“Writing Inspiration through Modern Art” by Mary Gilmartin
What do you see in this painting? Is it only a black dot in the center of a box, or do you look deeper and see what I see? Beyond that black spot is another painting that just seconds ago appeared and then quickly disappeared?
There is a field in a valley with rolling hills under a bright blue sky.
The sun is shining.
Grazing in this field are thousands of goats of many colors.
Their trip down from the high mountains has made them hungry.
They do not see me watching but soon leave for their long trip home.
The sun goes down and the sky becomes dark.
Soon the only thing left is the bare white ground.
It too soon fades leaving only one thing behind.
It’s a black dot in the center of a square, reminding me of what was once there.
What do you think and do? I’m not sure. But I can tell you what I do. I write it down before it disappears, this imaginary painting I just drew in my mind.
Writing is just like drawing or painting something you visualize. You might wake up just thinking of a word or seeing a storyline unfold in your mind. That black dot on the canvas is just the focal point. When you look beyond, deep down inside where those words and stories live, that’s when you will catch them and write them down quickly before they disappear.
To me painting and writing is basically the same thing. The origin of my writing and where it begins is with the visualization of a certain word (or the dot) that appears from nowhere. It’s when I look beyond to find that next right word that magic starts happening. Soon there is a mountain of words that appear on the page. This is just the beginning of what I call the background to writing. Creating the landscape and the characters is where the fun begins. As I continue to write a new story I hope I can capture its essence before it disappears into thin air.
I hope you benefit from having read this and I have not confused you too much. For those who understand, I say, thank you; and for those still puzzled, you can continue to scratch your head and wonder while you stare at the black dot in the center of my painting.
Written by Mary Gilmartin, August 13, 2012
Text © 2012/2013 Mary Gilmartin