Poetry and Sketches–Out of Sync with Each Other?

Several friends have remarked that my poems about losing eyesight and my vivid and somewhat detailed drawings seem to contradict each other.

My drawings and paintings are about the world outside my self, and benefit from my moving close to my subject, or working in particularly bright sunlight, or imagining details I cannot see. Drawings and paintings are not photographs, and artistic license is a powerful tool and enabler.

My poems, on the other hand, are about what I see at the moment and how I feel as I move through my days. Some thoughts and feelings are exaggerated in that moment, and upon careful observation of the real world outside might be modified and not emotive enough to be worthy of poetry.

I can imagine that some artist/poet might produce work that reinforces itself in both media; and I can imagine an artist/poet whose work is so jarringly disparate in each medium that it might be hard to accept as the work of one particular person

We are human, we are complicated, and we struggle to make sense of life in whatever ways we can.


About inkpaintwords

A feminist writer and artist with a penchant for all things French, living in Washington DC. My love of language led me, indirectly, to my pleasure in gardening, drawing and watercolor. It began with a book, a collection of New Yorker garden columns by Katherine White, wife of its founding editor E.B.White. Her enthusiastic appraisal of the literary merit of various garden catalogs led me to collect and keep her favorites as well as to hoard with them some more recently-emerged seed, bulb and seed catalogs. The beautiful catalogs inspired me to little by little turn our entire front lawn (our home had a wooded ravine close behind) into a garden. That grew into a lovely site with two simple arches, a gliding bench on a little sitting patio and modest slate paths winding through beds of shade lovers and whatever plants supposedly in need of full sun that I could manage to coax into colorful healthy bloom. A curiosity about color and color theory emerged as I became keenly interested in impressionist painters; that interest merged in some way with my urge to garden. I acquired more than one book about Monet’s garden and gardens of other impressionist painters, both French and American. One day I picked up a magazine for painters, and found inside an article about a painter I’d known. Among examples of her splendid watercolor paintings was her watercolor of her garden at that time. Suddenly I could think of nothing more exciting than painting my garden. I enrolled in her watercolor class in The Art League in Alexandria, VA. The influence that the collection of Katherine White’s columns about the literary merits of certain garden catalogs has had on my life has come full now. Ink, Paint & Words combines what has become an obsession with drawing and watercolor with my passion for language. Yes, I still garden. A table full of blooming potted plants sits on my apartment patio, backed by an ivy covered fence with park trees behind. My patio, and my larger environment of Washington DC, together provides wonderful vistas for drawing and painting. For a number of years annual trips to France gave me and my companions extravagantly colorful panoramas and charming tableaux for brush and pen. And yes, now I’ve painted in Monet’s gardens several times. But that, as they say, is another story.
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One Response to Poetry and Sketches–Out of Sync with Each Other?

  1. patrisearts says:

    that’s a marvelous exploration, MBR! how differently we feel and see and speak our worlds.
    I love how your painted work is getting more rich in detail and feeling as I know your eyesight is changing, losing detail. Something magical is afoot there. You have gained sufficient fluency to create vision in your art, even as your mechanical systems are fading.
    Your poems have always been this paragon of elegant subjectivity. I know you as a woman who holds rationality in great regard, who measures her life with that often unyielding yardstick. But your creative work lets much more of you out to play.

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