Fiction and the art of making something real.
When I saw this painting in the pages of a magazine, I was transfixed. The artist is from Northern Ontario, and so am I, so maybe that's what I recognized. (Sudbury is a mining town; I used to collect rocks and crystals at gem and mineral shows when I was a kid.)
I tracked down the name of artist and found out where I could buy her work. Lucky for me, this crystal was made into a print that I could afford. I ordered it.
When I picked it up from the framers, I saw that they'd written "photograph" on my invoice. It's so realistic, they didn't even know it was a painting! Of course, that's why I love it so much.
I can stare at this print for a very long time, getting lost in the light and the contours. I allow myself to get lost in the realness of it. It is more enchanting to me than a photograph. Possibly even more enchanting to me than the actual crystal would be, if I held it in my hand.
It is the eye of Carly Waito, the artist, that makes this magical. She's painted something so realistic, it feels realer-than-real. It's her vision and experience that makes it so, and the way she's transferred it to the page snags my heart and makes me breathless.
This is also the art of fiction.
I am teaching two week-long writing sessions this spring, on the tiny peaceful island of Bequia. And this is what we're going to do there: we're going to get lost in the contours.
We're going to practice the art of deep noticing, and become transfixed together as we generate new work.
We're going to go deep, and write in a way that feels realer-than-real.
Please join me in Bequia! You can share rooms — go together with another writer or two — shared rooms makes the week more affordable.
Or you can go luxe, get a private room, and make this a retreat to remember. I really, really hope to see you there.
[Editor’s note: this post contains information, dates, and links which are no longer relevant. For current offerings, see here.]