Saturday, January 12, 2008

First drafts and finished pieces


Above, you see Boran2's "first draft" of a recent painting. Remind you of any of your own first writing drafts, which sometimes are little more than sketches, and which tempt you to think they'll never amount to much? Or which other people have told you will never amount to anything?



And here is his finished painting, framed, just as your finished writing may someday be "framed" by magazine or book covers. How'd he get from there to here? The same way writers do: week by week he added detail, "edited" and "rewrote," until finally after a lot of work and thought and practice, he reached this final, gorgeous point.

I have rarely, if ever, been privileged to witness such a dramatic illustration--literally--of the creative process from first to last. I don't know about you other writers in the crowd, but I will forever keep this in mind by way of reminder and inspiration.

Thanks, boran2. It's beautiful, and so has been your progress from when you started painting a few years ago, to now. . .and beyond. (You should see the one he's attempting now!

37 comments:

katiebird said...

3:53 a.m.

Good Morning Everyone! Nancy I hope you're sleeping peacefully. And that I'll see you when it actually IS morning.

I've been awake for an hour, so it's not looking good. .... I wonder if FamilyMan's up?....

Nancy P said...

I've been awake for a while, too, kb. What's the deal? Is it a full moon?

katiebird said...

I don't think so -- I thought it was closer to a new moon. I hear my MIL walking around through the wall -- maybe it's the trains. They've been waking mister and me both for the last couple of weeks.

I've been reading about that Coffee News company -- which SHOWS how desperate I am for sleep!

katiebird said...

Do you hear those trains from where you are? You're closer to them, but there might be hills buffering the sound.

Nancy P said...

The trains are almost literally in our back yard, but I rarely notice them anymore.

Nancy P said...

I think I'll see if I can read myself back to sleep.

katiebird said...

So it's not that -- at least not for you. Maybe a storm is moving in....

I know it's not that I'm caught up on sleep. I was a zombie yesterday

Maybe I'm excited, I got paid real money for a website yesterday!

katiebird said...

I'm about to do that too.

AndiF said...

Well, looks saying "pleasant dreams" might be more appropriate than good morning. Hope the both are happily snoozing away.

And good morning to those who spent the night the old-fashioned way.

GhostFolk.com said...

Congrats on the PAID website, Katiebird!

Yes, yes, yes: It is a great visual treat to see Boran's works progress and I always love the initial sketches. There's an interesting power there. (And in the paintings too!).

Warning, though, Nancy. As an analogy for noveling, the sketch for a painting is almost a perfect, uh, outline.

Maybe outlining can be organic, too?

GhostFolk.com said...

Maryb, I like your bones building.

When I was in grad school, I taught in a Frank Lloyd Wright building. I was so exicited to be assigned an intro Lit course there. I hadn't taught a Lit class before (just Comp). I had never been inside a FLW building.

I got there early. I walked around the building. The roof was a slightly tilted flat-type roof with little white rocks covering the surface.

I walked through the building. Each classroom had an outside entrance and a covered breezeway entrance. That was different.

Lots of natural light. Whole walls of windows. Cool.

I talked to other instructors showing up early for first-day of a class. Uh, they were all grad students. Bunch of kids.

Turns out anyone with anyone seniority at all at this school REFUSED to teach in the building. The wind came right through the walls. It was so cold we wore jackets in class in October.

And the thing leaked like Bonnie & Clyde's radiator at the end of the movie. The building seemed to bring in more rain than was actually raining outside. It was a rain vortex. There was often am 1/8 inch of water on the floor.

In the breezeways the water was moving. That was sort of fun. A stream in a building pretty neat. Except the water streamed in under the classroom doors, to join up with the rain that blew in under the roof.

That's art.

GhostFolk.com said...

Good Morning, Andif!

Off to the Church of My Own Backyard this fine Sunday? With the Deacon Dogs?

Collection plate reads: "Bones and Squirrel Tails Accepted."

GhostFolk.com said...

