Listening to Joe Bennett speak yesterday was one of the most entertaining mornings I can remember. Joe was one of the featured speakers of the Marlborough Writers Festival which took place this weekend. People also had the chance to listen to authors such as Patricia Grace, Joy Cowley , Fiona Farrell..... and many other stars of NZ literature..
As a painter, I found listening to these talented people very inspiring, particularly hearing about their creative processes - which, I was surprised to hear, are very similar to mine.
As well as Joe , I listened to Fiona Farrell speak about writing novels, play and poetry , and the production team of the tv series "Our Big Blue Backyard" describing making their tv footage.
In each case, they seemed to follow three main steps, the same way I do...
1. Stop - something claims your attention - in Joe Bennett's case a pupil dared him to write about staplers! For me it might be the way light is hitting something , or a really interesting subject.
2. Pause- a chance to gather reference material together - for Fiona Farrell researching her subject is very important, for me it may be gathering sketches and photos. The TV team spent about eight months filming all around the coast of NZ.
3. Engage - putting it all together in a way which is attention grabbing- the tv crew spent more months going through days of camera footage before editing it down to a few hours of programme. They have to decide what is going to engage the viewer immediately and make them watch the series. I have to decide how to leave out anything unnecessary or distracting from my painting , leaving room for the viewer to fill in the gaps and want to know more.
So it was a valuable day for me , I wasn't expecting it to be so inspiring for my own work - a big thankyou to the team which organised the event!
PS. This was painted some time ago on Mt Taranaki- I found those eye catching shadows irresistible.....