Sunday, February 17, 2013

Writers who paint



  “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh

   Writers paint worlds, scenes and situations with words. They portray characters and stir emotions. Words are the colors of their palettes. Yet many writers out there enjoy painting as well. 
 The vivid imagination of a writer sometimes begs to be expressed in the form of paintings or drawings. This happened (and still happens) with many writers today.

   I gathered a list of them, but feel free to add names. Let’s enjoy their artwork and learn more about their relationship with art.

  Sylvia Plath, who killed herself due to severe depression at age 30, was a talented artist. Now her daughter Frieda Hughes expresses her desire to write poetry and paint. She says she has a "visual imagination".

Feel free to check Sylvia Plath’s drawings here.

 Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) was a French writer, poet and pioneering aviator, author of my all-time favorite novel “The Little Prince.” Saint-Exupery wrote and illustrated this story in New York City. It was published in 1943 in the United States, both in English and French. 


   During his flights, Saint-Exupery had time to reflect on the meaning of life and the human condition. Some critics believe that The Little Prince was a kind of spiritual autobiography. I have read The Little Prince many times, and every time I read it I discover something new in it. It is profound, charming and magical.

Leila Fortier, artist and poet, is an inspiration to me.

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was an American writer who called himself a freethinking humanist. His books blend satire and science fiction. He illustrated his own book Slaughterhouse-Five. Later in life he became interested in silk-screen prints. I found this link to check his work:
http://www.vonnegut.com/art.asp


 Henry Miller (1891-1980) was an American writer and painter. He painted thousands of watercolors in his lifetime. His paintings have been shown in exhibitions in the US, Japan and Europe. Enjoy his art by checking this link:
http://www.henrymiller.info/gallery/prints.php
Other writers that I'd like to mention are William Blake, Aldus Huxley, William Butler Yeats, Ernesto Sabato, Jorge Luis Borges and Susan Minot.
  I love painting with pastels. Doing it carries me away to another world. Occasionally, I use my own artwork on my blog because I don't have to worry about copyright issues.
 How about you? What  mediums do you enjoy to express yourself? Music? painting?photography? Share your experience.

21 comments:

  1. Used to be music as a profession, then an avocation. Now writing is number one, music still on the back burner.

    I think most artists express themselves in more than one medium. Because they have so much to say, and sometimes can't say it well through one medium? I don't know, just wondering. Seems to be anecdotally true.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you, Chris. I think all the mediums are necessary. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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  2. love the colors you chose in those examples.
    creative people are usually creative in more than one area. this was a post full of beauty!

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    1. Thanks, Tara. I'm glad you like the colors. Yes, I agree. I can't imagine a life without creativity.

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  3. I've always felt that writers and painters have a lot of similiarities. Both are artistic souls who move people with their works. Have a great Monday my friend :)

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    1. Thank you for considering me your friend, Keith. Have a beautiful week.

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  4. That is so interesting! I was always interested in art since I was very young, but writings my favorite.

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    1. Yes, art, writing, music, dance... everything is part of a big conversation. Thanks for commenting, Carolyn.

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  5. I'm taking drawing lessons. I'm on my second one now. I've only done two or three pastels. I've resisted trying paint. Handling color is a little out of my league right now. Besides, I know a lot of abstract painters are not good at drawing (and some of them admit it), but I tend to agree that drawing is the foundation you build on, so I'm not rushing into color.

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    1. Interesting comment, Richard. I used to paint landscapes and portraits. Now I am bending towards abstracts, but I paint landscapes every now and then or a surreal motif. I don't know if I am good at it or not. And I don't care. I just enjoy doing it. My perfectionist mind is set on writing, not painting.

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    2. Painting expands my mind. It inspires my writing process.

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    1. I'd love to see your work. Thanks for stopping by, Diane.

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  7. Oh, I love this post. All about art in books. Lovely drawings.

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    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Angelika.

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  8. Fascinating post. I did not realize any of these writers painted.

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  9. I’ve dabbled in drawing and painting, but I’m not that good. I also write computer games for ‘retro’ consoles and old home-computers. Yes, it is creative… honest!

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    1. I'm sure it is, Garry. Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I believe there are a lot of correlations between writing and painting. I do both--they seem to work hand in hand, that is a painting might inspire a story or I might paint a scene from something I've written. And building a story or a character is like adding layers of paint (at least in watercolor), until I've achieved the proper depth.

    I think the biggest difference is in how each is presented to an audience--it takes a matter of seconds (maybe as long as a minute) for a viewer to look at a piece of artwork and decide if they like it or not--very little investment of time. A story, on the other hand, is a long-term commitment and feels so much more precarious!

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    1. It's good to connect with others who share the same fascination for both writing and painting. I look forward to learning more about your work. Thanks for commenting.

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