“You who write, choose a subject that’s matched by
Your powers, consider deeply what your shoulders
Can and cannot bear.”-Horace, Ars Poetica
Among the first known treatises on poetry, Horace’s Ars Poetica is translated as “On the Art of Poetry” or “The Art of Poetry.” Written between 20 B.C.E. and 13 B.C.E., the poem explores the principles of poetry: knowledge, etiquette, and integrity. Horace advises young poets to become voracious readers, aim for precision in language, and to search for honest criticism. While the conversations of Ars Poetica have changed from the pedagogical to a more inward-looking contemplation of a poet’s unique writing, Horace’s work continues to be an archetype.
Influenced by Horace’s Ars Poetica, Hue is a full-length creative manuscript that has allowed me, the ekphrastic artist, to choose colors that are matched by my ability, while considering greatly what my entire being can and cannot tolerate. Throughout the full-length creative manuscript, I have examined myself as the subject, had conversations with writing and color, and developed a process for creating.
Hue was created over a two-year period as a result of course discussions, in class writing exercises, end of semester projects, and the Summer Writing Program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. The full-length creative manuscript was my attempt to cultivate a profound relationship with the self and the phenomenological structures of color. I also cultivated a profound relationship with professors, colleagues, family, and friends.
Hue was also a risk by way of form and content. The full-length creative manuscript expands upon traditional conceptions of ekphrasis, by threading together my entire being throughout the narrative lenses of poetry, prose, definitions, and visual artworks. Supporting my reveal in writing was the presence of numerous source materials: Letters to a Young Poet (Rainer Maria Rilke), Ars Poetica (Horace), “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Charlotte Perkins Gilman), Bluets (Maggie Nelson), and Autobiography of a Face (Lucy Grealy), amongst others. The full-length creative manuscript features letters in conversation with these authors, and visual artist, Ai Weiwei. The confessional content of the full-length creative manuscript also peels away my ability to hide behind writing and visual artworks. As a full-time graduate student at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, I had to reserve the weekends for writing, painting, drawing, photography, and assembling of the three-dimensional artworks. During those weekend sessions, I opened the space of my apartment to create at an authentic level of awareness. Sitting down on the wooden floor in the living room for a period of eight to ten hours, I created paintings, drawings, and photographs as a result of having been in conversation with a particular hue(s) during the proceeding five days. Standing up at the kitchen counter in two to five minute increments, I also created the sticks, clumps of luminous thread, and birch tree slabs as a result of having been in conversation with a coagulation of hues during the proceeding five days. Supporting my reveal in visual artworks was the presence of music: Coldplay (Blue Room EP, Parachutes, A Rush of Blood To The Head, X & Y, and Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends), Radiohead (OK Computer, Kid A, and In Rainbows), Miles Davis (Kind of Blue), and George Gershwin (“Rhapsody in Blue”). There were also specific areas of study: anatomy, mental, emotional, and physical disorders, terminal diseases, holistic health and healing, mythology, epic and blackout poetry, epistolary writing, astronomy, astrology, eastern philosophy, Modernism, Abstract Expressionism, Joan Mitchell, Francis Bacon, Ai Weiwei, and color, amongst others. The approaches to form, content, and specific areas of study involved few constraints, mostly time and attention to genuine expression.
Nederland, Colorado, ca. 2014.
Nederland, Colorado, ca. 2014.