a photograph of an oil painting title 'Surface' by artist Catherine Coulson © 2019 Catherine Coulson
a photograph of an oil painting title 'Gull Loch, Winter' by artist Catherine Coulson © 2018 Catherine Coulson
Catherine Coulson | Reindeer Lichen and Heather | 2019 | oil on board | 20x24in

Field Writing & Poetry

Part of my creative process involves observational field writing. Screenwriting and film-making have been a useful background for spending extensive time in reserves absorbing and noting details.

This process encourages an intimacy and involvement which comes with time and repetition, a ‘feel’ for a location that brings together different experiences into a personal narrative of the location. I enjoy using a non-visual, linguistic form of expression to record sensory information which may not be captured through photographs and field sketches.

In a sense, poetry and painting fill the gaps that the other lacks, working in complimentary ways to build a sense of place. I found a wonderful observation attributed to the Greek poet Simonides of Keos by Plutarch ‘Poema pictura loquens, pictura poema silens’ (poetry is a speaking picture, painting a silent poetry).

It can also be useful to delay writing until after visiting a location, this exercise stimulates subconscious and emotional memory, an important part of building expressive artwork. It is interesting to see what stands out before referring to notes and photographs, I find this a useful practice to focus on themes and elements for my paintings.

New book available now

 After many lovely requests to publish my writing, I am excited to have compiled a poetry chapbook LOW LANDS which is available to purchase at exhibitions or buy online from Wasps Studios.