On the way downtown this morning I looked around my metro car. Advertisements were plastered all around, luring you to buy into this new residential community downtown, or to hop on the new Silver Line route that just opened to “explore destinations unknown” (which kinda sounds scary!).
Where’s the art around here? I thought. And then I looked closer at the typography of the advertisement for the ‘urban living’ apartments. With double neon lined typescript and vintage photographs of the building’s doorways, gardens, and what looks to be a Manhattan on the bar of the rooftop, I realized there’s art in this frighteningly cramped plastic-seated metro car.
And so I’m actually looking forward to my commute tomorrow. And I might just take that Silver Line to the middle of nowhere –I might find a gem or two on the way.
So I can dream about being an artist, and set up my canvas in the corner of my office, and stare at it a bit, now and then. I can walk through galleries and get excited about openings and gulp down white wine so that I can have a somewhat intelligent conversation with the person next to me.
But I’m a writer. I was thinking that was as far from being an artist as possible. They use different instruments, different platforms. Are appreciated by very different types of people. Books are portable; art is usually not. Art you have around for a long time; books you toss on the used book shelf at the library.
But K.M.Weiland, an author, has written this on her blog:
As one of the most structured forms of art, writing is very much a left-brain pursuit. We put our intellect to work every time we sit down and start thinking about three-act story arcs, complex vs. compound sentences, gerunds and participles, keeping our characters in character, and organizing our subplots. Our desks are cluttered with notes and reminders; our bulletin boards teem with sketches, maps, and timelines; and our filing cabinets are jammed with draft upon draft of our novels. There’s a lot to think about in this writing game.
So can I consider myself an artist? I would be so honored!
After a five-year hiatus in which I got caught up in the craziness of a move, a bigger city, and a mind-boggling array of philanthropic events, work functions, and kid programming, I’m finding my way back to my base and what really grounds me – thinking about art. I apologize to all my followers (if you are still out there!) for being MIA!
I have been consumed for the last five years – but in the best of ways. Returning to DC has brought me back to old experiences (e.g., jazz in the garden at NGA on Friday nights) and starting new traditions (e.g., all of the Arts After Dark that light up the museum facades in purple, green, and blue). Of cruising through the Renwick, the Corcoran. The Portrait Gallery and the Kreger. Of gorging on the gastronomy at the Museum of the American Indian (btw, run, do not walk, to grab the Pacific Northwest salmon platter there).
So happy to be back. Here we go!