Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I am a reader. A writer? Not so much. My work has been influenced strongly by the work of several writers, really the result of my thinking shifting and expanding as a result of reading their work. Barry Lopez, Hugh Brody, Richard Nelson, Jack Turner, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane, Barbara Kingsolver, John Straley - and others. I love to read - my only requirement being that it not feel like I’ve wasted my time.

But writing. I was always the one that had to be reminded 438 times to send my thank you letters. My favorite thing about graduating from college was knowing I didn’t have to write another paper. So why would I start a blog?

Several years ago, I realized that I am more interested in the memory of things, than the observation of things. At that point, I feel my work became much stronger. Previous to that, I was painting some plein aire work, some still life, studying portrait painting - going though the motions, and loving the process of painting, but not loving my subject matter. Reading helped lead me - to the realization that landscape has such deep meaning to me, that it is the memory of the landscape that keeps me grounded. And reading has been such an integral part of the evolution of my thinking, that I hope that writing might help me push the evolution of my work.

So I tried a journal. No luck. If your not compelled to write down your thoughts for yourself, I don’t know that your going to journal. My wife, Darby, is a writer. She is compelled to write in much the same way I am compelled to draw and paint. She is happier when she writes on a regular basis. I am happier when I paint every day. But I don’t feel compelled to write. And a journal is tucked away so no one knows if I write or not.

The blog is not private. It’s out there for any and all. Maybe even my Mom. Next thing you know,I’ll be getting 438 reminders to do my blog. OK Mom, I’m not planning on writing every day. We’ll see how it goes.

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