The Colors of Writing

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Painter meets writer.

When I paint, I develop a relationship with shapes, color and energy that are readable on the canvas from the first stroke. Writing uses another kind of energy, the energy of ideas, the sound of language as it resonates in your mind.

Obviously, it’s less physical to write. It’s pretty sedentary, but if you’re attuned to the shape and colors of words, you form a relationship to your work from the first to the last sentence. You shape it intentionally, but it also shapes you, as any art making does.

Learning, clarifying ideas and life processes, questioning assumptions and experiences — all this is why I’m interested in writing. On the cusp of my eighth decade on Earth, I have a tiny bit of experience, but I still have more questions than answers.

Writing helps me understand more deeply, and it helps me communicate my questioning, if I may put it that way.

Wisdom is less in knowing how to survive and get what you want in life, in my opinion. It’s more in perceiving the essence of things and admiring the beauty of the context they exist in.

Maybe that’s the artist in me speaking, and if so, I guess I can only approach writing as an artist.

Having said that, it’s obvious to me that language has its own formal beauties, beauties that are loved by those who practice the art of writing. Still, I can only write to respond to ideas and the mental constructs around them, whereas in painting I am quite happy to work within the exclusive confines of color and form. Ideas and philosophy don’t come into it.

I notice that on this forum there are certain people using language in inventive ways. I admire that, but without ideas to attract me I don’t think I could put two words together.

Playing with the medium of wordsmithing looks like fun, and I admire the practitioners, but, if I’m a writer, I’m a writer of a different stripe.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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