The informal and very supportive writer’s group I belong to meets monthly when members gather to read aloud their works of prose, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Following each reading, attentive listeners offer gentle comments, critiques, and encouragement to each reader. Group members are bound together in those once-a-month moments by a love of writing and a willingness to take part in an open forum. I write in anticipation of each meeting, which compels me to craft written works more regularly than I would if not participating in this group. Consistent writing refines my skill and improves my ability to combine more intentionally and less fearfully my two favored creative outlets, writing and painting. At most meetings I show with a painting and tell with a writing.
A member of the group once asked me what inspires me most often, words to paint or painting to write? I’ve thought about that query quite a bit and have concluded that for me the answer is irrelevant. The wellspring of inspiration is less important than immersing myself in it and creating something new and imaginative with either words or paint. The paintings and writings created are stand alone pieces not illustrations or explanations of one another. They are different yet related expressions of the personal written and visual languages I use to tell stories in two mediums. Complete and whole in themselves, the written works and paintings are connected to but not dependent on one another. Together they may prompt a more powerful response from an audience but that is more dependent on the audience than it is on me.
Ekphrasis and reverse ekphrasis are literary labels used to describe when one person is moved to create something in response to another person’s work. Since my creative responses are to my own works, I’m not sure my efforts exactly illustrate either of these literary traditions. I had never been motivated to respond to someone else’s painting or writing until at one of the writer’s group meetings a member read aloud her poem, Colors of Nature.
The colors she named exploded in my mind’s eye. I lost any nuanced references in the poem as my imagination was engulfed in vibrant reds, yellows, greens, blues, and sienna browns. Two locations in the poem captured my attention as I was brought first to a morning ocean beach and last to an evening river’s bank. These water elements swam abstractly with the colors splashed in my brain and I was engulfed in a desire to paint something equally as vibrant with more color than form. I did this with two small studies applying freely and loosely to paper hardly diluted watercolor paint in deep beautiful hues.
This brings me back to the title of this piece and the many iterations of beautiful fusion. To me, beautiful fusion is all of the following: the interconnection of distinct art forms inspiring different modes of creative expression; the generosity among creatives who share their work so other creatives can create something different, (thank you for that, Sara); and finally for me, the coming together monthly of like minded yet disparate individuals who bravely share bits and pieces of themselves, through simple written words, that just might be more inspirational than they know.