Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #56

You can see it but you can’t say it.

The first project in my writing class is “Describe a thing: write about some small object using no names of any kind. Bring it to class and keep it hidden while you read your description. See if anyone can guess what it is.”

Sounds simple; it isn’t. After much struggle and guesswork the object is exposed and everyone says, “Oh...of course!”

Crafting a page of words to visualize a common object is difficult. Saying why something is good or not so good as art is hopeless.

Previous: Paint, don’t think.

Next: The only thing that makes a work of art good is the work of art.

Table of Contents