Work of Art

by Patricia Hope

Statue, photo by Marcus Ganahl
Photo by Marcus Ganahl@Unsplash

Stone is not flesh and bone, but can it portray emotion? Even the artist’s devotion to the notion of capturing perfection is the erection of impossibility. Often a hint of beauty is carved, painted, or captured in a writer's words. Sometimes, a sculptor can attain the curves and valleys of a woman’s body, the plain skin covering her belly and hips, the hardness of thighs topping long legs that can stride through life bending to all its purposes. Sometimes, the high cheekbones alone are form, then add the windblown hair, the dark brown or fair skin, those sumptuous eyes, the fullness of lips looking like they could drip honey or sip lavender tea, small ears perfect extensions of an angelic face, yet for all the artist can mold from clay or stone, from paints and pastels, from words, without passion, the piece has failed because we as human beings must look at the work and feel the vulnerability of time and space that grabs us by the heart and makes it seem as if we are in the work, caught in its aura of sorrow or left to wonder what the painter had in mind for us.

For flesh and bone are not stone nor are we drones that the performer can play with our emotions so readily or risk our respect on the carving of clay or a stroke of color on canvas, let alone the pen’s push across the blank slate of fate.

Patricia Hope

Patricia Hope’s award-winning writing has appeared in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Guideposts’ Blessings in Disguise, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Southern Writers, The Writer, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Agape Review, Pigeon Parade Quarterly, The Mildred Haun Review, Blue Ridge Country, Mature Living, The Gargoylicon, Upper Room, Home Life, The Tennessee Conservationist, Liquid Imagination, American Diversity Report,and many newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. She has edited two poetry anthologies and published two novels, including Lonely Way Back Home (2017). She lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.




2024-Jun-01 19:28

This piece strikes me as an impressive reminder of how art may move us, connect us, and push us in new directions. At the same time, Patricia also reminds me that indeed, we are capable of the uncommon, and that sometimes we need to experience the art of others to help us remember.

Trilety Wade
2024-Jun-02 03:19

I absolutely love how this piece feels in my mouth.