A few weeks ago I discovered the website Get Sparked. Amy Souza runs this site and the project called Spark. Four times a year Amy opens up Spark to musicians, writers, and visual artists. After signing up, Amy pairs you with another artist, your partner for the current session. Once you have a partner, you send them an inspiration piece and they have ten days to create a response.

This was my first run with Spark and I was part of No.28. I was paired with a writer from Maine, Terry-Anya. A fantastic writer with a great sense of humor and the ability to put words together that make you feel such strong emotions.

Creating from words was a new experience for me. Normally my inspiration comes from colors or images. I sat with Terry-Anya’s words for several days. Reading and rereading them trying to figure out where to start.
Here is the poem that she sent…

BATTERY FAILING

This may be
your last pome from me
instrument panel growing dim
motor coughing out a shape-note hymn
passenger on board
looking mad, drawing sword
ice on the wings
a few other things
hardly clear sailing
and now —
BATTERY FAILING!

My first attempt was to create from images that her words made me see as I read the words. This piece came together slowly and I really didn’t enjoy the process. It was a task to complete not an adventure to explore. So after getting almost to completion I abandoned it and gessoed over to start again.

JMWSpark1

For my second attempt I stayed true to who I am and how I create as an artist. I picked a color palette and started the piece from there. I recorded myself reading the poem and as I worked on the layers of this piece I let the words wash over me and guide through the process. I had an absolute blast and the second piece came together in a couple of hours instead of days.

JMWSpark28

The depth and texture in this piece captures the emotions I felt as I read Terry-Anya’s words. It has inspired a whole new series and approach to creating my art.

Thanks Amy and Terry-Anya for a fantastic experience, it truly was a great way to explore my creativity.

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The poem Battery Failing is the property of Terry-Anya Hayes and may not be reproduced without consent from the author.