This quote by author and philospher, Voltaire, reminded me of a short essay I wrote many years ago when I was overwhelmed by a beautiful outdoor view. I titled it Painting With Words which I think describes what writers do fairly well.
I have little to no artisitc ability. Painting a picture is so far off the chart for me that I have rarely made an attempt. A few years ago, on a river cruise in France, a fine artist held a workshop to teach amateurs like me the art of painting with watercolors. She took us through the process step by step. We all attempted to 'copy' a small painting via her instructions. Oh my, you should have seen the various results. There were a few that looked quite good. Mine appeared to have been done by a kindergartener. Truly!
I have often been overwhelmed with the desire to paint something I've seen that speaks volumes to me. A sunset. A praire scene. A lake or river scene. A mother and child. And more. I can't do that but I can describe a scene with words. My painting of the voice.
Maybe some of you writers are also painters but I am guessing that more writers are like me--unable to transfer thoughts to canvas as well as they put words on paper (or a screen!). The poem below speaks to this topic. It's one I submitted to a state writer's contest several years ago. It placed second or third, I think.
Painting with oils,
watercolors brushed across canvas,
clay molded by loving hands,
marble chiseled to exquisite form
Artists ply their trade,
by the golden light of day
and velvet depths of night,
with passion and verve.
One more artist joins the rank.
The writer brushes words over paper,
molds a story bit by glittering bit,
chisels a novel to survive the ages.
The writer gathers life’s stories
from country roads to city streets,
written from the depths of a heart
bursting with intensity and rapture.
Artists all, masters of creation,
be they painters, sculptors or writers,
leaving footprints on canvas, marble and paper--
heartfelt tributes embraced by mankind.
--Nancy Julien Kopp