Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 24 Best Laid Plan

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Today, I skipped one since I didn’t get yesterday’s done yet – so today’s PoMoSco prompt is the Best Laid Plan. I chose to do a poem from the Toledo Museum of Art’s member magazine, arTMAtters. It was taken from an article on Werner Pfeiffer, and I omitted anything that had to do with art or creativity…which would leave us with a pretty grim world, huh? Here is my poem, “The Possibilities of Harsh Realities.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 24 prompt, Best Laid Plan:

Approach a text with a plan to remove something. Think beyond just a single word and instead consider removing references to a subject or emotion, actions taken by certain characters, colors, etc.

Whatever you choose, apply your approach and, keeping as much of the remaining text intact as possible, create your poem from results.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 24. 24 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! As many know if they read this blog,  have checked out my “About” page, or have followed me since early on – I’m an artist and an art lover. Art has been on my mind a lot in the past few weeks as I’ve been getting paintings and drawings ready for my stint as “Artist of the Month” at Downtown Latte Coffeehouse here in Toledo, and last week I began teaching painting classes at Michaels.

In addition, I’ve always loved going to art galleries or to the art museums, taking my daybook and writing to art – whether it be to a two dimensional painting or a sculpture. I had been doing this for years before I found the proper name for this type of writing: Ekphrastic.  It’s a hard word to pronounce in a hurry, but it’s a word that you should become familiar with.

I couldn’t write about Ekphrastic poetry without mentioning that my favorite poet, Frank O’Hara wrote many poems inspired by art (after all he was called “Poet Among Painters” and was friends with Jasper Johns, Grace Hartigan, Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, among many, many others), as well as prose. Here is a link to his poem “On Seeing Larry River’s Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Museum of Modern Art.

It should be no surprise that I’ve written many ekphrastic poems over the years; two of those poems were really successful earlier this year. One, “Party Stiff” won an honorable mention at Toledo Museum of Art’s Annual Ekphrastic Competition in May 2013. It was written to the permanent installation, The Party, by Marisol Escobar. The other, inspired by seeing Vincent van Gogh’s painting Bedroom in Arles at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, “The Art of Seeing Value” appeared on New Verse News in early June, and was later explored by Great Writers Steal a few weeks later.

I’m always encouraging my students to try an Ekphrastic poem or a writing. I feel it’s a worthy endeavor (especially for those that don’t take the time to visit an art museum or art gallery on their own!) and can bring such wonderful results. And why wouldn’t it – when you’re putting your best observation skills to work for you…imagery inspired by an image…what could be better? Here’s your fifteenth prompt:

“Writing Art with Heart”

1) It’s ideal to go to an art museum or an art gallery with your daybook, walk through and find the painting or sculpture that you really respond to. That response does not necessarily have to be a positive response, as sometimes a negative  response can bring out some really intense writing, or at least writing that you didn’t expect.

2) Along with the response that you write, make a list of what you see in the painting/sculpture – such as colors, realism/contemporary; what’s the medium? Don’t forget to write the title, the artist’s name, and any other pertinent information about your chosen piece down somewhere – as once you leave the gallery/museum these will become really important – especially as you polish your piece for possible publication!

3) If you don’t have a chance to go to an art museum or an art gallery (although I highly recommend it), you can always use the internet to pull up paintings from different galleries/museums from around the world, or check out a good library book that’s full of art. Another idea is to get postcards of art – they can come in handy too when you don’t have a chance to get away for that museum visit.

4) Once you’ve got your info written in your daybook on your visual piece of choice – freewrite on it for 10 minutes or until you run out of steam. Then as always revise, revise, and then revise again to get your poem or prose piece as lively as it can be.

As with the other prompts, I believe you will find that this works well with whatever genre you choose!

As with all writing, writing about Art should be fun! And I remind you that if you ever want to share any successes or attempts that you get from these prompts, don’t hesitate to let me know. You can contact me here.

Look for another prompt next Wednesday! Until then, keep writing!


Visual Art Immersion

June was when I last posted on my blog. I feel bad about that, because I’d intended on posting a blog a week once I started; however, the purpose for starting this blog was to find my way back to my passion for the visual arts and to sustain it this time.I’ve accomplished much of that goal this summer, and for that I have no apologies. I started out by being inspired by a quote I found by Georgia O’Keefe. From there, I read a book of her letters, Lovingly, Georgia, and then a book about her: How Georgia Became O’Keefe by Karen Karbo, and found them both inspirational. My friend, Glenn , and I went to all of the Art Walks this summer in downtown Toledo, Ohio. We attended Art in the Park in Plymouth, Michigan, and the huge Ann Arbor Street Fair which was a show that I’d helped prepare art for when I worked in the studio of F. B. Fogg, back when my dear friend, Ann Johnson owned it, but had never had the chance to attend. I also dragged Glenn (who at one point said he’d been “art-ed out!”) to the Cleveland Museum of Art where we saw a great exhibit, Youth and Beauty, to the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor, and then this past weekend we went to one of my favorite places of all time: The Art Institute of Chicago. I got to see Hopper’s Nighthawks, which is a favorite, and not always there since it goes out on loan. In college, during one of my drawing classes, the professor told me that my style reminded him of Hopper, and I’ve never forgotten that (no, that’s not why I’m attracted to his work, but it doesn’t hurt). In addition, I found that there’s an entire gallery devoted to Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz, and then there’s van Gogh, who I’ve loved since I first saw his work when I was in high school. I was also happy to see the special exhibit, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, before it closes on September 3rd.  If all that weren’t enough, I’ve had a wonderful correspondence the past few weeks with Ann, who has been so inspirational to me since she was my art teacher in high school – and again, she’s given me so many words of wisdom and encouragement. Nevertheless, all of this art immersion wouldn’t have the same impact if I actually didn’t do art myself. And I’m happy to report that things are starting to happen – I’m actually starting to be productive in the visual arts again. I’ve taken part in the Toledo Museum of Art‘s Doodle! where they actually put my doodle up as one of the featured Doodles! of the week. Some of my art is on exhibit at Way Library in Perrysburg, Ohio, through September 20th – with some new pieces in it. And, here’s a couple of other drawings I’ve completed – so far:

A drawing I made for a friend

The drawings are both done in soft pastel. I plan to utilize more pastels in my work, but I’m also anxious to get back to some oil painting. School starts for me next week, so I’m hoping to not only be more faithful to my blogging, but to keep up my productive trend with my visual art, and to continue, as always, with my poetry – as I keep up with all of my classes that I teach so that I can keep doing what I’m doing.