Carol Mavor is a writer, artist, art historian, and the author of five books. Before joining the panel at a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event titled “What Does Blue Mean?,” she chatted in the green room about notebooks, artichokes, and her next life as a novelist.
What device do you do most of your writing on?
Notebooks. Endless notebooks. I switch the kinds of notebooks I use, read through them, and then write on top of my notes. They are beautiful sometimes, the pages.
Which poem do you most often recite or quote?
If I want inspiration for my writing and language, I turn to Emily Dickinson. “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers.”
If there were one artist, living or dead, you could have a coffee with, who would it be?
Roland Barthes, the French philosopher, who did some artwork of his own. I always refer to him as my boyfriend, and I had a dream about him once—he was still alive and he came to give a seminar. And he asked me to sit down by him, and he held my hand and told me not to worry about my French.
What keeps you up at night?
Worrying about my three boys. And writing.
What salad dressing best describes you?
Nice olive oil with fresh squeezed lemon.
What kind of car do you drive?
None. But I used to drive old Volvos that my father would give me.
What profession would you like to practice in your next life?
I really want to be someone who writes novels all the time.
When you turn on the television at your house, what channel is most likely to be on?
I live in England where we don’t have so many channels. BBC Four, I guess.
What’s your favorite plant?
What’s the best advice you ever received?
Keep moving forward.