Brooks Roddan, Poet and Painter

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I mentioned recently (“One Blog Leads to Another”) how Brooks Roddan has recently been devoting himself to painting, rather than writing. In his blog, Roddan comments on the differences in his imaginative perceptions, and found that he articulated exactly why I, too, have been making the same transition. Here, for instance, is his entry from August 4, 2019:

“There’s something about painting I just can’t wait to get to, and something about writing I just can’t wait to get away from.
Painting, I don’t know what I’m doing, I have no master and so I’m no slave. Writing is a different story.
Finishing up two paintings today, free handing them both, not worrying whether or not I was staying between the lines, as there were no lines, I could feel myself lifting up out of myself and into the realm of a creative act. 
Toward the end of the making of each painting I started talking to myself, liking what I was hearing enough to begin to write it down, crawling back to the writing table in service to words.”
(“Two Paintings, Zero Writing”)

If there are other poets who wish to expand their artistic practice in a similar manner, I would urge them to fortify their motivations by reading some of Roddan’s other posts on painting:

Monday, September 17, 2018

November 29, 2018 “Painting stained glass stairs”

In the entry for Saturday, December 22, 2018, Roddan shares some aphorisms from his jottings on the subject. Two of my favorites are:

“abstract expressionism is the garage band of contemporary art”

“weird how when i’m painting, as i’m doing now and doing more and more of, the solution is always to use more paint, as opposed to writing in which the solution is always, always to use fewer words”

Anyone who is attending the AWP conference in Portland at the end of March who would like a break from the incessant chatter about poetry and fiction should drop by table 10067, where Brooks and I will be glad to talk with you about painting, as well as some of the books that IF SF has recent published, including Thomas Fuller’s “The Classical World.”

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