Painting stories

Posted on


I have always fancied having a go at writing stories. My brain is so full of them. They have been waiting for years to be put on paper and I've never really had the time. I hold this thought, the desire to write some fiction and plan to do it one day.

I'm currently reading "On Writing" by Stephen King; his take on the art of writing and the evolution of stories. He certainly didn't have it made, struggling throughout the early years, developing his art whilst sharing his passion. Explaining how his experiences have helped develop his writing, sharing people and locations too from his youth. Highlighting how to use language to best effect, making it accessible to many and holding them throughout the evolution of the story. Repeating ideas but allowing them to grow, so they seem different the next time they're written down and read. Creating a form of communication highly sought after and prized by it's consumers. From humble beginning, big things have grown. It has opened my eyes.

Then, the other morning whilst reading in bed, which is my favourite place to read, I had a lightbulb moment. I have quite a few of these but none quite as profound as the thunderbolt that struck me between the eyes. My brain became stimulated by the truth. I can write...because I already do. I don't mean like this, with a blog post, chewing over some random idea I'd quite like to share with a few more people, on an ad hoc basis, whenever I have the time or inclination. I'm doing it all the time!

I write in paint. My words and meanings are applied to canvas, using a brush to stroke and dab paint in various ways. My stories build over time, are constantly evolving, involve repetition and include snippets of information I have been storing up for years.  Themes have grown from small ideas, with other things woven around to create a more meaningful and complete story. Okay, we're not talking novels here, but we could be. The process of editing is going on all the time. Adding and taking away to come up with the finished article. Something pleasing to me. Something pleasing and desirable for other people too. There might also a comparable time element!

And this makes me an author. A story teller in paint. Not words. I've been doing this subconsciously most of the time but it has become more obvious to me the more I have thought about it; the more I have looked at the processes involved in coming to the conclusion of a painting. A little bit of this and that, helping the painting take shape, surrounding the character or characters with a wide range of context. The canvas becomes a place where the story is enacted, providing movement from one idea to another.

Abstract detail


So I've been thinking, there might be more to this than meets the eye. I am an author, a writer, just as they are artists. All us creative types are artists. I've been calling myself an artist for ages. I have been calling my paintings, "works" for a few years. Perhaps I can start calling myself an author in paint? Painting stories for others to enjoy, puzzle over, be disturbed by and come up with their own concusion on.

This is what I am going to do. Firstly I'm going to try and put the painted story for some of my works down in words. This will help start putting together a biography of me as an artist in the painted and written form simultaneously. This could lead to a book. My intention is to allow this to guide me in my future works, better understanding the stories I am telling and hopefully make my work more accessible to more people.

I have been misunderstood on a few occasions. A few people have looked at my work and said things along the lines of,

"It's just colouring in!"

Now, I won't argue that my work is colourful. It is. Deliberately. Maybe some just can't cope with the emotions stirred up by the way I use colour. It is unconventional. It is meant to go beyond decorative. It is supposed to dredge the oft latent emotions so many of us depress thanks to our "dull" modern lives. The colours are to be interpreted first, getting the synapses firing, hiding the truth behind the story. You do have to get beyond that to be able to see!

But consumption these days is meant to be easy. Instant gratification. Whilstmy work might be from a colourful and joyous primary perspective, it's true worth comes from the patience required to properly understand it. Let the story build by reading from my paintings, my works. Let my stories guide you to the final chapter. And then perhaps wait for the sequel. After all, it does take me many hours of pain staking work to weave my magic, if I'm allowed to call it that.

Thank you Stephen King for opening my eyes. I can now see the path ahead more clearly and I shall surely walk it. I don't know where it will end up but there does seem to be a rainbow leading me on. And what is supposedly to be found at the end of a rainbow?

I'll leave you with this thought, again from Stephen King.

"Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around."  

Add a comment:

Leave a comment:


Add a comment

Powered by Create Ecommerce