Writing as Art
Creative Writing is Art!
The topic for this hub actually came to me about a year ago when I was facilitating a creative writing group at the local senior center. In preparation for our first class, I was perusing my ten-year-old daughter’s art collection and wishing that I too had artistic talent. I have never been able to draw or paint. I’m not musical. I don’t enjoy arts and crafts. Then suddenly, it dawned on me. My chosen medium is the written word. Creative writing is art. I wondered if the members of the Creativity in Writing would agree. I suspected that they would.
“When you think of art,” I asked them, “what comes to mind?” A list began to emerge: painting; sculpting; photography; singing; composing…”
“…And writing.” Writing may be one of the most challenging art forms because we have only our words with which to illustrate. Having command of the English language and an aptitude for self-expression is critical. In theater, set designers and directors can create a scene according to their own visions. The theatergoers don’t have to imagine how a room looks or how a character is feeling because it is all laid out in front of them. Painters and sculptors can create a scene using a variety of colors, patterns, shapes and textures that evoke emotions or spark memories. The spoken word, whether in song or conversation can be enhanced by gestures, facial expressions, inflections and other non-verbal cues, leaving far less to the imagination than the written word.
Language is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Words form the basis of our self-expression. They can be encouraging, reassuring, and inspiring. They can also be used as weapons, and therefore, quite dangerous.
Your words can gain you access to world leaders, become published in the local paper or in national and even international publications. Words have the power to transport your audience to a plethora of destinations, some magical, some ominous. So choose them carefully.
When my group met for the first time, I laid two pieces of art on the table. One was my daughter's cubist painting which had inspired my thoughts on creative writing as an art form. The other was a collage of photographs that my husband had taken at one of my sporting competitions. The photographs, while artistic, were literal, leaving nothing to the imagination. Participants could see that I had competed in a triathlon with a friend. I swam. I ran. I rode my bicycle, all on a sunny August morning. The cubist work, however, used bold colors and elongated, clunky shapes to depict a woman. It was far more thought provoking than the photographs. Who was this woman? Where was she from? What did the colors mean? What emotions did they evoke?
Our assignment was to choose either the photo collage or the cubist work and write a piece in one’s chosen genre that was inspired by the art. Everyone chose to write about the cubist work. We were given 20 - 30 minutes to complete the project. The following was my contribution to the group.
The Flamenco Dancer, By Jaynie2000
The colors were vivid. They jumped from the canvas and bounced around the room, illuminating everything.
The artist, it was said, was barely ten years old when the work was completed, yet at this tender age, she had captured the flavor and spirit of the masters perfectly.
I can see the Flamenco dancer, her skirt fanned out beneath her, allowing room for her shoes to drum out their staccato rhythm onto the wooden plank floor. I can feel her energy, as if she herself were literally dancing across the canvas. This young artist had succeeded in making her real to me.
Through the splashes of color and the severe cubist angles I have been transported to Spain, dancing alongside the heavily painted woman with the eyebrows reminiscent of Frida Kahlo. Through this painting I have found freedom and joy in celebrating the art of Flamenco dance.
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