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The Process of Painting Poetry

From the Painting from the Soul Series; Inspiration Methods:

The Process of Painting Poetry, Ten Step Guide.




Here we go through the steps of creating visual art from words in a poem.

I assume that you can draw and have an understanding of art-basics such as color, perspective, light and composition.


1. Choose a poem that inspires you or one that you have written.

2. Memorize the lines.

3. Feel the essence of the poem

4. Enter into a meditative state in order for visual imagery of the poem to emerge.

5. Upon emerging from the meditative state, quickly sketch some of the images you have seen as best you can.

6. Arrange the elements in your sketches into a larger composition that reflects the mood of the poem, ie; harmonious, erratic, glorious.

7. Find the correct-shaped canvas to match your composition, ie square, rectangular, portrait or landscape.

8. Read the poem again and make notes of any new ideas that build on and enhance your original ideas.

9. Sketch very lightly with your brush, the composition you have created on paper, on to your canvas. (I like to use rose-red) and select a suitable color palette that resonates with the mood of the poem.

10. Enjoy the process leaving space open for any additional ideas that come through re, colors, composition or new elements that come to mind and very importantly; leave yourself open for creative spirit to come through as you paint.


Here Follows my process-example from a poem I wrote recently.


Tending Life's Vibrational Garden...

Though I plough through

Rich emotional aether

Striking gold

In summer’s-end blooms

I see once-vibrant elements

Die back before I fall


Though I accept

The darkness

And unforgiving

Sleet of winter

Wrapped about my soul

I know

Its role;

To highlight the measure

Of how bright green

My thumb of life can be;

I laughingly summon

Quintessence

From

Cracked, parched riverbeds

At my whim


I remain ever vigilant

In my vibrational garden

As the stamens of high-resonance

Inevitably conjure

The honey

In advance of the Bee.


Sketches;

So in my meditation I started seeing a woman emotionally connected to a landscape. Then as per:


"Though I plough through

Rich emotional aether

Striking gold

In summer’s-end blooms

I see once-vibrant elements

Die back before I fall"


This is where I saw the seasons emerge and thought about introducing all four seasons into the painting. I saw hanging moss becoming icicles and fall leaves dying back after summer.


The changing seasons idea then informed me of the shape of my canvas which would now be a long thin rectangle and also allowed for the symbol of infinity to determine a balanced composition and the underlying symbolism of creativity being infinite. I also went into the essence of the poem to begin deciding my palette.

I then began to transfer my drawings on to the canvas:

"Though I accept

The darkness

And unforgiving

Sleet of winter

Wrapped about my soul

I know

Its role;"



I used this part of the poem to create the depth in the painting in the form of a far off storm on the distant horizon. This is where the magic began to happen because I had no place for my woman figure and the foreground opened up an unintentional perfect place for her.


Even upon beginning to paint all my decisions were not set in stone. I like to keep a place open for the painting to evolve beyond my control, a place where reality slips into the realm of connection-to-source from whence flows a natural guidance that works in sync with creativity. I always make sure I am open to entering into this mode of creation. When it happens it does feel glorious and you can recognize it by the fact that you start losing all sense of time. Next verse:

"To highlight the measure

Of how bright green

My thumb of life can be;

I laughingly summon

Quintessence

From

Cracked, parched riverbeds

At my whim"


I chose to represent "My bright green Thumb of Life" as an emerald shell that incorporated the sacred geometry of Fibonacci sequence. I steer away from being too literal at times and also am wary of current icons like emojis that a literal green thumb would evoke. I also now had some openings to introduce cracked parched soil beneath the shell, and abundance in the form of an emerging cornucopia that organically presented itself at the tail-end of the symbol of infinity.

Last verse:

"I remain ever vigilant

In my vibrational garden

As the stamens of high-resonance

Inevitably conjure

The honey

In advance of the Bee."