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    dots Submission Name: Polishdots

    Author: saartha
    ASL Info:    27/F/US
    Elite Ratio:    4.03 - 230/389/136
    Words: 692
    Class/Type: Prose/Misc
    Total Views: 964
    Average Vote:    No vote yet.
    Bytes: 3689

       Done for a character prompt: 'This character has an embarrassing personal problem. All other details are up to you.'

    If art isn't an embarrassing personal problem, I don't know what is.

    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.


    My mornings are made up of soft scraping noises.

    Each night I think, tomorrow I will be a bear. Or, tomorrow I will be a heart. Or, tomorrow I will be a manís face.

    Today I am a blinking eye, or maybe ten eyes in various stages of blinking. The colors are pink, blue, and white. Multiple colors makes it more difficult, but also more satisfying.

    Art is not a shameful thing, my parents tell me, but it is a childish thing. You can grow out of being a child, but you can never grow out of shame.

    But things are only childish if you approach them as a child. When I scrape too deep, I use micropipettes to fill in the gaps and hold my hand very still until the color dries again. A child cannot do that. I suppose that makes this shameful.

    I made the scrapers from needles, melted the tips together and filed them sharp and thin. They have a wall in my room, sorted by shape and size. The very first one I made, poor misshapen thing that it was, hangs in a special place apart from the rest. It was almost unusable. The uneven edges put deep scratches through the color and into the whitish surface of my nails if I wasnít careful. Still, it was the first to prick my fingers and so like a first lover I keep hold of its memories fondly.

    Sometimes the art doesnít come out so well. I tried to etch wind, and people thought it was cat-clawings or marks on a blackboard. Fear was worse, sound impossible. Abstract nouns, it seems, do not reveal themselves so easily. I still try.

    Shading is also hard, but more attainable. It just requires more layers, more time, better planning. One of the pieces I am most proud of was light coming through leaves. Two shades of yellow, white, green, black, three shades of gray, light brown. I etched it on a Saturday, and it took eight painstaking hours.

    I didnít have that kind of time today, so the eyes are flat and uninterested, without the flashing intelligence that eyes sometimes have. Maybe they are eyes going to sleep, instead of eyes blinking. Maybe they are the eyes of teachers and bosses and parents, instead of the eyes of Gandhi.

    An art teacher told me in high school that I should try painting, or sculpting, or any other form of real art. I told her I am already doing those things and she gave a painful little grimace and said that real art can be displayed and critiqued (and I thought, are you not doing that right now? But I was silent). I could even, she said, keep this same technique and just put it on a backing of wood or porcelain. My canvases could be bigger and I wouldnít have to finish the pieces in a single morning, I could spread out the work over months if I wanted.

    And I said yes, yes, I will think about it, thank you. My nails are a part of me and so my art is a part of me, and though how I feel changes each day you want me to put it on some alien surface and spread my feelings thin over days and weeks, like a teaspoon of jam over a yearís worth of toast. Yes, that is a wonderful idea, thank you so much.

    I do not take pictures of them and I canít put my fingers in art galleries, if any would even take them, but I do not regret this. No one goes to art galleries anymore, and certainly not every day. One day is not long enough to know a person. One day is nothing at all, just a phase in a transition in an overall evolution of self.

    Each evening I dip my fingers in acetone and am washed clean. In the morning I am something new. A gaping maw. Tears. A story.

    Submitted on 2008-10-04 21:54:43     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      i've read this several times, but have failed to comment for various reasons: sheer laziness, an "eh, what can i say, really?" attitude, and the idea that this piece is one that can be read differently each time, imparting various angles on subsequent readings.

    your overall motif of art, spoken from that viewpoint/persona is a fresh take, one that gives a lot of scope for discovery, internalisation, ideas asserted onto a page.

    i feel there is a sense of fighting against the tides, but said in a resigned way, which reaches through implicitly.

    "Art is not a shameful thing, my parents tell me, but it is a childish thing. You can grow out of being a child, but you can never grow out of shame."

    a moot-point which is intelligently portrayed, neither a positive or negative assertion, but one that just is. for what can one do against the face of adversity, especially if it is family? i'm sure many people throughout the ages have struggled with this passion, in relation to their parents' wishes that they would take up something more... constructive, more solidly based in materialism and all that that entails. art is not a product in its purest sense (of why it was created in the first place) but financial security to the artist makes it so this can't be (if one were to earn their bread exclusively upon this).

    and therein lies that crux: conflict over spiritual and material desire. at least, that's what i've slowly thought over the years.

    just a tiny critique: some of your sentences could be punctuated differently, i think. for example:
    "Still, it was the first to prick my fingers(,) and so(,) like a first lover(,) I keep hold of its memories fondly."
    obviously, something is needed to break this sentence up into more manageable sound-bytes, and to keep the ideas separated. your own style of writing will reflect how you want this done, though, again, obviously so.

