Monday, January 11, 2010

Studio Visit With Anna Fox Ryan

There is so much mystery to painting. Throughout all of the books I've read, paintings I've viewed, words I've written-- I am still trying to recreate what is so utterly hypnotic about the act, how convincing and seductive a painter finds her substance, the literal alchemy of said substances, the blithe of blending, the pushing and pulling of paint across canvas, across the panel... The madness of when it goes wrong by a stroke, the suspense of knowing that sometimes, everything depends on a few, brief moments of contact.

I am no stranger to art's imminent passion. But technically speaking, I know little about painting. To help curve my knowledge, painter Anna Fox Ryan graciously opens her studio to me and every once in a while we'll get together for what she calls a "creative jam session."

Sunday, after eating lunch, we settled down in her studio for an afternoon of art. As Anna begins the laborious set up of solvents and oils, the meticulous selection of color, I tip-toe up with my notebook and ask that she explain everything. Anna graciously answered all of my inquiries, explained all of her actions and inspired me with her stop-and-start method of approach. Conflicts of color, trial and error to revise negative space--our time in the studio was certainly insightful. After taking notes and observing, we settled into the silence of her studio, Anna painting and I writing.

As an aside: A few days ago, I applied my outline to the calendar and configured what I would be writing each day. Strange how things worked out--the day I was scheduled to write a scene of Cameron in her studio painting was the same day I had scheduled my studio visit with Anna. And the days that I'll be in New York are the same days I'll be writing the scenes of Cameron's New York trip. Interesting.

THANK YOU to Anna for letting me come over and hang out. I can't tell you how helpful it is to watch you work. Love.

1 comment:

  1. It's always a treat having you over. I admire your talent and dedication as a writer and I cannot wait to read your book.