Friday, September 18, 2009

Art and Literature

I was amused and inspired this morning while driving my teenage son to composition writing class. One of his assignments today was to list ways men taught themselves to write. I kept asking him questions to his resistance about his assignment, thinking to my self, I wonder if I could do this class?

"Okay, Now read me everything!" Come ooooon Dad!!!! So he read about this English writer named Robert Louis Stevenson. Then I said wow, read that again! "Youuuu got to be kidding me!!!" No I'm serious!

This is how Stevenson attributes his great success as a writer. In his own words he says, "I was known and pointed out for the pattern of an idler; and yet I was always busy on my own private end, which was to learn to write. I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in. As I walked, my mind was busy fitting what I saw with appropriate words; when I sat by the roadside, I would either read, or a pencil and a penny version-book would be in my hand, to note down the features of the scene or commemorate some halting stanzas."

Doesn't this sound like a visual artist. Now you have it-the formula to become a great artist! It must become a burning passion that rarely ceases. Our minds should be always busy fitting what we see and experience into lines and paint strokes!

One thing I must point out about Robert Louis Stevenson, his greatest works of literature were completed during the last 10 years of his life. Some of his most famous were, "Treasure Island", "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", and "A Child's Garden of Verses"

The photo above is of Robert Louis Stevenson. 1850-1894

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