Two things came up today that led me to thinking about the why and the how of what I do. I started posting some poetry to an art group called Mind’s Eye and a comment prompted me to dig in and think about why I write – especially because poetry isn’t my primary identification as an artist. The comment mentioned how “to the point” the piece was and how most people could identify with it. Here’s what I wrote:
…I write (as a lot of us do), to help clarify my thoughts and feelings and with the expectation that if can get the feelings translated into words that they (the feelings) will be somewhat mitigated. While writing I create my own form as I go. I’m not familiar enough with contemporary poetry to know what the “established” or common styles are or if I come close to any of them. I really don’t care. I do care that people will be able to relate to what I have written. If an obscure reference happens to be perfect to include in my narrative then I will include it. But not if it creates a roadblock for most readers. It is important to me that my work be to the point and accessible…
A friend asked me to approximate how much time I spend in a week on working on my art. This is a little different twist on the question: how long did that take you? It was a question that I was very interested in answering and did it ever open my eyes!!
Hard to say….. I spend many hours day, evening, night working on things related to my art: working on websites, adding items to Etsy, photographing what I see around me for inspiration, photographing quilts and items for website etc., reading about new techniques, looking at other artists’ work for inspiration, writing my poetry (that often leads to an art piece), shopping for supplies, writing in my journal (really unleashes the creativity), selecting fabric and supplies for a new project, daydreaming about the new project, sketching it out, cutting, painting, drawing, fusing, stitching, solving problems, quilting, adding hanging sleeves, hand stitching bindings, hand applying beads, hand embroidery. And so on. You get the picture!!
So, especially you my poet and artist friends – what would you add to this list?
Do you think that it is important or even desirable to stick to acknowledged forms in poetry or other art?
I’m very interested in your comments.