Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Become an Artist

I spent some hours yesterday writing an artistic biography of my father, who was a painter. I found myself writing that I learned about art standing near his easel and watching him paint. It was the silent choreography of creativity. He would stand back, leaning forward, hip thrust out, as he considered his next move, like a chess player. Then he'd move decisively forward, closing in on the canvas, brush scumbling furiously in a small area. Then he'd move back again to consider what had just happened. This could go on for hours. The concentration was palpable, like music in the room. The way ideas flowed out of him was transporting. I wanted that, to be engaged in something like that. And I began first to draw, then to write. It's an indelible memory.