On the occasions I turn to the paints and the brushes I am thus relieved of the need to find words to convey a feeling or an experience. Oftentimes this is liberating, but equally so it can lead to a certain dissatisfaction, and the realisation of an unfulfilled vision.
If a picture paints a thousand words then you had better be sure you have precisely transferred the inspirational promptings of your muse onto canvas.
There is no shortage of paint, of colour, of canvas, just as there is no shortage of words in the world. The 26 letters of the alphabet are more than up to the job. The missing ingredient then in whichever of the disciplines I employ may simply be identified as my own technical shortcomings.
On reflection, and with all that in mind, it may be more accurate to amend that artist statement of mine to begin 'When one is unable to find the right words ...'.
Sadly, in such times those paints and brushes may find themselves carrying an unfairly heavy burden of expectation.
But perhaps those deficiencies are really the strengths of the artist, in whichever field of the arts he or she practices. After all, the cracks are where the light gets in.
The world famous classical music composer Claude Debussy was alleged to have remarked that 'music is the silence between the notes'.
I am always delighted to hear what someone has taken from one of my paintings or poems because the narrative I have arranged may have unlocked a train of thought or teased out a reverberation I had not considered in the creation, irrespective of how successful I felt I had communicated what I had set out to say. This neatly also resolves the 'technical shortcomings' worry. Something has been communicated and received, albeit perhaps 'between the notes', and that's worth celebrating.
I have come to accept there is no separation between my writing and my painting. They are facets of the same thing. The response to a piece of writing or to a painting is at least as important as the motivation behind the creation, at least for this particular artist.
My hope then is that this collection of poetry, my second with Black
Eyes Publishing UK, will reveal plenty of shafts of light to illuminate
those darker areas.
I wish to thank Josephine and Peter Lay at Black Eyes for the tirelessly
professional way they have nudged and cajoled my words into shape and presented them to you in this fine book.
Take the poems however you see fit. Acknowledge the emotions they stir up. Read between the lines. Nod in agreement and rage with indignation.