Saturday, April 11, 2009


Recently, I had my seven-year-old niece, Ella, over for an artist's weekend. Ella is a budding painter, so I took her to visit a few of my artist friends. First, Evie, who paints portraits and animals and still life, and then, Paula, who is more of a visionary artist. Ella said, "Evie paints what's on the outside, and Paula paints what's on the inside. A sharp observation for a young soul, though not entirely accurate as Evie makes what is on the outside even better--her subjects are softened, made more radiant, perhaps one could say created in their perfect form. Paula brings to life raw emotion and the inner working of the mind, but she, too, is starting from some common point we all recognize. It is why when we look at her work we have that glimmer of recognition--or as it happened to me, a feeling that she had painted my very being. These artists approach their work in different ways, but they both share that ability to capture what "is" and then infuse it with higher meaning. In the words of Chagall, "Great art picks up where nature ends." It is no different for writers--whether we look outside or in, we are searching for the truth.