Art is Messy–dVerse Poetics

Chester Arnold in his Studio

Artist, Chester Arnold, in his Studio

This poem is about a problem–my problem. My office, writing space, is also my would-be art studio. And here’s the problem. I’m a perfectionist (borderline OCD?) and can’t write in a chaotic environment. I long to paint, but can’t endure the mess.

Today for dVerse Poetics, Grace prompts us to write to the amazing photographic display/art of Emily Blincoe. Her arrangements appeal to me for their organization, color, implied texture and pattern. In response, I share with you my (not-too-poetic) dilemma.

Art is Messy

I uncap each tube,
inhale deeply, feeling creativity
seep into my body
through the sense of smell.

Lay them out, then,
color wheel-like:
and all the shades

that canvas
tight, tight-tighter yet.
Sort brushes
by number.
Drop cloth, easel,
light source.


Uncap tube.
Inhale emptiness.

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your beautiful work.


Photo: Emily Blincoe



18 thoughts on “Art is Messy–dVerse Poetics

  1. Unique take on the citrus colors. I really enjoyed hearing your artist’s perspective. Lovely.


  2. lynn__ says:

    Cool take on citrus photo…like paint on a palette! But that painful emptiness can fill a sterile office as well as a chaotic one, I’m afraid 😉


  3. Mish says:

    Oh, I didn’t see that ending coming….pow.
    This brought back olfactory memories of my grandmother’s art supplies.


  4. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Ah yes, the negative space, emptiness, the blank page, canvas, or blackboard, & yet, it all begins with one color, one line, one word, as we kick our creativity into gear, I love the process. With drawing or painting, I have to see something concrete in my mind, but with words/poetics, often I can let a free form dictate itself.


  5. I like this. I’ve had a space like that, not chaotic with paints but with yarn, and all the little bits I thought I caught… No, they still blanket the carpet with colors and textures. Messy indeed.


  6. Miss Stacy says:

    i think creativity, as a whole, is messy. 🙂 that’s what makes us stand out lol


  7. Misky says:

    I love the process and progression that pulled me through this poem. Nicely written.


  8. Kathy Reed says:

    I can relate to the fruity photo as an art project, too. The colors are many and fit into the rainbow, yet when we get right down to it, the canvas is empty until we get started painting ( or writing)…we have to do the work from the idea and it’s not as easy as it seems.


  9. MarinaSofia says:

    Oh, Victoria, I am so with you on that one! I am also borderline OCD and since my study is the only space I can control in the house (with the children being anything but tidy), I faff around for ages before I can start on something substantial. Then again, perhaps it’s just procrastination and excuses.
    I love the way you describe that meticulous preparation – and then that moment of inhaling nothingness.


  10. kim881 says:

    Victoria, I love this poem.


  11. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Oh Victoria 😀 this is absolutely stunning a rendition ❤️ I so adore the idea of “feeling creativity seep into my body through the sense of smell” and the image of inhaling emptiness is just divine ❤️

    Lots of love,


  12. Oh that dilemma… we crave the order and yet we only see emptiness in the end… sometimes in the arrangements I will only see the background…


  13. rosemawrites says:

    oooh. the last line is sooo beautiful and calming and soothing. it’s like a beautiful period to such a lovely poem!


  14. kanzensakura says:

    Par excellent poem. Love your dilemna. LOVE the last line…inhale emptiness. Splendidly Zen. I can smell the paint and the turpentine in this.


  15. I think you summed up the creative dilemma well!


  16. Grace says:

    I love how you started out…first by being orderly, and then that punch line:

    Uncap tube.
    Inhale emptiness.

    I agree with you on art being messy but its fun too ~


  17. Sabiscuit says:

    That’s a lot of citrus. I love the arrangement and the poem. xo


  18. whimsygizmo says:

    OH! I love that last line! So much. “Inhale emptiness.” WOW. I feel this way about the page, too, sometimes.


Your comment and feedback are important to me. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s