Saturday, March 18, 2017

Why a Marriage between Poetry and Art?


Many might ask why I choose to marry art with poetry. There are two answers to that question. The simple answer is that I needed a way to combine my two favorite creative outlets. For a long time I struggled between wanting to make art and wanting to write. Being a very black or white person I operated under the false assumption that I could do one or the other but not both. Having little creative time back in those years of full time work I felt that doing both well was an impossibility since I could barely find time to one or the other. If I was writing it was in slivers of early morning, or late at night when my brain could barely function. I needed all the time I could muster to get any worthwhile writing accomplished. There was no room for art.

Yet, art kept singing her siren song, luring me into the deep waters of mixed media and art journaling. It was a lovely place to drown except I kept feeling I needed to be more focused and responsible about my writing. After all a novel doesn't get written in snippets of time. It could take years just to create a first draft.

But then poetry came tiptoeing back into my life. From the time I was a little girl I loved reading and writing poetry and who can't write a short poem in a few corners of the day? So I immersed myself in reading poetry again and began to write more poems. I took a few online poetry classes and started sending poems out to literary journals. But still here was my muse tossing paintbrushes at me and smearing bright colored paints into my thoughts.

And then came the "aha" moment!

Sitting in a garden at the art museum I began to see art journals and canvases that married my poems with art. How the words could swirl through a design or sit humble but strong as an element on the page. I had found the answer to my creative dilemma. I could write poems and make art and put the two together and never worry again about where to put my creative focus.

And that is the simple answer--just finding a way to enjoy my two creative loves at the same time.

The more complicated answer is that art and poetry are a spiritual practice for me and giving up either one was like praying to a demi-god. It just didn't fulfill my need for spiritual connection. In order to embrace my feelings for spirituality I needed to enjoy both art and poetry.

That longer explanation for this marriage of poetry and art is for another blog post. And definitely some more art to show you.

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