Monday, April 5, 2010

D is for Da Vinci

When MJ and I were on vacation in FL, we also went to the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa.  In the Da Vinci exhibit, there was a quote of his that stopped me in my tracks:


Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Cheerful sentiment, huh? And yet, I agree. There's always something more you can do.  I have revised the early chapters of Shards half-a-dozen times or more, and yet there's always something new I can tighten, cut or re-word. There's always something new I've learned, a technique I've improved upon, that can be applied to what I've written before.

But there's also nothing wrong with abandoning your art, when it's time. It is never going to be perfect. So stop when it's beautiful and good and honest. Abandon it -- because that's the only way to share it.

13 comments:

Jen said...

That's such a beautiful way to look at it, sometimes a piece is meant to be broken and "unfinished" however when you know it's complete it's best to stop and keep it as beautiful as it can be rather than making it into something it's not!!

Yay for D!

Summer said...

So true. I know with paintings I've done in the past, it was hard to watch them get carried away after being purchased without going "Wait! Let me grab my brush and fix that spot!"

Writing is just as bad.

Leo called it! He's the man that way.

melodygreen said...

Very true... at least with writing, my chosen art. It is so hard to know when to stop revising and just let a piece stand as it is. I love the idea of art "resting".

Kittie Howard said...

I think the real beauty is in knowing when to let go ... I echo Summer's comment that a part always wants to say Wait and fix a spot because nothing is ever truly perfect but realizing that what's done is also done.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Kind of a spin on the whole if you love it, let it go saying...great advice. Sometimes I can love something do death...especially my writing.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Most interesting to read.
Loved the blog such a pleasure.

Yvonne,

Shelley Sly said...

Nice quote. I like that way of looking at writing. I'm always combing through my books and changing things left and right. But you have a point -- abandoning writing is the only way to share it. Great post!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love that quote. Da Vinci was a pretty smart guy- I got to see an exhibit on him last time I was in Venice.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Awwww, so true! Well said, Guinevere. Great post! :-)

disobedientwriter said...

So true. It's tough to call when it's the right time to abandon a project, but you do have to do it consciously. Otherwise, it's too easy to avoid publication forever. I agree with Kittie - beauty lies in this decision.

Nice post.

Guinevere said...

Jen, that made me think of the Avril Lavigne song "Beautifully Broken". lol.

Summer, I didn't know you painted! I am so jealous... I'm not very artistic. Da Vinci also said that painting is a higher skill than music and music a higher skill than poetry, but I don't think I'd prioritize those skill sets. :p

Melody, I love that idea too! What a beautiful thought.

Guinevere said...

Kittie, I like your idea that there's beauty in knowing when to let go!

Raquel, I'm the same way. Sometimes it's easier for me to obsess over perfecting one piece when I really need to just move onto the next!

Thanks Yvonne, I'm glad you've visited! :)

Thanks Shelley! I do the same thing often, myself.

Guinevere said...

That's neat, Stephanie! I went to Venice in 2008, very cool place.

Thanks Shannon!

Disobediantwriter, I think you're on to something with the concept of conscious abandonment. I like that a lot.