Yesterday I saw the Matisse (and others) exhibit at the VAG. It's from the Cone Sisters' collection in Baltimore. There were paintings and small bronzes, a few sketches and drawings and a lot of inspiration. Colour, texture, fun, joy, characters, nature. All these elements ought to be found in writing too. Can you feel the material, smell those flowers, taste that fruit? How does the cool water feel on your ankles as you step into that clear, yet dark pool ... ? Oh, wait a minute it's not a pool, it's a painting of a pool. But see how it shimmers? When you read a story do you feel that you are part of it? Can you smell the dinner cooking or feel the water as you wade into the sea? Are you walking or sitting or talking with the characters? When you write a story do you think others will feel as if they have stepped into the pages, into the story? If not, what's missing? What could you change or add that would make the story come alive?
I walked in the Van Dusen Gardens today. The lily ponds were like something Monet would paint. The gardens are crowded with wild flowers and 'tame' flowers, all colours mixed together, vibrant and fragrant. Fragile dragon flies, gossamer winged, flitted everywhere, but especially around the lily pads. Their slender red, blue and green bodies briefly hovered over open blooms then, sped away.
The splash of the fountain, the call of a bird, voices just around the corner chatting excitedly in a language I don't understand. Ah yes, it's tourist season.
I tuck it all away. It might come in useful one day. And if not, I still had two wonderful, summer days.