Atonement: I've seen no interviews, I've read no reviews of the book, so I could be wrong... but...

I wonder if the movie (and the novel itself) were heavy-handedly marketed as a Romance, whether or not the author intended his work to be so.

Marketing committee:

"So what do we call this thing?"

"Does it have a boy and girl in it?"

"Yup, but they don't get together in the end."

"But does it have a boy and girl in it?"

"Yeah."

"Then it's a romance. Call the art department."

Nancy P said...

:) The movie actually is a romance, Ghost. I don't know about the book, though.

That may be the worst FLW building story I've ever heard, and I've heard a few. It's so funny that for an architect who wanted to create things that had a human scale, he truly didn't seem to give a damn what they were like for humans who lived or worked in them. In his view, you were just lucky to get to be in his building.

Do you remember the horrific true story about his lover who was murdered along with her children and some other people, all at Wright's estate near Madison, WI? I wrote a short story based on that incident.

He attracted violence,and that's a fact. And it's a wonder all of his homeowners didn't come after him, en masse, with pitchforks.

I love the way his buildings look. I just wouldn't want to marry one of them.

Nancy P said...

Katiebird, that's great news!!!

Nancy P said...

Good morning to you, too, andi. A book on meditation put me right back to sleep.

AndiF said...

Hi GF, it's snowing here but the radar says it won't last long so we're waiting it out before going.

BTW, the building was one my husband taught in. The town of Columbus, Indiana is a microcosm of modern architecture. Here's a site with lots of pictures.

Nancy P said...

Ghost, ha! I'd have to *have* an outline first.

FARfetched said...

I follow Boran's Saturday Painting Palooza pretty regularly too. It's really cool watching the painting develop over the weeks.

KB, Nancy, hope you guys got (or are getting) some sleep. KB, big ups on getting PAID for a website!!!

Ghost, that's a pretty funny story about the building. Attractive design doesn't necessarily mean it's going to hold (or shed) water, does it? Give me functionality over form any day. Nancy, I never heard anything about FLW except that he designed really cool buildings — I never realized that the execution didn't (couldn't?) live up to the design. I could imagine people would come gunning for him in that case.

Odd… my right thumb keeps rubbing over my left wrist when I rest my hands, as if it's wondering why the watch isn't there. I haven't worn a watch in years.

Nancy P said...

Strange about your thumb/wrist after all these years, far. something? Is your thumb trying to tell you that it's time for something?

Here's a 1914 account of the murders:
http://www.pbs.org/flw/buildings/taliesin/taliesin_wright02.html

Nancy P said...

That first "something" isn't supposed to be there.

Jen said...

G'mornin' everyone.

Nancy, I love the visual art metaphor. Whenever I have been asked about how I write, I have often reached for it in explanation; sketch in an idea, more sketching, some blending, add details, add color, color over some things, more blending, tweak until the light and shadows "look right", and eventually, you know, something sorta like art emerges.

I hear my MIL walking around through the wall

Katiebird, you string sentences together in the most interesting ways -- this makes me think of your MIL as having a cool superpower, heh. Congrats on the website!

Nancy P said...

Hey, Jen. From the momment I first saw that "first draft" of b2's, it spoke to me in just the way you described. I looked at the photo he was going to work from, then back at the sketch, and thought, wow, there's long way to go, can he really do it?

Nancy P said...

I'm leaving in a few minutes to go with Quaker friends (Friends) to their Sunday meeting. I've always wanted to attend one to see what it's like.

Jen said...

Happy Friending!

maryb said...

Morning all. I love that you're featuring boran2's work Nancy. Every time he starts a painting I'm at a loss to visualize how it's going to end up and then ... it ends up beautiful.

Hey ghost - there's an AP story by Christy Lemire on Yahoo news this morning about all the novels that have been adapted for film that are up for awards this year, including Atonement. Apparently the author chose the adapter himself. ""McEwan said he realizes the process of adaptation is "a kind of demolition job."

