Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dear Mrs. Ramsey,

First off, I would like to say that I think you are a fine woman.
Now that that's out of the way. Are you an artist? I often hear that people see you as a sort of artist with the fancy dinner parties you plan, and your way of placing people at the table, and finding the exact right meal to feed a group of people. They compare you to Lily Briscoe, who you know, actually is an artist. And, I'm not going to lie Mrs. Ramsey, I don't see it. I don't see how you are an artist. I mean it does take a certain "talent" to plan the perfect dinner party, but....an artist? An artist like Lily? Her talent is so much different than yours, I mean she's a painter, she creates this vivid thing that people can look at and touch and comprehend. And, yes, people can see your creations and touch and even eat it. But, it's so different with the two of you. I mean, does deciding where people sit and deciding what food for your cook to make count as art? Does it really even count as talent? I don't really know. And that's what I'm having trouble with. I'm sitting here trying to write and convince people that you are a true artist, when I don't even know if I believe it myself. Honestly, I don't really believe it...

Creating art... I think of a painting, a drawing, a sculpture. Not a dinner party. I mean I don't really even consider music as much of an art as I do the above. It is art, don't get me wrong, it really is, one of my favorite kinds. But.... I don't see it the same way as a painting or drawing. So, to consider a dinner party art is such a stretch for me.... especially compared to Lily. What do you think? Are your dinner parties art? Are they? Or is that a stretch of the word?
I don't know. Dictionary.com says art is "the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance," if this is what art is than I don't think what you do is art. Sorry.

But is this the true meaning of art? I guess art is so interpretive and so personal and different to everyone it's hard to judge whether what you do is art or not.
I mean to me the song is not art the guitar and drums and piano are all arts separately, but seeing the song as art, I don't. No. I mean I do, but if heard an incredible guitar solo or drum or piano solo, I would view those as a more art and the song lesser. And maybe that's wrong of me...maybe my perception of art is off...but...

And to some people writing is art. And although I believe this (I would hope I would being an english major and all..) I don't see it as an art like a painting. Am I wrong? I don't think I can be. Because isn't the point of art to be that everyone interprets it differently...? Yes.
So...back to my original question: Are you an artist? In my eyes, no. What you create is not interpreted in the same way as a painting/drawing/piece of writing/guitar solo. It's just not the same. Plain and simple. It's...not something that can be viewed differently in different minds. It's not something that can be interpreted or personal in the way the above are.
Do I think what you do takes talent? Yes. I do. Pleasing everyone, and putting the right food on the table at the perfect time, it takes talent. Now, if a wedding planner were to read this they would probably disagree with me. But, for now....I don't think so... Maybe someone can convince me other wise.

Artistically yours,
NicholleLee Robertson.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Nichollee,

    I have not yet read this book, so I am most likely ill prepared to offer a real discussion. I do, however, have some thoughts on art in its many forms. Like you, I find myself stretching my mind to the breaking point in attempting to classify being the hostess of a dinner party as an art of the same caliber as painting. Then again, having seen some rather uncomfortable and tense parties due to the inabilities of the hostess, I can begin to see the art of creation and manipulation inherent in planning a successful dinner party. As you say, art "can be viewed differently in different minds".

    I often wonder if the definition of art is tied up in the success of the work. For example, is a successful dinner party, one where guests move in and out of rooms and around each other talking and laughing smoothly, art while a child's painting with no real meaning or eye for color and line is not?

    Yours in Art,