Way back in December 2009, I reinvented myself and became an artist. It has taken quite a bit of practice to be able to say that without giggling or feeling self-conscious. Some days I revert to describing myself as a painter or a graphic designer, but the good days find me happy to tell it like it is. I still remember discovering Danny Gregory’s book The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are ~ I bought a journal and a nice black ink pen and have never looked back. Well, obviously I’m looking back now… but you know what I mean.
My Top Nine six-word stories ~ my favourites selected from a grand total of 134 word+art posts created last year for Instagram which, in turn, came from 365 stories created using the Page Flutter word prompts. For those who may be interested, I’ve gathered all of my word+art stories into a collection on Pinterest.
What a fantastic and rewarding challenge this has been! And even though I won’t be carrying on with a daily writing challenge in 2019, I do plan to make good use of my six-word stories. But more about that in my next post : )
Exploding Colour — acrylic on canvas, 250 x 250 mm, 2018. Available.
In the words of painter Adam Wolpert…
“Whenever I try to finish a painting by carefully cleaning up all the parts—removing smudges, perfecting the drawing, spiffing and polishing—as I work, the spirit slowly drains out of it. This approach to finishing leaves me unsatisfied and leads to my either abandoning the painting before it is complete or just stopping and calling it “finished” in spite of my dissatisfaction. I know that Nature is not polished and uniform, all clear, clean and tidy, but raw and variable, messy, ambiguous, and indefinite. And above all, nature is dynamic. It stands to reason that a painting of Nature must somehow include these qualities. What if focusing on details and formal accuracy won’t ever get me there?”
“What if I just focus on representing the underlying essence of my subject and my relationship to, and feeling about, that essence?….Perhaps the best way to finish a painting is to try to move the subject ever more towards that state. I know when that character is developing in my painting because the image inspires that particular feeling I have when I stand before it in Nature. I know to keep working as long as I can make something more like its essential self. I know I need to stop as the image begins to move away from itself and become something else. Mysteriously, sometimes this process goes on for many days and even weeks as I devote hour after hour to the piece, other times I breathe a painting into being in a few hours, almost effortlessly, and only need the good sense to leave it alone (which is surprisingly difficult sometimes). So perhaps, in this way, my practice of finishing can be guided by Nature herself.”
Running Through My Dreams — acrylic on canvas, 2018. Personal project.
This painting began as a digital collage on the now defunct Polyvore site. It was inspired by a dream about my mother. The juxtaposition of elements, the slightly odd perspective, the colours and textures, all really appealed to me. Painting it was more like having a conversation than putting paint on canvas and it taught me a lot about why I paint and why I can’t stop painting. ‘Running Through My Dreams’ now keeps me company in the Art Cave.