Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 49: The Great Experiment

I had an epiphany today. I was reading something Andrew Bird said about his song writing process, and how he likes to juxtapose dark lyrics with a lighter melody. It got me thinking about how we use varied sentence structure, contradictions, etc. in writing to emphasize something, to create a sensation.

Then it occurred to me the same methods can be applied to visual art, to painting. My painting teachers have always emphasized a need for a variety of different brushstrokes, paint applications and marks within a work of art, but never said why. A seemingly simple epiphany, that they are used for emphasis, for repetition, for contradiction, but it has changed everything. I feel like I finally understand something. It is daunting too though, to suddenly realize I have all these tools, and don't yet know when and in what way to use them, no idea how to fit them together in a work of art.

So my new project is to learn. I began today by making a list of literary devices and tools. Then I decided to reproduce my favorite E.E. Cummings poem in a work of art. I wrote it out and dissected it. I spent the rest of the night like a detective picking through a crime scene, trying to identify all the metaphors and contradictions.

It was wonderful. Thrilling. Exciting. I'm shivering with delight. Or perhaps that is winter encroaching.

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