    the other part was:
    "My nails are a part of me and so my art is a part of me, (and though how I feel changes each day you want me to put it on some alien surface and spread my feelings thin over days and weeks,) like a teaspoon of jam over a yearís worth of toast."
    the part in brackets is too much of a run-on sentence to me. i really feel this needs a syntax rearrangement of some sort. how, that's up to you, but the language is sort of muddled here.

    anyway, just thought i'd throw out a few measly ideas on how to touch this up. it's all cosmetic anyway. it all shines already.
    | Posted on 2008-12-17 00:00:00 | by meoww | [ Reply to This ]
    Well . . . there is very little to offer in terms of feedback. There was not any confusion understanding this piece, or what her art form was. One just has to pay attention to the write (oh, and the title, obviously). I like that it was Polish, and not specified as Nail Polish or something to that effect, because 'polish' seems to be a fitting word (of many) when it comes to art.

    Also, the beginning does not sound 'juvenile.' If anything, it is just another layer of what this process is like for many of us.

    I chose to comment on this tonight because it felt like the right time. After fighting like cats and dogs with my mother, who is a religious freak threatened by art, particularly literature (I brought home some books by Salman Rushdie and she's a bit of a Qur'an-thumper), I was drawn to this and just had to nod along. I understand that art is an embarrassment, but those moments are so minuscule and do not compare to the moments you feel like . . . it's your passion. It's what you were born to do and if you lose it (even for a couple of weeks), you are lost without it. Your personality changes, your relationships change, the way you view the world seems a little bit empty, or restless. I could rant about how some just don't understand, and how alone it feels, but that's not really the point of this write.

    It's an expression of passion above all else. The will to continue because there is no choice in the matter. And if there was, then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. It's the most freeing and beautiful feeling I have ever been lucky enough to feel.

    So, after all this directionless blabbering, I just want to say that you've restored a bit of my faith after it just got chewed up and spat at me. Art is mistaken for arrogance; literature is mistaken for disrespect; soul is mistaken for cage.

    Again and again.

    But not here.

    | Posted on 2008-12-17 00:00:00 | by O | [ Reply to This ]
      I disagree that the beginning sounds juvenile. It fits the piece.

    I do agree that the varied lines work really nicely. <3 it.

    (do you know someone who does this? it reminded me of this:

    Hm... I really don't have anything constructive to say. Usually I just skip over stuff like that, but this is delicious. It reminds me of Aimee Bender or someone else whose name I can't recall. It's beautiful.

    Hmm..... Maybe.... maybe, if I had to question something, I would question this:

    ..And I said yes, yes, I will think about it, thank you. My nails are a part of me and so my art is a part of me, and though how I feel changes each day you want me to put it on some alien surface and spread my feelings thin over days and weeks, like a teaspoon of jam over a yearís worth of toast. Yes, that is a wonderful idea, thank you so much.

    I love this idea, but something about this paragraph isn't sitting well with me. And perhaps it's just me. I don't know. I'm actually just making this up so you feel insecure and cry.


    Art is embarrassing. No doubt. Though my embarrassment is in a different form than your speaker. Lack of skill, etc

    Beautiful. Really.

    You have a very distinct way of writing, and it flows so well.

    | Posted on 2008-10-19 00:00:00 | by etheror | [ Reply to This ]
      Freaking amazing.

    I never thought of art as 'shameful'. Never have I thought such a thing, and never will I think it. Curiouser and curiouser this piece becomes by the second.

    Art is art. What isn't art is art. Even what's completely wrong winds up being art. If art is shameful, then I declare everything shameful.

    I declare.

    By the way, the ending was absolute genius.
    "Each evening I dip my fingers in acetone and am washed clean. In the morning I am something new. A gaping maw. Tears. A story. "

    I love short, broken sentences. They're such an effective tool in writing. They turn emotion into a few words, or maybe even one word.

    Words. Power beyond the stars.
    | Posted on 2008-10-08 00:00:00 | by AsiaticFox | [ Reply to This ]
      This is interesting, though mildly confusing. Of course, the confusion and uncertainty might have been intentional since I wasn't sure what this person (you?) were doing. I do enjoy the style of the piece-- it seems musing and thoughtful-- as though we are peering in on some girl's thoughts and 'haphazard' considerations about her particular form of art.
    I wanted to react by saying that 'art' is and can be anything. You create and you are designing a piece of artwork. Even the simple sleek design of a pen or the functional design of a chair is art by its own right. But who will critique and 'judge' it? People don't think very often about how art touches their lives, and the art form described in this piece has had more of an effect on people than it would have if it were placed on canvas or etched in wood. It's more unique and plastic- fleeting and always changing.
    My only real critique was that the very beginning came across as very juvenile in style, but having read and thought about the thing as a whole it seems suiting.
    I do like the creativity and thoughtfulness of this piece. Thank you for it and keep it up.
    | Posted on 2008-10-05 00:00:00 | by Ana_Mad | [ Reply to This ]

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