Sunday, March 1

painting writing seesaw

One of the jobs I did to support myself in art school was as museum guard for the Fort Worth Art Museum. The exhibitions usually lasted a month. Once there was a solo exhibition by some rising artist whose paintings were covered with writing. A solo exhibition meant the whole museum was full of this one artist's work, so no matter in which room I stood guard, there it was again. writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing.

Standing in a museum doing nothing is a very very boring job. It is so quiet and so still. If I had to stay up late the night before, I was really afraid I'd fall asleep on my feet & wake up falling & fired. So I figured out games to play in my mind & soon grew thankful for the writing paintings.

Now I cannot remember what they said or what they were about, but I remember that after awhile I just started enjoying the letters for their own inherent shapes and gestures. It was about this time we were studying Jasper Johns in art history class and it clicked together; I understood. I began using letters and words in my own paintings & have continued to consider words and letters as tools in my paintbox all these years.

It was also a bit before art school that I had begun writing. There were times when out of the blue, a pageful of words would press against my brain to come out and I would pick up a pencil, turn the faucet, & let her flow. I could never arrange it to happen. It was sometimes pleasant, sometimes a relief, sometimes cathartic. It was like spontaneous emotional puking or dancing. And there was always a certain amount of water in the pipes. When it was done, that was it, I could not conjure up anymore words or message.

For several years I wrote songs prolifically, then something happened, not completely sure what, and the songs just weren't good anymore. So I stopped writing them.

Now and then I would journal my life and thoughts. Now and then something kind of interesting would come of it. At one point I seriously began writing a book of my life. I started right at the beginning of my memory at two years old. And I knew the title immediately, Looking for Black Georgia. I think I wrote about ten short chapters up to age five. Then some things happened in my life and I uprooted and moved to Ohio, but I feel like someday I will get back to writing that book.

I have a dog-eared yellowed stash of these writings that I think I will begin to digitize and share on my blog. I am starting to feel comfortable writing again. I get faucet urges even. Last week I had another faucet urge & decided it is time to start myself a writing blog separate from my writing about painting blog. [haha whew!]

So without further verbosity please clik on over to ... Suzanne Ally Writing...

PS. My comments button is NOT broekn over there so you may leave comments. PLease feel free. thanx!