04 April 2010

Practical Magic

Let me tell you something
I've met men in jail who had more style
than the people who hang around colleges
and go to poetry readings
They're bloodsuckers who come to see
if the poet's socks are dirty
or if he smells under the arms
Believe me I won't disappoint em

-Raymond Carver, "You Don't Know What Love Is (An Evening with Charles Bukowski)"

I did not to a poetry reading last Friday night, but I did go to a Paint Off--an annual fundraiser featuring local artists who had one hour to create artpiece which would be auctioned off to benefit a local summer festival.

I wasn't the only one gawking at them and taking pictures, and I admit going with some romanticized delusion about watching a piece of art being conjured out of thin air from nothing but the Muse's direction.  I'm willing to bet I wasn't the only one doing that, either. Then I gave the matter a second's thought and I finally realized that these weren't "artistes" whose socks were dirty or who smell under the arms. They were artists who were working.

I saw people with their sleeves rolled up, sweating, scrambling, and getting their hands dirty.  I saw noses put to the grindstone. 

This is the real magic of art to me, whether it's painting, sculpting, music--or even writing.  This is the level of professionalism I want to attain. 

This inspires me.