Monday, February 23, 2009

Poets Who Paint, Painters Who Write

(image: painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti)

I've never had an art-lesson, and it shows. But I've been trying to paint and/or draw for decades. A few things have turned out okay, including an acrylic painting of a doe and a fawn, wherein the doe's backside faces the viewer. People seemed amused by that choice. I did some really weird facial caricatures in chalk-on-paper that make me laugh. I show them to almost no one. Then I did this big smear-paint-on-canvas thing, dominated by red, and I didn't think much of it (and still don't) and would have kept it in hiding except people with whom I live liked it enough to hang it--on the wall, I mean. This comes under the category of "go figure." I'm also an inveterate doodler, especially in meetings, and especially if I know where the meeting is heading. While I'm waiting for it to get there, I doodle, mostly faces, not faces I'm looking at, just faces.

Karl Shapiro painted a bit, I think, and so did John Betjeman. Kenneth Patchen actually made drawings to accompany his poems. I don't think they're very good, but what do I know? Blake, I guess, is the all-time champion, creating stupendous illuminations and engravings connected to his work. Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted very well and wrote very well.

So here's a shout-out to three bloggers who are poets who paint and painters who write. In some ways, blogging is a great medium for the writer/painter or painter/writer (and "painter" is kind of a place-holder for all sorts of visual art, including digital collages, photography, videography, etc.). In a weird way, the Internet is helping us loop back to medieval times, when texts were routinely illuminated and the visual & textual got on quite well. The bloggers: and on this one there is a link to another site with images of the blogger's paintings

And here's a link to Deb Richardson's site. She does quilts and visual collages (including the Emily/Elvis one up top):

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