Learning to Write & Learning to Paint Stem from Learning to Be in the Moment


Learning to actually SEE is vital to becoming an artist  and a writer. Actual SEEING is complex and requires more than opening your eyes and fixing on something. That is the way that a dog or a cat looks. Seeing is much more. In order to see, we must recognize the spirit of a thing, as well as its physical characteristics. When we see, we capture the essence of the subject.  As authentic artists and writers, we must be able to actually SEE, and much of that involves learning to BE in the moment about which we wish to create.

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth. – Pablo Picasso

In our efforts to survive in the 21st Century, most of us have become inundated with text messaging, social media, television, surfing of the net, videos, music, whipping in and out of traffic, multitasking, etc.; and it is very, very difficult to keep ourselves focused on anything than the perphery of things. If we do not truly SEE something and FEEL about that something, we cannot possibly have anything authentic to say about it. The best that we can possibly do otherwise is to merely offer something hackneyed and or something that someone else has said or done before.

Nature never deceives us; it is we who deceive ourselves. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Having a background in visual art helps me to See better as a writer, and it helps me to describe what I am seeing. When I begin to write, I close my eyes and I concentrate on something about which I want to write. When I see the thing, in my mind’s eye, I merely write the words that describe what my mind sees. This is a very visual kind of seeing–a physical thing. After that, I begin to mine what I have seen, seeking something deeper–something more spiritual, too.

You can put your mind in order by focusing on one thing at a time, doing it well, and appreciating the opportunity that this doing offers. – Anonymous 

A few days ago, I shared some poems that I had written from the Present Perspective of BEING in the Moment. I wrote all of those poems after I saw them in my mind. See those poems Here.

When a person is able to create from a place that is deep within himself, he has reached a space that, in the Eastern culture, is called the Soul.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, said the following in the book Handbook for the Soul: “I think that whenever soul is present. . . .You are totally absorbed in the place or person or event, without ego and without judgment.  You are in what the Greeks call kairos.  When you are in kairos time, you are totally absorbed in what you are doing; you lose track of time. . . .Time is not measured.  You are participating in time as you make a connection through the deeper, creative parts  of yourself.  And the connection nourishes the soul, always.:” (p. 5.

Multi-tasking and other half-hearted mindsets are not conducive to one’s creating from the moment.

“Forget multitasking, find the beauty in doing one thing at a time.” – Anonymous

“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” – Anonymous

The arts demand all of us, but when something of merit evolves from one’s ability to focus, we realize that the attention required to get into the moment was worthwhile.

©Jacki Kellum January 4, 2016



4 thoughts on “Learning to Write & Learning to Paint Stem from Learning to Be in the Moment

  1. Your advice comes from experience, feeling and thinking deeply. Very helpful. I started to draw in order to see better, to open my eyes more. Although I dislike the present tense as a trend in historical novels, I like fictional diaries, which must use a lot of present tense, real present, not “historic.” Am trying to bring a dead friend to life in this way. Just an idea to bounce off fellow bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would love to draw and paint better. I know that practice will make me draw clearer lines. Thanks for your advice. Seeing will help with the shading and bringing that energy/feeling into a work that simple practice and technique can’t 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish it was! To instinctively know which lines to draw, and for those lines to look on paper like it did in my head. Wish I could just photocopy images out of my brain. Oh, well, shortcuts aren’t always the most enlightening:)

        Liked by 1 person

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