Hello hello from Collioures, France, birthplace of the Fauve art movement. It's a beautiful little town and I'm writing to you from a table that looks out on the Mediterranean Sea. Not a badlife if I say so myself!
Yesterday we went on a walking tour with a local art historian named Anne Carrere and we learned a lot about Fauve painters like Henri Matisse. It's no wonder Matisse spent several summers in the early 20th century in this town -- the light is beautiful, the buildings are pinkish orange and the sea is blue blue. Everywhere I look, I see scenery that should be -- and has been -- the subject of a painting.
During yesterday's tour, Anne said some things about painting and art that really got me thinking. She says art is not meant to be beautiful; instead, for her, art is "like a flashlight -- it's meant to be an opening." She told us that when she worked in a museum, hanging exhibits, it was often the paintings which at first gave her a stomach ache that she ended up most appreciating. That made me wonder about writing, too -- how what's important is finding a way to create a similar opening for readers. Even if our material sometimes makes people uncomfortable....
Now before I leave you and go for breakfast, I also wanted to tell you about something Anne told us Matisse once said: "Le Fauvisme c'est l'enfance retrouvée de la peinture." Which basically means that for him, Fauvism involved reconnecting with childhood. Ah ha!! Yes, yes!! That's what we writers need to do, too -- reconnect with the intensity of our childhoods, when everything was new and fresh and we were seeing it for the first time. Of course, it's a message that's especially appealing to those of us whose writing is aimed at the YA (young adult) audience.
Okay, wherever you are, have a good day. If you're a young person, enjoy that intensity I'm talking about. And whatever your age, WRITE IT ALL DOWN!!!
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