Painter uses the writing process to gather ideas for Bhutan inspired works.
Felicia Finlayson is a Sydney artist who sketches and paints still life, life study or landscape. Normally she uses watercolour or gouache for these “plein-air” sketches to quickly capture the spirit and essence of the location, rather than reproduce it. But on our recent trip to Bhutan she began experimenting with using writing as the first step to capturing her images. I asked her how she came to this idea.
“I’ve always painted outdoors then continued the process later in the studio referring to sketches or visual imagery. Now I have become more interested in going out into the scene and writing a few lines instead, then later referring to the words when I begin to paint. “
“This is only a new process for me. I got the idea when I went to see poet/philosopher David Whyte reading his poetry. Listening with my eyes closed, I noticed I was getting visual imagery and I wondered if I could reverse my creative process and allow words to make the imagery — to dialogue with my brush, so to speak. I’m into simplification rather than detail and I’ve found that through describing in words what I see and feel, I’m more able to explore the impression of the scene.”
“Back in my studio in Sydney this week it feels like this new way of working is making sense and will be beneficial to my art practice. It’s the first time too I’ve been aware of mindfully painting. Usually I’m in a rush to complete a work, but this week I notice out of three hours in the studio I only spent about forty five minutes actually painting and the rest of the time just sitting with it in consideration. Maybe that’s a benefit from the experience of being in Bhutan.”
Felicia is continuing to work on her Bhutan paintings. We will post more as they are completed. She is currently showing other work at One+2 Studios in Rozelle, Sydney.
Felicia was a particpant in Writer’s Journey - Creative in Bhutan 2016. Next trip heading out for artists and writers is Moroccan Caravan Jan 26 — Feb 8. Taste of Tibet is scheduled for June 7–17, 2017.
© Paintings Felicia Finlayson 2016.