Pictured above is my painting "The Dark Fantastic". The original is 51"x 75", oil on thick, handmade paper. It was painted freehand while looking at a photograph taken by professional storm chaser, Gene Rhoden, used with permission.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing these weekly emails is reading the responses I receive. Last week I talked about how artists employ visual metaphor. But artists don't always know how to translate into words what they have said in images. So I discussed my own experience of the perils of not being able to come up with this translation, and of eventually finding my way to the precise and accurate thought. I am very happy to be able to discuss ideas about the realm of the visual and the realm of art and to converse with those of who are willing to share your perspective. In the interest of making this more of a two-way street, rather than just you, the reader, reading what I have to say, I am now going to share with you a few of the trenchant responses which I had the privilege to receive.
I know that our lives vary greatly, as do our points of view. The human race is infinitely vast in its multiplicity of both experience and thought. Here are an array of responses from people inhabiting very different lives:
On the subject of visual metaphor Bob Russo, an IT Software Development Project Manager, who owns a large canvas reproduction of my painting, “The Dark Fantastic”, wrote:
“I have not seen the videos yet. I will when I have more time. However, I did read your article. It gave me great insight into you as an artist and great insight into me and why I am attracted to your work on tornados. I always get asked that question"Why do you have a picture of a tornado". Until now I have only said, “Because I like it.” But you are making me dig deeper into my connection with the piece.
I remember the awesomeness of the original when I first saw it. And that connects with your discussion of the metaphor for the awesomeness of God or the universe. Tornados represent the magnificent forces within our lives that can turn around our fate in a moment. The universe can send terrific forces our way, with little notice, that can change our lives forever. Sometimes those forces only do crop damage and at other times they can be devastatingly life altering. You have helped me see the metaphor.”
Beverly Tadeu, whose delicate jewelry rises to the level of fine art wrote the following:
“Life force, yes. My work is about fragility and strength, and in some ways, your work is, as well. The strength of the storm, the fragility of life and nature in its wake. I've also heard your work (the whole tornado theme) described as sensual. I always wondered if that was your interpretation, as well, or the viewer's. That's what great about art, isn't it. The artist has one meaning and interpretation, but there are many others as seen through the viewer's eye.”
You can check out her work here: www.beverlytadeu.com
The psychic, healer, artist and writer Dorothy Kadosh wrote:
“I, myself often wondered what made you do a painting of a storm and it was important to hear from you, why. The storm we are having now brings special information to each one of us. For each, it is different. For some it is the chariot that carries their loved one into the other worlds. For others it is the harbinger of sweeping changes in a worthless circumstance.
Storms, as you say, are unseen forces at work. The breath of God! I have been through many storms and remained untouched. This made me know that storms are intelligence at work. A conscious force, awesome to behold, and you have captured it on canvas. You are a remarkable person to have done such a thing, while others are painting the more mundane or the more beautiful superficially. You went deep with your paintings of storms. Thank you for making us think, even the person who said “who would want a painting of a storm?” You have made an opening in his consciousness and now he is asking “who?”
Dorothy is a compatriot of mine at Eastern Market, if you would like to consult with her.
Patricia Daly-Lipe, an artist and author wrote the following:
“Amy, my new extended version of my book ‘MYTH, MAGIC and METAPHOR, A Journey into the Heart of Creativity’ is going through editing right now. But when it does come out, this is the book for you! (By the way, one of my paintings is on the cover. So yes, I understand what you have written about your art.) Please visit: www.literarylady.com”
And finally, my paintings will now be utilized to illustrate ideas about sexuality elucidated by Amy Jo Goddard, the Sexual Empowerment Coach, in her weekly Ezine. With a readership of 7000, it represents a fascinating point of view and packs a powerful punch. More about her can be learned by clicking here: www.amyjogoddard.com. Elise Bish, the Executive Assistant at Amy Jo Goddard Enterprises wrote:
“Your work is powerful! I actually put to together all of the imagery for our blog posts and articles, and I think we could definitely work together. If you give me permission, I would love to work your art into our writing pieces. I spend a decent amount of time trying to find beautiful, relevant images to capture the theme of each post, and we talk a lot about nature and the creation/destruction cycle of life. I think your work could easily and beautifully represent our messages.”
If you would like to participate in this conversation please feel free to respond with any thoughts and suggestions. You might start by asking yourself how the metaphor of the storm has shown up in your own life. I’d be most interested to hear.
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