Monday, October 6, 2008


"The mood
Traced in shadow
An indecipherable cause."
-- Wallace Stevens, from "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"

Shadow Trace, 2008, oil on canvas, 18x18 inches
© 2008 Diane McGregor

I love poetry. Reading poetry gives me the same thrill as looking at abstract paintings -- all at once, a feeling, "an indecipherable cause," enters one's imagination and takes flight. I often use poetry to find evocative titles for my work. Since my abstractions come from within and are created slowly over time through accretion, chance, and intuition, often the right title can create a poetic interpretation of the mysterious reality of a painting. Sometimes, the titles come to me as I'm working. Other times, a word or phrase from a poem can trigger an image in my mind that then becomes a painting. Finally, as is the case here with Shadow Trace, I discover the title by looking through favorite poems. Very often, the right title transforms the painting into something profound, beyond just paint on canvas. The painting rightly assumes its place in the world, having never before existed in quite this combination of color and form, light and dark, poetry and silence. My involvement with each painting is like a birthing experience, and only I and the painting know what labor pains I have suffered in creating it. Sometimes, the title is an invitation for the viewer to witness this very private struggle and triumph.


Dianne McNaughton said...

Wonderful words and painting! I have included a link to your site in my latest posting.

Carol said...

I found you due to the above link! You are a truly gifted writer and artist. Beautiful! Do you by any chance meditate, TM? I will definitely visit again!