Friday, February 8, 2013

Storyteller's Journey

Aspens' Edge - Oil Painting - by Michael Lindstrom
Texturing and Layering

Last Friday night my husband had his debut art show at the gallery where he is represented - it was a huge success. One of the things I overheard from a person perusing the art was:

"He uses so much paint...lots of textures and layers." That person was absolutely correct. It is something that Michael does consciously - the technique has become a bit of his trademark.

Using textures and layers is not a technique exclusive to oil painters. I have had many in-depth discussions with my middle son - Kevin (an aspiring author), about this very subject with regard to our individual manuscripts. Somewhere between revising and editing is that place where a writer textures and layers his/her story. You know what I mean: Tweaking word choices, embellishing character development, expanding a setting description, polishing the text, and on and on.
The thing about texturing and layering is that it takes a lot of time!

One of the things that I have recently vowed to avoid is to place a time limit on a finished manuscript. Up until the time I fully began to value the texturing and layering approach, my feeling was X amount of hours writing would = a set time for completing my manuscript. Wrong!

As with any form of art, the process should flow from one's spirit, it is the revelation of one's soul - whether it is on a canvas, a sheet of music, or a page from a novel.

If you and I are Facebook friends then you are well aware of the inspiring quotes I like to feature on my timeline. Those posts are not chosen randomly. They are just as much for me as they are for my friends!

"The process of writing a book is infinitely more important than the book that is completed as a result of the writing, let alone the success or failure that book may have after it is written...the book is merely a symbol of the writing. In writing the book I am living. I am growing. I am tapping myself. I am changing. The process is the product."
Theodore Isaac Rubin

Do you texture & layer? Any thoughts about the writing process?

8 comments:

  1. I understand using so much paint. I come from a family of artists - my dad, sister, and nephew. My sister owned her own art gallery at one time.

    I'm the writer in the family. I texture and layer in my writing! It's an important part of the process otherwise it's all flat, no depth.

    Love the Aspen trees! Love your hubby's work. Great post, Vicki!

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    1. Loree, I'm so glad you mentioned about your creative family - that's so cool. I know that Michael so appreciates the support he's received. In fact, he just noticed you "liked" something of his on FB this morning! ^_^ Have a great weekend!

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  2. I love that painting. Your husband is very talented.

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    1. Thanks, Sara. Like many artists, Michael still has a hard time believing that. Hope you have an awesome weekend!

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  3. Such a beautiful painting...and a very thoughtful post. Congratulations, both of you.

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    1. Thanks, Valentina. Good luck on your writing, and have a great weekend! (I guess it's half over across the pond! ^_^)

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  4. Great thoughts! Love the idea of layering our novels like Michael layers his paintings. Texture and layers! Great quote, too. Never thought of it that way. Which means even the novels that don't get published are all a part of that process, and adds to who we are. Enjoy the process!

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    1. Thanks, Carol. The quote really resonated with me too. Like so many things in life, it would be easy to forget why we began this journey: because we love it. Focusing on agent-representation or publication can deplete our joy. Since I have recently realigned my thinking, I seem to be enjoying writing more than ever. Happy writing to you!

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