiative to put ideas into motion, and nobody can say I don't. I love my art!