Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Making Things Visible

We took our kids to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles today and if you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not into art, riding the tram and just walking around the campus is a treat in and of itself. The amazing architecture of the buildings, the stunning gardens and the views of Los Angeles from the museum’s hillside location made the trip worthwhile.

But what stuck with me were two quotes from a video we saw there.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
                                                  Henry David Thoreau

Art does not produce what is visible, it makes things visible.
                                                  Artist, Paul Klee

I know they were talking about art here, but these quotes really hit home for me as a writer. Because that’s kind of our job as writers. We make things visible, see beyond what everyone else just looks at, pull ideas from the recesses of our minds and turn them into stories that take on meanings we never even realized. And that’s pretty cool.

So this week as you write, keep those thoughts in mind. Turn what you see in your head into words on the page and make your ideas visible for the world to see.

Lofty? Maybe. But I think we can do it.

16 comments:

Christine Fonseca said...

Best Thoreau quote ever! LOVE IT

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Great quotes, yes! I've always thought of writing as holding up a magnifying glass to familiar things and making them unfamiliar. So much fun!

Laura Pauling said...

Writing is def. a creative art and so many parallels can be found between the different arts - perseverance, practicing...

storyqueen said...

I love the Getty!

My favorite part is that you get to stand right in front of Van Gogh's Irises. I mean, just right in front of them.

Wow.

Kristan said...

The Getty Museum is about the only thing I remember from my trip to LA 15 yrs ago. I adooooored that place.

LOVE the Thoreau quote!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Christine: I totally agree.

Michelle: I love the analogy because we all see things so differently.

Laura: The perseverance is key, isn't it?

Shelley: So much to see at that place. I could spend a week there!

Kristan: I'll definitely be making a return trip.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I love those quotes. Thoreau helped many people see the natural world, and after all this time, he still does.
There is a way of learning to draw that teaches to look at the space between objects not the objects themselves. If you've never tried it, that is a real eye-opener.
Thanks for the post. I need to put a little loftiness in my step. ;)

kathrynjankowski said...

Love Thoreau's quote and your analogy. Artists and writers both represent life from new perspectives. The challenge is finding the right words and images that express that POV.

Kristi Faith said...

Oh I love those quotes. Needed them today!

Lenny said...

hi miss sherri! im glad you had a nice time. i hope my writing could be so good some day that i could make people see and feel it. its like doing a paint job with words.
...smiles from lenny

Anita said...

We may head out that way for a vacation soon. I'll add the museum to my list of to-sees. Thanks!

Carolyn V. said...

Oh! I'm going to do it! Awesome advice! Just what I needed. Thanks Sherrie! =)

Lori W. said...

Great quotes. Seems you're packing a lot of cool things into the end of summer. I think I'll send my kids to your house. :) The Getty is awesome.

Elaine AM Smith said...

Paul Klee - now their is an artist who worked and evolved.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Lofty? No way. Remember, writing IS art.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Tricia: Looking at the space between objects sounds brilliant!

Kathryn: Wonderfully said :)

Kristi: I'm glad they were there for you! Hope your day went well...

Lenny: You already do a fabulous paint job with your words. Keep it up!

Anita: It's a great place to visit and makes for an inexpensive family outing, too.

Carolyn: Excellent -- do it!!

Lori: Today we hit Venice Beach. Now there's a story!

Elaine: Yeah, he was pretty amazing. Sometimes misunderstood, sometimes highly successful, which is rare for an artist!

Suzanne: You're right, it IS art :)

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