Monday, February 11, 2013

My Other Thing


I found my other thing. As a writer who is serious about, well, writing, especially poetry, it's been a real challenge to find another creative outlet that wouldn't take away from it. A long contemplation. But I knew I needed something else. And something that I could combine with my poetry.

In college, I used to paint. Being a big horse lover, horses were my main subject. Same with drawing. But the painting fizzled out and became dormant for about thirty years. I have kind of wondered that, perhaps in years to come, I would try my hand at it again, when no longer worried about anything taking time away from writing. Even so, it was...well, maybe not.

Things took a different turn this month...

The more I contemplated Devlin Giroux's paintings, the more I felt invigorated, inspired, and challenged. It's not the first time he has done this.

Devlin has captured the art of writing suspenseful and powerful horror in a way that leaves you feeling like you've just had real encounters with the entities in his stories. Like a bullet that's slammed into your chest without realizing just yet what hit you, you're stunned by the lasting impact his characters make.

As a result of the influence he has had upon me as a writer, I submitted six short stories for Lost Word's upcoming anthology, Our Wicked Ways, of which he is editor. Though writing those stories drove me crazy at times, I loved doing it. I loved writing every single one of them. My writing life has been enriched beyond calculation. Even my poetry, as my courage grows and takes new direction, and I discover how to believe in myself again.

With painting, I thought, why couldn't I combine my poetry with it? And that was all it took. In one week, I went through a 5 pack of 9 x 12 canvas, painting abstracts based off my own poems.

In poetry I am taking something in. Processing, interpreting. Then releasing through words and metaphorical imagery. In painting, I feel like I'm breathing, releasing through color and form. Both have their blank canvas, or paper; both have their tools with which to write, or paint. You choose which colors, or what words to use.

In writing, I think. In painting, I feel. Both are life. Writing, for me, is more concentration, more focus. But releasing creative energy nonetheless and doing something fulfilling with it. I'm in my element when I write poetry and, now, paint. Both complement the other. Together, they help me feel more complete.

Painting seems more intuitive. Devlin's art brought me back to that process. Brought me back to breathing. Painting has connected me to my breath.

And, you know? It feels incredible to breathe.