August 8, 2010

I saw this painting a few weeks ago at the Guggenheim. I sat and looked at it for a long time. The image here doesn't do it justice. The colours in the background are so delicate, so finely blended, so, well, pretty. Everything about it is so deliberate; I wanted to know something of what it was trying to say.

I ended up coming home and reading a bit about Kandinsky. He was a pretty far-out dude with an elaborate and esoteric theory of art (involving music, Theosophy, synesthesia). And he had a special thing for triangles. The point of the triangle is the avant garde as it moves into tomorrow, and the artist is living at the tip. Lonely. That sounds about right.

The other thing I learned about Kandinsky is that he didn't begin painting until he was 30. Astounding!

Composition VIII

In other (less random?) news, I wrote this last week about how it felt to be waiting to hear back about my second draft:

I’m waiting to hear back from my agent about my manuscript. I’m not nervous or even excited. Which isn’t to say that if she tells me it’s all garbage I won’t be upset or discouraged. I feel like, no matter what, there is a lot of work ahead. Thinking about it is only going to depress or panic me, so I plan on not thinking about it at all --- just doing it when the time comes.

On Friday, I heard back from her, and I'm relieved to report that the changes I made at Yaddo seem to be working. (Phewf!) She thinks it is perhaps a touch too long (and I agree: the second draft went up to 350 pages), is probably just about ready to submit! I'm going to do one more edit before the first week of September. Right now it has a pacing problem that mirrors the writing process (beginning & middle: slow and steady; ending: rushed).

Now to try and tear myself away from these little poems I've been playing with. My obsessive tendencies mean that I can't really switch between projects with much fluidity. Once I'm back into the draft, that's it.


terki said...

Funny, I was at the Centre Pompidou last week, and one of my favourite paintings was also a Kandinsky. I didn't know much about him though, so it was cool to read about him here.

And that's great about your novel :)

saleema said...

Which painting was it? I find him fascinating. He doesn't make any art before the age of 30 and then does the first modern abstract painting...?!

terki said...

God, at 30 - that's INSANE. I didn't write down the name of the painting (doh), but I did take a picture of a detail:

(I kind of think it would look nice printed on a scarf... which is probably not the most intelligent comment to make about it :) )

P.S. I'm loving your poems!

Andrew M. said...

it's so exciting, seeing people i know talk about the work they're doing on their debut novels! i'm glad it's going well :)

saleema said...

@Andrew Thanks! (Eeeek...I write this just at the moment that I am determinedly NOT getting down to work. Still relishing these last few minutes of NOT being back at editing.) What are you working on right now?

@terki your trip photos are all amazing and making me die of jealousy! And thanks so much for the P.S.!

Andrew M. said...

nothing too fancy. a few articles / reviews, a story or two. certainly no second draft of a novel ;)