10/29/2009

Thursday



















What story to tell and how to tell it.

I have had this little graphic for twenty years and it really holds true, doesn't it?
It fits what I have had on my mind for some time. Telling pieces of our story - Jim's and mine -
so that our family would know more about us - when we were young. It may tell them something about who they are too. Now that I am talking about it, maybe it will begin to happen.

Yesterday I read a blog about telling a story in a sort of dis-jointed time. Up a few years and then back five - like movie flash backs. I like the idea. Not sure yet how it would fit with what I am doing - but I like it. Last May when I told the Scherazade frame story - how she got into the mess of having to tell a story every night to save her life - I started in the middle. I did it because of time constraints but the more I tell it like that the more I like it.

Today I played hookey from my ever present to-do list and read a book. I am intrigued by Painting Below Zero, a new bio-memoir by painter James Rosenquist. The storytelling style is direct, conversational, and very down to earth. He says it like it is/was. He came to NYC from the flat lands of the Mid-West and he earned his way to NYC and then survived by working as a commercial sign painter. Real life not some idealized life of an artist.

Jim and I were living in Brooklyn in the mid 1950s at the same time that James Rosenquist was there - a young man, striving to find his way as an artist and earning his bread painting mammorth billboards all over Brooklyn and New York City. We
probably saw some of his work that decorated the buildings and trucks and roads of our world then. His memories of the time help me to recapture my memories of the same years.

But even more I am enjoying the down-to-earth way he talks about learning his craft as a painter - no mysteries, no muses - working at it.

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