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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hugh Nissenson

"One of the things that I felt I wanted to do as an artist was to expand the frontiers of my imagination as much as I could; to follow wherever my imaginative facility took me, and to create alternate worlds."

American Novelist, Poet and Artist
1933 - 

One of the things that fascinates me about writing is the opportunity to create a world peopled with characters.  I enjoy watching the world take form out of my imagination combined with memory.  Now, it can be a world that looks very much like the world you and I live in or it can be a world that is solely from my imagination.  As a reader, I am deeply impressed with science fiction writers and their ability to create alternate worlds.  If you have not read Dune by Frank Herbert, you need to put it on your to-read list.
I am also fascinated by artists who paint genre paintings.  They create a whole world within a painting.  Two of my favorites are the American, Eastman Johnson, and the Dutch Master, Jan Steen.  Both artists tell stories through their paintings.  They create worlds that we can see.

What stories are you telling through your art?  What imaginative worlds are you creating?  Are you expanding the frontiers of your imagination?  Are you seeing things that others can't see?  Are you opening up new worlds for others to experience?

In my research on Hugh Nissenson, I discovered an amazing artist.  As part of the process of writing a novel about an artist, Nissenson painted a series of paintings for the novel in the style of his character.  In this video, Nissenson discusses his combining art and poetry into the novel. The Song of the Earth.