“Art helps us see connection and brings a more coherent meaning to our world.” ~ Ernest Boyer, Founder, Carnegie Foundation
In my previous post about two weeks ago, I wrote about a plein-air painting workshop I attended given by Artists-in-Residence Mike Bare and Joanne Bare at Ladew Topiary Gardens. I’m grateful I have acquired knowledge about painting through past life experiences with several master artists. It has led to opportunities to write about art and the humanities in general, such as all the essays on the website Through the Lens of Her Camera, about photojournalist Cheryl Ito. Her work is in the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Over the past year, I have been engaged in another art related writing project. Soon the manuscript will be going to print. It has been very gratifying and more will come about this later!
Some of what Bare spoke about in the workshop at Ladew Gardens can be applied to writing. “Art,” Mike said, “allows us to understand who we are.” This is precisely why I find writing so fulfilling. I have learned so much about myself and what I value through my writing. Authors tend to write about what they know. You can understand much of what is important to me by reading the 2500 posts (which are indexed by category) on this website, AllThingsFulfilling.com. Four topics – art, gardens, independent publishing, and faith are just some of the subjects I return to time and time again but always with a new perspective.
Painters do the same thing, according to Bare, they tend to return to the same spot time and time again because one makes connection with the scene that way and paints it well. There are often seasonal variables when painting “en plein air” but one finds value in coming back to the same location. Capturing the changes in light or other seasonal/environmental/atmospheric conditions holds both significance and challenge for the artist.
During the workshop at Ladew Topiary Gardens, photos were shown of other artists work. In one image, a cityscape, we saw a part of the composition was intentionally left unfinished. Yet, as the instructor pointed out, we did not notice it until we made a closer inspection of the painting. Why? “Because our mind makes up what is missing!” says Bare. True enough, I thought. Readers do the same thing with stories. They read into it what they will by the associations made with the words given on the page. Not every detail in a story is drawn-out. Some readers get irked when they have to draw their own conclusions and others like to be left hanging so they can use their own imaginations and create what happens next.
This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.