I have a friend who I was at school with, and then lost as she moved, and then I moved. Thanks to social media we have found each other again! She is a most wonderful artist, I’m in awe of her paintings of every sort of subject, portraits, still lives (or is it lifes?) landscapes… oh everything, plus of course sketches and charcoal, and now she is doing collage. The picture she is working on at the moment is of a seated woman, reading a book and wearing a blue top and jeans. It’s a fabulous piece of work although not yet finished and I have been following her progress, fascinated by the technique and the picture she is producing.
I asked her “has it come out the way you intended, or has it changed as you’ve worked on it?”
Yael answered “a bit of both. I intended it to have a lot of colour and light (which it has), but allowed for things to ‘happen’ as well. I usually worry about ‘overload’, having too much (or too little?) detail. Something to do with Gestalt – being able to see how the details affect the full picture and vice versa. I now have to figure out what needs to go into the left hand corner to balance it out (can be a very small detail), and bring the stems in the vase down to the bottom. Simple? Not….
Me – Interesting… and in many ways similar to writing a novel – or the way I write! The idea of allowing things to happen is exactly my way of working… and as for having too much detail, yes again that’s me! I look forward to seeing what goes in the corner!
Yael: Like minds…
Me: I’ve been thinking about it (our conversation) all day! How connected the creative process is, even in different media!
Yael:Interesting, I went out painting with a friend today, and I told him about our conversation. He said he went to a lecture with a very famous (and excellent) Israeli author called Meir Shalev. He said that Meir Shalev described the writing process as hard work, getting up every day at a certain hour and sitting down to write. He uses a very rigid framework, but also allows for things to happen within the framework. Not depending on a special mood or whatever.
Me: have you read Meir Shalev? I must find out more about him!
Yael: I have – exceptional. Worth reading (are his books translated into English?)
Me: Yes they are – which do you recommend I read first?
You can find out more about Yael’s work here:
and also find her on Facebook. Meir Shalev is an Israeli writer whose works include fiction, children’s books as well as non-fiction – I look forward to reading him!
My creative processes seem to have stalled lately, maybe I need to adopt Meir Shalev’s method of working!