How’d you come up with that!?!

“To believe that you can achieve meaning or feeling without coherent, integrated patterning of the sounds, the rhythms, the sentence structures, the images, is like believing you can go for a walk without bones.” Ursula Le Guin

Of the notion that stories come from ideas, “The more I think about the word “idea,” the less idea I have what it means,” Le Guin wrote. “I think this is a kind of shorthand use of “idea” to stand for the complicated, obscure, un-understood process of the conception and formation of what is going to be a story when it gets written down.” Le Guin felt that the writing process may not even involve intelligible thoughts or words; but rather a mood, a resonance, a mental glimpse, or voices, emotions, visions or dreams. Can those things be described as ideas? In painting, I am guilty of leaning on the place-holder word, “vibe” – an inspiration that turns into a compulsion to make material a feeling — in the form of an aesthetic experience.

This Painters’ Keys article applies to writers and visual artists, outlining a set of requirements to develop a work. Sara Genn offers an exercise to develop an idea or vibe.

64 But Is It Art? Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36″, Yvonne Callaway


  1. Yes…I do believe it is art. To me, ‘art’ is like beauty…in the eye if the beholder.Sent from Samsung tablet


  2. Ohh, this article made me pause – lots to think about here. Makes me want to paint and write and work to get it right.


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