Author Archive

The Artist’s Statement—How Visual Artists Find and Use Voice

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
Voice is an intangible but discernible sensibility that threads through and ties together a body of work. It can be loud or quiet, but we always feel it.

Sketching and Writing: A Visual Artist’s Perspective

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
The first thing we had to do was exchange our sharpened pencils for a thick piece of charcoal. We were instructed not to hold the charcoal too tightly. A pose would often last as little as five seconds, but we were expected to capture the whole thing.

Character & Setting; Figure & Background: A Painters Advice to Writers

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
Character and setting, figure and background. In literature and in art, they should work together to bring a concise picture into view.

Details and Big Picture, Through the Eyes of a Visual Artist

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice No comments
I came to writing by way of visual art and the loss of the ability to step back from my work and see the whole, seemed insurmountable to me. But I now understand that language can be used just like paint.

Writer & Artist: What We Can Learn from Writers Who are Both

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
In many ways, visual art gave birth to literature. The first stories written down were cave paintings. For years our alphabet was made up of pictographs which simply meant that the only people who could tell stories were those who could draw.

What Writers Can Learn From Visual Artists About Patterns & Meaning

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice No comments
Patterns are everywhere and we rely on them to understand ourselves and the world. Theoretical physicists and cosmologists attempt to unlock the mysteries of our existence by searching for patterns. Behavioral scientists, psychologists, psychobiologists, criminologists, sociologist and cognitive scientists seek insight into human nature by studying patterns.

Exaggeration & Distortion: What Writers Can Learn From Visual Artists

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
The purpose of art is not to depict reality—it is to transform reality into something more interesting and meaningful. And the only way to do this is to distort, exaggerate, or in some way embellish what is there. Supernormal stimuli excites us more than reality does. Birds, mammals, fish,

Conflict & Tension: What Writers Can Learn From How Visual Artists Use Contrast

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
Contrast is the visual artist’s most powerful tool. Contrast does not necessarily mean opposite. Evil and contentment, white and off-white are both contrasts, but they are not opposites. Artists use a spectrum of tools to achieve contrast: color and light, saturation and tone shading and line, focus, scale and

Seeing Red: What Writers Should Know About Color

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
Writers should understand how to use color because seeing “red”and reading the word “red” can evoke the same heightened emotion. Our perception, behavior and mood can be influenced by color. Reaction to color is part of our evolutionary biology. The color blue, for example, is associated with the nighttime and

Body Language: What Writers Can Learn from Artists

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
Body language is the nonverbal expression of emotion and thought—a form of communicating arguably more effective than the system made up of words. Words are adequate for the less complex task of conveying information, but body language and tone do the heavy lifting. By some estimates only 7 percent