"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The Colors of Feelings

"Anger," 5 x 7 watercolor, 
"Paint what you feel." "Paint your reaction to what you see, not what you see."

"Peace," 5 x 7 watercolor
Those comments and their kin from many artists underly what is supposed to be, and hardest to apply for an old type A, fact-based journalist like me...though I know my best writing always came from stories I was deeply engaged in.
And now that I think about it, my best paintings have been those where my feelings seemed to guide the brushes.

Then this week, I read this comment from Austin Kleon in his weekly newsletter on Creativity:

"I write to know what I think, and I make art to actually know what I feel."

Kleon lives in Austin, and has written four dynamic and short books on creativity, all of which I've bought at  Best of Books in Edmond. 

"Hope," 5 x 7 watercolor

You
can check him out on his website austinkleon.com, and even get his weekly email newsletter which brims over with comments and ideas to jog your mind on music "Ear Candy,"  art, writing,  books, multiple links  and much more with 10 tips each time.  That quote was under the section, "What to do with your feelings."

His prompts translated into three watercolors, where I tried to visualize some of my personal feelings. The first was "Anger" and he noted there's plenty to be angry about these days.

Then I thought about  the opposite, "Peace," and then "Hope." For "Peace" thought of my reaction to a gentle rain falling on a forest, probably the Amazon rainforest. "Hope" was not as abstract, the possibility  of rain and life in an arid landscape and time. All are 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper.


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