I was listening to this brilliant song from the 1981 album Tom Tom Club last night as I was painting the last hours of Thursday away.
What are words worth?
What are words worth? Words
Words in papers, words in books
Words on TV, words for crooks
Words of comfort, words of peace
Words to make the fighting cease
Words to tell you what to do
Words are working hard for you
Eat your words but don't go hungry
Words have always nearly hung me
- from Wordy Rappinghood by Tom Tom Club
It reminded me of my own love affair with words and the fact that I have always been fascinated by and write a lot of them in my paintings.
Diction, ekphrasis, epistrophe, haiku, meter, interjection, lyric, metaphor, monostich, neologism, onomatopoeia, phrase, present perfect, pun, rhythm, simile, stanza, vernacular, all beautiful in meaning and in sound. All intoxicating and so fecund.
I used to keep copious notes on scraps of paper and notebooks but when Twitter came along I started to use it as a word/phrase depository, writing and posting something everyday.
For over 6 years I have faithfully added a phrase, poem, scrap of a sentence or line that now amount to 19,450 words as of today!
The words are often deliberately vague and enigmatic. They are gleaned from my daily life, from overheard conversations, advertising sources, TV, film and music and other sources. I blend them, work on them so they become my words, obvious or vague and sometimes deeply personal. This has become a rich reservoir of ideas in which to fish!
I aim to do something with all these words, a separate project, an epic poem maybe!
Today’s words - He slow acId man, diSHINg out shards, now that thE cows have all come home. - https://twitter.com/busytinsnips
I added some blue acrylic and then wished I hadn’t! Ok, time to cover up with grey acrylic and to me it is becoming a bit interesting again. Last night I wrote the words back in and added some gold marks. Not sure if it is finished but I am reasonably happy to continue and see where it goes.
Gold Foot Powder (working title)
Oil Paintstick, Ink, Pencil & Crayon on Plywood
50 x 50 cm | 16 August 2018
Art inspiration sometimes dries up. It’s a common dilemma that plagues every creative person. To encounter a creative block is to face yet more anguish and self-analysis on top of the self-doubt, scepticism and uncertainty that seem to accompany the state of being an artist! Look no more blood left!
When these states strike I just keep going, make marks, attack a white expanse and see what happens. Surprising (in a good and bad way!) things happen. I persist with a willingness to play within new boundaries.
I am in an arid land! No ideas that readily jump forth. However, in a fit of frustration I drew an outline of my right foot, filled it in with gold and laughed at myself! I then looked at some words that I store for future use and wrote them on the plywood next to the foot.
An idea is born and it seems to suggest a path to follow (in the footsteps of the golden?). Where will it end? I will add marks, erase marks, add words maybe until something grows. This process can take hours or even months and at the end of it all, something one loves or is embarrassed by . . .
I will take photographs as this process unfurls and see where it goes.
Gold Foot Powder (working title)
Oil Paintstick & Pencil on Plywood
50 x 50 cm | 10 August 2018