When I was exhibiting in Paris, and writing as many poems as I painted pictures, I wrote the following:
“Images come First”
(a poem by Peter Stilton)
Images come first.
Language leaves us with a thirst
Images live in juxtaposition
Language speaks with finite division
Bicycle wheels and African faces
Bergere chairs in tropical places
Byzantine chants in cloisters of stone
Cannot be transmitted over the phone
Art expands cognition
Words restrict with definition
Open ears and open eyes
Dispel a world of finite lies.
Creating visual images in paint is radically different from writing, which although synthetic in composing, remains analytic in process. After all I have written, I realized most of the people I know do not read much anymore…and no one has more than a few seconds to be “literary.” Who wants to “text” an essay? On the other hand, an image takes a fraction of a second to apprehend.
So I just finished painting over 60 seascapes on wooden shims from Home Depot, and 8 inch lengths of common board which I had made into faux driftwood. What occured, in less than five minutes for each one (just the painting of the scene), was an astonishing recollection of the many hours I spent over 4 months at Schoodic Point last summer and fall. And each was really different…morning, noon, night, sunlight, moonlight, fog, sunset…. a full spectrum of the many “faces” of the Schoodic Peninsula.
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I just painted a book! Thus, I will be keeping my writing more brief in the future, as I continue painting on wood. The knotholes make wonderful moons, and the grain flows like the tidal currents. I am a captain of a ship that will take me to places I have been and will discover as I paint my way there!