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!


  1. why can't I leave a comment on this blog?