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Monday, July 23, 2012

Author As Visual Artist

This weekend I came across the art book Doubly Gifted: The AUTHOR As VISUAL ARTIST by Kathleen G Hjerter. It's a collection of art work by writers. There were many represented: Goethe, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot, and Hart Crane among others.

I was particularly impressed by Hart Crane's "Trees", an oil on canvas featuring strong blues and blacks. Even more impressive was August Strindberg's wonderful oil painting of a stormy sky over a bay, "The Town". E.E. Cummings was quite the watercolor artist. Hermann Hesse made a strong showing too. Among the more popular writers was James Michener, Colleen McCullough (acrylics), and John Updike.

I was uplifted by the collection. Many writers have also been painters, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, William Faulkner, and Dylan Thomas. Some of the quots by the authors indicated strongly that painting helped them in their writing.

I was beginning to have some self-doubts about beginning drawing and painting courses (although, for this first course I plan on just taking drawing). But seeing this book has given me new confidence.

13 comments:

Juliana L. Brandt said...

I think this is lovely. I wish I was better at painting. I do enjoy drawing and coloring though :)

Richard said...

Juliana: you're doubly gifted!

Jeff Hargett said...

I love painting--especially with oils. Of course I hide them well and cringe whenever others stumble across them. They're not horrible, I guess, but it's an activity that relaxes me and sometimes triggers story ideas.

My wife and I took a painting class several years ago. It was wonderful. You'll have a great time!

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, really cool book. I'm not doubly gifted. I'm not good at drawing or painting but maybe someday...

Hope you enjoy your classes.

Richard said...

Jeff, you've got to post a painting or two.

Clarissa, you write well. That's what's most important for you.

Misha Gericke said...

I also definitely want to start painting, but right now, I can't because I don't want my art to smudge when I move. :-D

Tanya Reimer said...

I get so frustrated when I draw because I see exactly what I want in my little brain and it never comes out that way. I do love to paint abstract, because it always looks awesome. lol. Glad you found a way to motivate you. Keep that book handy!!!

Elise Fallson said...

This is interesting because I see this example in many people and also in my father who writes and paints with oils. I think painting/drawing compliments writing. I unfortunately don't have the painting/drawing skills like my father, but I do have a great appreciation for the arts.

Richard said...

Misha, Tanya, Elise: I'm in sympathy with you. You're all still young, so you have time to do whatever you want.

Lynda R Young said...

I always found looking at artwork always inspires me with my own.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Richard .. I'd love to be able to paint ... but this book and those representations of great writers, who were great painters must be so inspiring.

People are so talented .. it's just saying I can do - if you can and you can ... does it matter what others think ... as long as you relax and are in your element.

Enjoy your creative aspects .. cheers Hilary

Rose Munevar said...

That's fascinating! I didn't know all those writers dabbled in art as well.

Maria said...

I'm not at all surprised to hear writers are closely connected with painting and drawing. In my own family, you're either one or the other.