The Quirky Ladies is a group of eclectic (and dare I say quirky?) ladies who are passionate about writing romantic fiction. All types of romantic fiction...paranormal, fantasy, historical, erotic and contemporary. Bring it on!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two Creative Muses

I love writing, but sometimes another creative muse pulls at me. During these times, I set aside my laptop to pick up a paint brush. I've always been an amateur artist, taking numerous classes and dabbling in several mediums from graphite to charcoal, pastels, and pen and ink. Then I discovered Winslow Homer's paintings and fell in love with watercolor.

I love the beauty of the flowing, merging washes. I love its transparency. I love how it can be extremely detailed like some of Edward Hopper's works or incredibly loose like those of Maurice Prendergast. I love the wet, luminous qualities of J.M.W. Turner's London sunsets and the dry, scraped, churning seas by Winslow Homer.

I recently signed up for a writer's conference and after finishing a two-day watercolor workshop, I couldn't help but compare and contrast these two creative outlets.

Okay, if the truth be told, after sweltering all day under the hot August sun painting this beautiful garden, it crossed my mind that writer's workshops were a tad easier. Standing before my easel eight hours later and feeling the sweat drip down my back, I yearned for a comfortable chair and air conditioning.

I went to clean up my stuff, and it took a couple trips to the car to lug easel and umbrella, the finished painting, the paints, brushes, water jugs, and paper towels, etc. I won't be complaining the next time I have to slip my laptop in its case and carry it from library to car.

While the logistics involved in writing have an advantage over painting, there is still nothing like seeing a finished picture at the end of the day. Seeing a painting I've worked hours on come together is like magic. And -- there are no edits and revisions aside from a small touch up here and there. Toss it in a frame, and everyone can admire it.

There are also many similarities between the two. Surprises can be found in both. In writing, characters can go off script and yet these detours often enhance a story. Sometimes what I believe to be a mistake in my painting, like two colors inadvertently merging can make a picture beautiful. Similar to story ideas popping into a writer's head, I'll see a beautiful scenic vista and yearn to capture it in paint.

Best of all, in both writing and painting, I can get blocked. It's at these time that I'm lucky to have two creative outlets to which I can turn. If both outlets are blocked, I simply pick up a book and dive into another love.


Michelle Picard said...

I like the idea that your second artistic muse allows you to be so physical with your art. It's a far cry from sitting behind a keyboard, although I'd venture to say that writers are creating as they exercize, and drive and peoplewatch, and wash the dishes. So I guess we are interacting in the physical world as part of our art. It just looks a lot different to an outside observer than seeing someone weilding a paintbrush with an actual easle in the garden. Love the post. It made me think about this explicitly.

Victoria Morgan said...

That's true, writers are always composing in their heads -- anywhere, anytime! It is more work doing on site paintings, but I do like being outside on a beautiful day. However, I have also sat comfortably inside and copied a painting from a photo I've taken. That has it's advantages too -- air conditioning and bathrooms being top of the list!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Vicki! I am jealous of your many talents! I think the important thing you realize is that you can't make your muse work unless it's willing. If she wants to write, you write, If she wants to paint, you paint. It's awesome that you have so many outlets for your wonderful creativity. I also think that your writing is "painterly" in a lot of ways. Thanks for posting these beautiful paintings!

Dalton Diaz said...

These are beautiful! I, too, am jealous of your artistic talent. I get made fun of for my pathetic stick figures. Having two creative outlets as you do sounds wonderful, especially if one feeds the other. There's nothing quite like that feeling as when a muse gets ahold of you. Wait, I take that back. It's akin to a great romance with a beginning, end, and all of the ups and downs in between.

Tara Truesdale said...

Simply gorgeous!!! You are an amazing artistic talent. glad you enjoyed the class.

Terisa Wilcox said...

Beautiful! It must be wonderful to have two outlets like that. I am truly jealous as well, lol. I have a hard time being patient with my muse, trying to force things and it never works. I always end up scraping it in the end.


i like these pictures