Art Break

This week I had big plans. BIG PLANS! Which means my Little got sick. And wanted to cuddle up for two days. So I left those big plans alone and took time to be with my Little. And life is funny. Within all those big plans I am struggling with some artistic and business decisions (and how to keep the two separate!), and I still haven’t made them, but these past two days have been a huge brain break that I didn’t even know I needed. We’ve been making a town on an app that we are both super-addicted to, reading together, and even writing a story together.

I don’t know the answers yet.

But I feel relaxed. (Which if you know me is not usually my general state of being…)

And I am ready to get back to work.

At the Austin SCBWI conference last month the wonderful Elana K. Arnold showed us some favorite authors talking about craft. I am not going to share her secret gems, (you’ll have to go see her to hear those!) but soon I will post some other short craft videos, because I love the idea of a mini-master class from your couch. I promise, those are coming, but this week due to my change in plans, I have another idea.

Below are some mini-master classes from people who are NOT writers and a sampling of their work. A ballet dancer. A visual artist on a grand scale. A jazz musician. An abstract painter. Enjoy!

On not comparing yourself to others and leaping for the stars…

Mikhail Baryshnikov -see him in action, the man flies…Then listen to the first ten minutes or so of this interview (or more, but I usually can spare ten minutes…) where he talks about the danger of trying to be the best, how it can keep us from actually obtaining that goal.

On art holding a space where words fail us…

Take a step away from your manuscript to see Julie Mehretu’s room-sized statements on landscape, emanciapation, and the odd connection between the annihilation of the Native Americans while preserving the land for “the American people.” Ruminate on her collaboration of visual art with jazz by Jason Moran. What is the role of artists working together?

On revisting and reflecting…

And now for your moment of zen…(truly…I could watch this three minute segment  on repeat for hours, there is a metaphor in here for writers about layers, and uncovering, and quiet reflection, and…well, just watch it) Gerhard Richter is one of my favorite abstract painters. He is known for his life’s work, but I especially love his gray series. It should be boring. But each one is different in person. I love the fugue quality and the process of continuing to work with a color or idea or theme and having it be slightly different each time.

Quotes to Write By:

“There is no competition in art…everyone is trying to find their own way to express themselves” Mikhail Baryshnikov

“You don’t strive to be the best, you strive to be better every day” Mikhail Baryshnikov

”What does it mean to be an artist in this political moment?” Julie Mehretu

”I started to look at my paper as not a place that had a start and finish….” Jason Moran

Photo Credit: Grau, Gerhard Richter

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