Inspiring Art for Writers -creating from the inside out
‘Clearly, it is not possible to paint the spirit. You cannot paint consciousness. You start with the knowledge we all have that the most significant human reality lies beneath material appearance. So, in order to recognise this, to touch this as a painter, I try to paint the head image from the inside out.‘ Louis Le Brocquay
Some writers, some of the time, try to write from the inside out. Give it a go…how would you start: with a first person voice? But we don’t think in sentences. Often we don’t think in words. But all you have is words, just as all the artist has is paint. Experiment.
This portrait of Yeats, the Irish poet, is by Louis Le Brocquay, the Dublin born artist who died in 2012. Wikipedia says that le Brocquy is “within a very select group of British and Irish artists whose works have commanded prices in excess of £1 million during their lifetimes.”
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Many writers have tried to convert music and art to prose. I seem to recall Lessing’s characters discussing it in The Golden Notebook. But first, immerse yourself in art and music. Live.
If you get a chance, go to an art museum and look at the real pieces (as opposed to the prints and online .jpegs). Live paintings, especially oils and acrylics, actually show the brush strokes. Seeing a sculpture from every position leaves a deeper impression than a photograph.
Live music, unedited by the studio, has a different feel and texture. Go to a jazz club, visit some open music mikes. And, sooner or later, experience a symphonic concert or opera live.
Live opera is amazingly dynamic. The Austin Lyric Opera used to have the most amazing creative director, He knew that our experience of sets and lighting changed based on your seat, and staged the sets and lights accordingly. Sadly, a cost cutting director took over and let him go. But I loved the combination of text, music and visual design in every one of his productions.
Then see if you can allow your impressions of the new media to percolate into your prose or poetic line.