"You've got to boil down 130,000 words to a screenplay containing 20,000 words," the author said in the "Atonement" production notes. "

I've always been fascinated by the adaptation process. And I've always been fascinated when the adapters seem to miss the point of the novel.

I'd link the news story but I don't know how to do links here - it doesn't take that HTML.

katiebird said...

Good Morning! (Barely) I slept until 11am -- which is virtually unheard of for me.

I grew up knowing a lot about FLW because the last thing he designed was our county Civic Center - he died before it was complete (maybe even before it was started.) Here's a photo: http://www.qui-gonline.org/features/marinciviccenter.jpg

I never heard about any problems with it -- maybe because he wasn't around to f*ck it up?

The county library was under the dome, so I used to bike to the building ALL the time. Which must make any parent who knows the area tremble. No parent these days would let a child ride a bike over that route by themselves.

The building is beautiful -- it has huge atriums that run through the middle of each of the wings off the dome.

It's also where the Angela Davis trial was held & the first place I ever encountered metal detectors. I was visiting cousins the summer of that trial & to go to the library, we had to go through them.

Good times.....

katiebird said...

I'm still almost hallucinating with exhaustion. How did Nancy manage to get-up-and-go?

Thanks for the congratulations on the website, I'll post a link as soon as it's ready for prime-time. It's close, but not quite ready.

I have a good feeling about the enterprise. Just as I was getting ready to leave for my meeting, my brand-new-business cards arrived by mail. AND they look even nicer than I thought they would.

My MIL isn't a superhero, Jen -- but she IS powerful -- It seems like she's one of the driving forces in Obama's campaign: "Audacity of Hope" Hope being her name & Audacity her game:

Audacity- n., pl. -ties.

1. Fearless daring; intrepidity.
2. Bold or insolent heedlessness of restraints, as of those imposed by prudence, propriety, or convention.
3. An act or instance of intrepidity or insolent heedlessness: warned the students than any audacities committed during the graduation ceremony would be punished.

Conda said...

Great idea, Nancy. Sometimes we forget how it's a process and a struggle for any creative endeavor. What a gorgeous reminder.

Nancy P said...

Hi, Conda. Some time this week, I'll make my good news celebration announcement that your post at your blog inspired me to do. Thank you. :)

boran2 said...

Thanks Nancy! I've been in and out all day with errands (and snowstorm panic shopping) and finally got over here. What a wonderful way to illustrate the creative process, as a continuum of addition and refinement! I've actually not looked at the first sketch recently, it was a good reminder of how it started.

Speaking of how things started, in cleaning up today, I came across some baby photos of our son. These included a few from the hospital delivery room. Seeing him at age 9 today it is amazing to see how things have changed.

Nancy P said...

Hi, boran2. You're really quite an inspiration, in the way you set out to do this several years ago and you not only stuck with it,week by week, then year after year, but actually did it all in public!! That's sticking your neck out!

That's a funny coincidence, that on the day I use your work to illustrate first draft to finished product, you come across that "first draft" photo of your son.

Thank you for so generously sharing your personal creative journey.

boran2 said...

Honestly, Nancy, it's a bit embarassing looking back at some of those old projects. It's all part of the process, I guess.

Nancy P said...

Ha! You should see my first and unpublished short stories. Fortunately, you can't, no one can, because I threw them away.

FARfetched said...

Awww, Nancy, what a way to treat your first attempts at creativity! Then again, I can't say much about some of my earliest work… it's gone too. I feel lucky that the stuff I wrote in college still survived in a drawer, even if it's mostly vanity-press material.

FARfetched said...

One of them is truly horrible — I can't even begin to figure out how to fix it. The others, not so horrible. Maybe that was my first attempt and I kept it around as a counter-example.

katiebird said...

waving

I once threw away all my old short stories (from a college writing class) One of them made my professor laugh & laugh. I sort of wish I had it to see if I'd still think it was funny.

But, I'll just have to try again another time.....