Writing Wins (Adam’s Show)

 Adam Caldwell paintingOn Saturday, I went to my friend Adam’s art opening. His paintings were amazing, of course. And it’s always fun to go to see them hanging in a gallery, looking really official and arty, while hipster art students and awkward, nerdy art bloggers mill around, try to get a word or a photo with the artist, gush over his work. 

I have a lot of writer friends, but just this one artist friend (I have other artist friends who are Adam’s friends that I met through him, and an artist mom). I love doing work at his art studio, watching him paint, feeling like a real artsy-artist surrounded by canvases and brushes and easels and globs of oil paint. 

Sometimes we argue about what is harder, being a writer or a painter. Obviously writing is harder, more grueling and less rewarding due to the following reasons that I have kindly listed below. 

  • A painting never requires you to to go research the history of, say, nineteenth century Russian prisons. 
  • Painters don’t have to invent imaginary yet realistic people in their minds. 
  • 20150613_212352_resizedA painting takes about a week to paint. Maybe a small, simple painting takes a day. A complex painting might take month. Writing a novel takes years, unless you’re Stephen King, in which case, a) you write a book in six months, then take a break for six weeks during which time you write a fucking novella, b) fuck you anyway and c) thanks for writing Carrie and that awesome book about writing. 
  • When Adam is done with a painting, he takes a photograph and posts it on Instagram. Four hundred people click “like” in fifteen minutes.  
  • It doesn’t take three weeks to look at a painting. Your friends don’t have to carry it around with them to enjoy it. 
  • You can paint and listen to NPR at the same time. 
  • No attractive hipsters ever come to your writing opening.  

Here are a few reasons painting is harder, though: 

  • You can’t do it in a coffee shop. 
  • You have to buy paint and stuff. 
  • If you paint a portrait, the person’s two eyes have to look the same. 
  • If there are bricks, you have to paint all the bricks. 

I am pretty sure that is all the reasons. Clearly, writing is harder. That’s okay. Art isn’t a contest of who does the most work. If it was a contest, though, writing would win. Also I would like to point out that I am not jealous of all those Instagram likes, not at all. 

painting of dancers

Adam’s show is currently on display at White Walls Gallery SF.  You can go like all his paintings on Instagram

2 thoughts on “Writing Wins (Adam’s Show)

  1. good points, I’d never thought it that way. I hope none of this keeps you from writing more 🙂
    I wonder, isn’t “harder” a measure of one’s own strengths and weaknesses? Also, Adam’s recent comment “Paint is an alchemical substance…” suggests one of the material difficulties of painting. In my own dabblings with painting, (dabblings, I assure you) learning the nature and syntax of the medium is like learning a new language. so you’ve got to be fluent to make notable work.
    keep writing, Karin. go harder! 😉


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