Art needs no translation
So I’ll start with what Hemingway said, to ‘write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’
As I sat this evening, waiting for some words to come, I realized what mattered most. Author Jen Pastiloff says it ever so eloquently: ‘At the end of my life, when I say one final What have I done?, let my answer be, I have done love.’
See, I had to have a talk with myself because I felt empty with nothing to say. And there are likely a zillion reasons for that, but all that mattered was that I wanted to write and was drawing a blank.
I sat back in my chair, ready to give up. I looked out the window as my mind wandered. And then I recalled this conversation….
Art Needs No Translation
A Spanish Facebook comment was left on one of my paintings the other day. I used the translate button to read it.
‘Dreama, when I’m sad, I look at your works; they calm me down. Thanks.’
You’re likely thinking what I’m thinking. I hated the thought of this person being sad. (How wonderful it would be if there was never anything in life to make one sad…)
The painting she commented on was one I’d done a few years ago. Filled with sunshine and color, it needed no explaining. The painting spoke its peace to her.
I often forget when I’m touched by Monet’s waterlily paintings or Vincent’s starry, starry night that I’d have nothing to say if I could meet the artists face to face.
I don’t speak French.
But their paintings have done their magic—wordlessly awakening within me truth, beauty, and love.
There is something so special about the art we make. It transcends languages, religions, races, ages, and more. It speaks straight to the heart without saying a word.
How marvelous it is that painting exists!
As Vincent said, ‘…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?’
Here’s to wordless conversations and the love contained therein!
P.S. I return again and again to my father’s words. ‘Everything in life comes down to love… it’s all about love.’
When I hold the thought, life and its choices become simple. I share them here with you to bring clarity. Make your art. Let it speak what you cannot say. Know that it matters and makes a difference.
P.P.S. Somehow, when I write, I always feel gratitude for you. For your attention, for you reading my stuff, for just being here. It means a lot! You can receive my letters straight to your inbox by subscribing here. (My letters are free, of course!)
Dreams! I paint a lot like you do. I stared out that way then technicalities got in my way but am so pleased to see your art reminding me of my true love! Impressionism, intense color! I am on your waiting list for FLOW!
I think you’re absolutely right. Art should need no translation. Too often as I browse around online or looking at art, so many words are said, trying to translate it, what the meaning was, what the intention was, what the method and medium was etc etc etc.
Too much talk-talk. Not enough “aaagh!” Enjoy.
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