What stories do we tell as artists in the work we create? In my work, I am finding that poetry is a wonderful jumping off point for creating artwork which tells a story. There is so much feeling, and sometimes imagery to mine, which can be easily translated to the fine arts. For instance, in my pastel drawing, Ghost House, (2015), I interpreted the Ghost House poem by Robert Frost. After I had read the poem, I tried to pick lines out of it that seemed to lend themselves to visuals. First I thought of a haunted house, and then I began to think about who might inhabit it. Later on, the idea of including a ghost bride and some crows popped into my head. Thus, the story of a haunted house was born. This excerpt was cited on:
I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow. (Robert Frost, Ghost House)
Stories are a universal element in the arts, such as music, film, opera, theater, poetry, literature, dance and fine arts. They help us to know that we are not alone, that someone else has traveled down a similar path as ours, whether it is loss, uncertainty, joy, expectation, happiness, etc. As an undergraduate art student, I spent a lot of hours making content based work, mostly self-portraits that told a story about some event I was experiencing or a feeling I was working through. I primarily used color to express my feelings. For my senior thesis, I did a series of self-portraits, which were inspired by Sting’s songs on his album, Mercury Falling. These songs dealt with subjects such as depression, in Lithium Sunset. Lately, I am feeling pulled back into more content based work, and this time I am taking my cue from songs and poetry of Sting, Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, and Maya Angelou, among others. Here is a photo of my painting, Lithium Sunset, inspired by Sting’s song,Lithium Sunset:
Fill my eyes
O Lithium sunset
And take this lonesome burden
Of worry from my mind
Take this heartache
Of obsidian darkness
And fold my darkness
Into your yellow light. (Song excerpt from Sting’s official website: http://www.sting.com/discography/lyrics/lyric/song/178
I will post my sketches for this new series based on poetry and songs soon. For now, here is my painting, Lithium Sunset, Oil on Canvas, 2005. Enjoy!
I (Jodie) am showing my latest art work at Spin the Bottle Wine Company in Frederick, MD for the month of February. My still life oil paintings will be up for a month, and I will be be at the Wine shop on opening night, February 11th from 3-6 pm.
I (Jodie) am showing my artwork at the Frederick Coffee Company at 100 N East St., Frederick, MD 21701. They will be up from February 1st to the 28th. They have coffee, food and live music, too. All of my oil paintings are for sale, unless otherwise marked. I also have art cards if the paintings are not in your budget. They are going for $12 a pack. For directions, menu or calendar of music events, go to their website, www.fredcoffeeco.com.
Jodie and I have each submitted our own pieces to The Artists’ Gallery 11th Annual Box Show and Silent Auction. Opening reception is March 3rd, 5 – 9 pm. They will be on display until March 31st, and bidding ends at 8 pm sharp on March 31st. We will be donating 50% of the sales to the gallery. They provided the 8″ x 8″ x 8″ wooden boxes, and we turned them into art.
The picture’s aren’t great, so I encourage you to see them in person if you can. Jodie did five copies of master artworks, self-portraits of Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot and Edgar Degas.
Here is my sculpture, a jumping spider made with the box, river stones, steel wire and dried grape vines.