March 2018 SOLC–Day 26
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
Note: I am not an artist, so please excuse any vague or inaccurate terminology in this post.
I’ve gone off on a bit of an Andrew Wyeth tangent this month. On a recent Sunday, after learning about an exhibit of his drawings at the Farnsworth Museum, I convinced my husband that he really wanted to drive up to Rockland, Maine with me. To my surprise, he didn’t mind the idea of the long drive up the coast to the museum, and off we went.
Less than two hours later we were standing in a gallery looking at Wyeth’s painting, Her Room. It’s a beautiful painting and worthy of its place of honor on the gallery wall. But what really enriched the experience for us was the array of sketches, drawings and studies that hung on the other walls of the room. They offered a window into Wyeth’s process of creating this painting, documenting some of the many steps.
As I walked through the gallery, my thoughts turned again and again to writing–specifically to my writer’s notebook. In no way am I comparing the level of my writing to Andrew Wyeth’s painting, but to me it seems that he followed a similar process with his drawings. Where I use my notebook to write a rough draft, to try out a new idea or form, to experiment and play with words, etc, Wyeth used these sketches, studies, and drawings to help him enter into the world of his subject. Focusing on one thing after another. Playing with approaches.
In particular, I was intrigued by the partially painted drawings, with parts roughly sketched and others fully painted. They seemed alive somehow, coming into being before my eyes. They reminded me of notebook entries where some parts emerge richly from my pen and others are merely an outline to return to at a later time. Wyeth even wrote notes to himself on some of them, like “warm gray, remember this”.
Together, these “rough drafts” offered insight into the process of the artist at work and into the final piece. What a fascinating exhibit!