Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beauty and Light

Vie Dunn Harr, artist, stands by one of her favorite works in her studio.

Over the past couple of days, I'd been feeling a bit blue. I had read a disturbing book where the first scene described a man who had been killed and was found clutching various anatomy parts in his hand and ended in middle-aged politicians engaged in a gang-banging ring. Luckily, I had ordered some books from half.com and two had come in. I dove into one, eager to forget graphic murders, betrayal and gang-banging.

Well, the book decided to take things a different direction. The second chapter killed off the woman's husband, in the third she was raped and the fourth discovered she was carrying her rapist's baby and she tried to throw herself down the stairs. Normally, I finish everything I read, no matter how weird or disturbing it is just because I have to know what happens. Not this book. I quietly put it away in the corner, not wanting to look at it.

Being the Blonde Duck in her Pink Bubble, I don't deal with darkness well. I don't like reading about tragedy and violence in women's fiction or romance stories. If I wanted to read violence, I'd pick up a novel off the fiction list. Perhaps I'm not normal in my rejection of darkness and sorrow. I know it exists, and I know it's healthy to exist. Light and darkness have to have a balance. However, it seems that most people tend to focus on the dark and negative things in life rather than the positive.

In my writing, there is a hint of negativity in the form of betrayal, lying or conflict, such as two people fighting. However, no one is ever killed, raped or violently beaten. When I first started writing, I tried to tap into all the dark and "real" stuff people say you're supposed to explore. I couldn't do it. I'm too much of a happy person to write about that, and I don't necessarily think I should. I think there's enough people out there to do it for me. Over the past few days while I've struggled to exorcise the darkness from my head, I realized my goal is to write happy stories for both women and children. I want to write fairy tales for adults and young adults to relate to. I want to show girls discovering themselves, women revealing in their strengths with or without a prince and small towns with hilarious personalities. I want my characters to be wild and zany, while touching and heartwarming.

Luckily, my fog was lifted when I met Vie Dunn Harr today. I interviewed her for work and went over to her house to take pictures. The second I met her, I knew that I was welcome. When a person meets another person, their consciences are the ones really doing the talking. Some times, you meet a person that you automatically connect to, and I felt that I connected to her. We understood each other. We talked in her studio for 2 and a half hours, and I admired her beautiful oil paintings. She's a smart and vibrant woman, and shares my strong creative strength. It's so nice for someone to understand your drive and need for your passion that so many un-creative people don't understand. You feel validated, like, "Ok, I'm not crazy for getting up at 4:30 just to write 5 pages!" We talked about husbands, art, people and everything in between. Even when I left, I felt there was much more to say.

The best part about Vie is her energy and positivity for life. She told me that an art critic in Germany once told her that she had to incorporate darkness into her paintings or it wasn't real. She told him that it was real and that there were enough people painting darkness in the world. When he said that there would never be a place for her work, she said that she would create one.
How can you not be impressed by that?

Vie paints beautiful portraits of flowers and abstracts. They are full of color and rich in exquisite technique and form. Just to look at them fills you with awe and appreciation for the beauty and nature around us. I don't care what the critics say--I agree with Vie. Life is about beauty and life, and too short to focus on the dark around us. After all, what is more beautiful than a delicate lily or iris in stunning colors? Nothing!

To see Vie's work, visit http://www.viedunn-harr.com/. It's absolutely gorgeous!