A rather painful discovery

Last Saturday a friend and I went to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  We also signed sittingup for, and attended, an all-day symposium on the artist, his work, his influence (then and now) and his legacy.

Other than an hour of walking around studying his art early in the morning, we essentially sat in one place from 10:00 a.m. to almost 5:00 p.m.

Well, most people sat.  I fidgeted.

Not because I was bored, although the afternoon panel of speakers didn’t exactly enthral me (or anyone else, for that matter from what I observed).  Except for Thelma Golden, Director and  Continue reading

Advertisements

Day 249. Go Figure

Pete Armetta had an interesting blog post yesterday.  He wrote about the effort he puts into his work, how not everything he writes starts off well, and how he applauseconstantly hones a piece, sometimes for months at a time.  I really admire his work ethic and the pride he takes in what he does.

But something else he said really got me thinking.  He talked about how, sometimes, people seem to like and appreciate the pieces of his work he likes the least, passing over the work he’s the most proud of.  And how confounding that can be.

It made me think of my own experiences.

Truth be told, I think it happens to everyone.  I think it happens to all writers at some time in their career.  To all artists and photographers and choreographers and architects and chefs.  To anyone who creates.  But what I’m trying to figure out, to understand, is why.

My father manufactured children’s hats.  And to this day I can hear him, talking with my mother over dinner, expressing surprise each time they would show the collection to retailers.  Inevitably the hats everyone thought would Continue reading

Day 242. A Challenge

How’s this for something completely different?  Today’s post has nothing to do with me.  It’s all about you.  At least that’s what I’m hoping for.  Confused?  Don’t be. wordpress It’s really simple.

Yesterday I wrote about six-word memoirs.  Inspired by how many of you took the time to add your six-word memoirs to “Comments”, when I went to bed last night I thought about how much fun it would be if, somehow, we got the message out to all WordPress bloggers.

If, somehow, we could get thousands and thousands of WordPress bloggers engaged enough in the idea, to submit six-word memoirs of their own.

Make it go viral, in other words.

When I woke up this morning, I was still excited about the idea.  And if I’ve learned anything during my time on this planet, I’ve learned to follow my gut.  When I have a thought, or an idea, that just won’t go away I have to Continue reading

Day 114. A Misconception

I’ve been talking a lot about writing and ideas lately. It’s not surprising. They’re my stock in trade. But I’ve just realized that there’s a myth out there, that needs to be dispelled. So I’ve appointed myself the bearer of the news:

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, ‘Creativity‘ is not the exclusive province of writers and artists and actors and directors and fashion designers and make up artists and hairdressers and lighting directors and singers and composers and interior designers and photographers and musicians and the like. Every human being has the ability and, as far as I’m concerned the responsibility, to think creatively. Without holding a paintbrush or a pen or a microphone or a camera or any other ‘tool’ those of us who are creative, use.

Here’s a good example of what I mean: One of the ad agencies I worked for, is BBDO. It is one of those huge, international (289 offices in 80 countries, 15,000 employees), full-service agencies that’s been around for eons. Since 1891, to be precise. I have worked for more than my fair share of the top agencies in the world, so I speak

Continue reading

Day 87. Preliminary Sketches

I’ve decided to have a little fun.  On top of the fun I’m already having, of course.  Starting with the letter ‘A’, every day I will pick a subject that starts with the next letter of the alphabet; and that’s what I’ll write about.  Until I run out of letters.  After ‘Z’, in other words (as if you hadn’t already figured that out).  Anyway.  When I reach that point I’ll be challenged to come up with another idea.  In the meantime, let’s see how it works out.  Let’s get started …

Do you have any idea what an ‘abbozzo’ is?  I didn’t.  At least not until I decided to use the alphabet as inspiration, and looked up interesting words that start with the letter ‘A’.  Well you heard it here first, folks.  An abbozzo is a preliminary sketch.  A rough drawing, or model.  What a writer would consider a ‘draft’.

I may not have known what they are called, but it turns out I’m familiar with them.  I’ve seen many, many exhibits, where the artist’s working drawings are included.

In a lot of cases, I actually prefer them, to the finished pieces.  I like their roughness.  The fact that  they’re incomplete, almost primitive.  Raw.  Imperfect.  When I look at them, I feel like I’m really getting a glimpse into the artist’s mind.  And emotions.  It’s more intimate, somehow.

Like we’re sharing a secret.  It’s like I’m being brought in at the very beginning of something, just for a peek.  I’m getting to see something that’s been transferred directly from the imagination, to the sketch pad, with no refinement.  No thinking.  No over thinking.  No reality, yet.

It’s still in an experimental phase.  An exploration.  I love that the details are missing.  Details are not always necessary, at least as far as I’m concerned.  Take this sketch of Picasso’s, of a woman, for Continue reading