Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creation: Scumbling Vitality

Jane Wilson changed painting directions in the 1950s, shifting from abstract to realistic landscapes. I read about her in the Wall Street Journal (11/28/10) and was struck by her style, manner, and creativity. She starts each new work "with a horizontal line near the bottom of the canvas to orient myself. My subject is really atmosphere and the quality of air as we live it. That's what I think about: the vitality in surrounding spaces."
This process could be used in writing. Start with a key sentence, then the quality of life for the characters. So much of a really good read is the atmosphere - the vital world created by words.
Ms.Wilson "relies on scumbling - layers of paint are built up to create a shimmery effect, to give her work its depth." Great writers do this - I'm often struck by layers of written images. Think about it.
She works on many paintings at the same time, constantly reworking and editing. She does not paint from photographs. "What I do is remember what it felt like to stand there. Take a breath and be there, and then I know what to do."
Jane Wilson, age 86, has her place in the art world and is still refining it. This brief article offered a fresh viewpoint on creativity.

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