“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move.” - William Faulkner
From the moment we are born, we strive to express ourselves, to make our mark, to be remembered. When that “voice” is heard, seen, or read, we call it “art”(at least I do).
“Writing on the Wall” began with a simple goal: to honor the great literary history of my home state Mississippi by painting some of its many notable writers. I have always been intrigued by faces that tell a story, and these certainly deliver the necessary inspiration. An obvious challenge comes with trying to breathe new life into a photographic reference. To paint with any authenticity, I need to try to catch a glimpse into the creative minds of these remarkable individuals, and my solution has been to read (or reread) their work. While the first steps of my own journey were visual, subsequent ones have become literary as well
I was struck by how so many of these works still stand up today; they have become immortal. Words in some cases written over seventy-five years ago still have so much to say. I want to call Richard Wright’ cell phone and simply applaud...but for now, my attempt at capturing their spirit in paint will have to suffice. My self-directed "Mississippi Literature 101" class is an ongoing fantastic ride, and, for once, the final grade is not nearly as important as the substance gained along the way.