Friday, August 04, 2006


There's nothing like checks and balances. If I thought the first paintings in this series were a snap, then the recent ones have been exacting more than their pound of flesh. This one is called Sum because it represents the end of the growing season: the sum of all the changes and effort (of both man and nature) needed to get to this point. As for the sum of hours it took to paint this one, don't even ask.

A friend remarked recently that my painting shows a completely different side of me than my writing. In a nutshell she stated that the ironic tone of my writing is entirely absent in my painting. Naturally this got me thinking and I started assessing the painters and authors whose work I admire. It seems to me that while I am a junkie of humour and wit in both art and lit, it's the purely emotional (to use Carla's words) that hits home for me at the end of the day. The writers and artists whose work I return to consistently dig deeper. (And they avoid mixed metaphors like the plague:)

In my own case, it feels like the two disciplines exist on different mental planes: writing is an exercise for the intellect and the funny bone: words are for play and not for work. I never agonise. It ain't my artform. But painting draws on something that has nothing to do with my brain, though I do pretend to use it when coerced into writing an artist's statement*. And unlike writing, I obsess over every mistake and every success, and each painting has a thousand.

*In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning. ~ George Orwell


Blogger Sally said...

I agree. I think artwork comes from the part of the brain dealing with senses and feeling. While a writer also works with the senses, trying to evoke images in readers' minds, an artist tries to duplicate feelings, senses and images from his/her own mind and put them into a tangible format.

I'm a creative person and I feel my writing is stronger than my visual work. But nothing is more frustrating for me than not being able to adequately duplicate a thought or feeling or image, whether it be in an attempt at words or visual image. But that doesn't stop me from trying.

This latest painting is so vivid and gorgeous. I greedily want almost everything you paint. Gimme!

4/8/06 3:08 p.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

Anoter thought provoking post Andrea and the paintings colours are so gorgeous and ispired! I have no problem creating paintings and ideas flow from me like breathing but words are a challenge for me and I don't feel that I am the writer I could be. I love to read what you have to say, I like that you challege us with ideas and problems that seem personal and relevant to us all. I love to read Gretel Parkers blog Middle of Nowhere. Love her quirky images, faded colours and eloquent descriptions of her daily life, her walks and bike rides and her jobs. I always feel like I wish I could write like she does and one day she said writing was always so natural for her that illustrating was something she had to work at her paintings and that somehow made me feel better because I thought both just flew out of her. I would like to easily write a story so I admire what Sally says, it doesn't keep her from trying!

4/8/06 3:48 p.m.  
Blogger Frivolitea said...

This painting is gorgeous. I so admire your work.

4/8/06 4:44 p.m.  
Blogger carla said...

Andrea - this series has been really amazing to watch. It seems like each new painting shows an added richness. This one almost pulsates with depth and color...the pear tree against the red background looks so ripe. I love it!

Since we've had our exchange about the topic of visual art and writing, it's been very much on my mind. I really think for me, visual art is more of a direct expression of what's inside of me, emotionally and spiritually. Writing is more of a translation as I try to create images with words, but unlike you, I do sometimes agonize over it. I guess it's because deep down, I want my writing to feel as satisfying to me as drawing or painting something. that you've completed this gorgeous painting...will there be any small art coming our way? I've been on the lookout for the perfect little Andrea painting, although I admit it's hard to have to choose. I love them all!

4/8/06 4:51 p.m.  
Blogger susan said...

oh words, words. i see a connection sometimes with your wit on the canvas and your wit in your blog. your colors are so vibrant and joyful that it does translate on some levels. but i also agree with carla ... they also are completely different on some levels!
this red and orange painting has some great colorplay going on! beautiful...

4/8/06 6:05 p.m.  
Blogger Within Without said...

This post, and the absolutely beautiful painting that accompanies it, are wonderful.

You are thought-provoking and enticing in words but also of course on canvas (or whatever).

Bolder than bright, deeper than the deepest depths of your raunchiest red.

4/8/06 8:38 p.m.  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

I'm so glad you post your paintings as you give birth to them (it seems an apt metaphor, given the "pound of flesh" it took to get this one finished. It's so deep and beautiful.

I'd never really compared my writing and painting before reading your post, but now one difference really stands out to me.

With writing, I get all the words down and then edit to simplify. With ink and watercolor you can't easily do that once it's down on paper. Since I value simplicity and brevity and clarity I see now that I need to find a way to edit before and while I paint, since lately I've noticed how much I tend to overwork my visual art. Thanks for the clues.

4/8/06 10:04 p.m.  
Blogger HildaRose said...

I do love your paintings, they give me such energy and your writing gives me many thoughts. I am back from vacation but feeling very slow or it might be that I am full of too many ideas. And then I read your blog and another idea fills another spot.

Who knows where ideas come from? I find your paintings cerebral and I find your writing the same but you do instert your humour and wit into your writing. Maybe it is just that you haven't allowed yourself to place your wit into your painting. Maybe you believe painting is not the place for humour? Maybe it is a unconscious choice you have made? ...that painting is a serious business.

I mean, how many times do we get to laugh out load in an art gallery? I have, but it may not have been for the right reason. What makes humour inappropriate for the gallery wall? We are allowed to cry, hurt, moan in ecstacy but to crack a smile and laugh brings the guard out to lead us to the front door. I think I am going to go google 'funny artist'.

5/8/06 4:27 a.m.  
Blogger camera shy said...

recently i sat with friends who discussed the nature of nature and its relationship to art and if it was possible for a cat to create art by creating something that was aesthetically appealing to the cat. is this enough of a defninitve effort?

what if the cat was allowed to walk with painted paws on canvas and liking the effect continued to do so till it grew tired with the event as cats are want to do. but in the act of doing something it considered pleasurable did it in fact create art?


hard to say. what is the conscious level art must prescibe to? yes art comes largely from the subconscious and is the expression mostly of what the viewer adds to the piece which largely is a derivitive of his or her own personal experiences which he or she has stored in his ir her own unconscious catalog of ideas and experiences which translate into reaction or emotional responces to external stimuli, but is it limited or is it too reliant on these responces?

either way, loved your work

5/8/06 10:33 a.m.  
Blogger Carlotti said...

What an incredible painting. A feast for the eyes. Would love to see that one on a wall near me.

Oh to be one who doesn't agonize over words - I do, and still manage to come up with the wrong ones quite often.......

8/8/06 6:10 a.m.  
Blogger stacey m said...

wow, this is just stunning! your paintings are so rich!

8/8/06 10:36 p.m.  
Blogger Toni said...

This week has been one of meditation and reflecting.
I come back and find your ever so thought provoking post here. First of all I get the feeling there is more spiritual connection in this series of paintings than the others. Like you are driven by some primal instinct or spiritual guide. you have definitely mastered the art of color, symbols, design. This is an awesome painting.
I struggle with words yet I feel somewhere inside me they are there. I have to work hard at it and often thought I should do writing exercises. But then I sabotage myself and don't do them.

9/8/06 7:58 a.m.  
Blogger Caty said...

I found this painting WONDERFUL! your paintings make me dream....

It looks to me always that there are 2 worlds in your paintings as weel, and "under" sea or earth one, both beautiful!

7/9/06 12:11 a.m.  
Blogger Caty said...

as well I meant.....

7/9/06 12:12 a.m.  

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