My creative practice includes observational field writing, I find that using a linguistic non-visual medium helps to record detail that may not be captured through initial field sketching. Studying screenwriting and making films has proved useful instruction for spending extensive time in reserves documenting and absorbing sensory information. 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.
Benefit can also be found in delaying writing until after the visit – an excercise which 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 to pull together an account or poem for the visit and I find this a useful tool to focus on themes and elements for my painting.
In a sense, poetry and painting fill the gaps that the other lacks, working in different ways to acheive the same result.
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); there is substance in using both mediums to build a sense of place.