Friday, February 29, 2008

New Abstract Piece by Scott Mattlin

Scott has been going through a period of creative crisis. He'd grown tired of the paintings he's been doing for the last few years. His galleries love his figure work and would often call and specifically request that he paint pieces like others he'd already done. He makes his living painting and so he'd do it, but the work was just that. It felt joyless and stale. Today he tried something different. He tuned in Brazilian music on Pandora and he did this abstract piece. I saw a joy in his movement and in his painting that I haven't seen in a very long time and I just love these.

Sometimes I sense the same creative crisis when I read books by certain published authors. That joy and natural flow that was in earlier work is suddenly gone. The book in my hands feels like the product of a loveless marriage between the author and her publisher. I wonder how common it is for an established author to be asked to reinvent work that's shown itself to sell and I wonder how often it kills the love of writing in a person.

The romance is back for Scott and I think it shows. What do you think?

P.S. Amateur video here for those who have taken their Dramamine. Who knew the little camera could do this??? After I got done, I realized I should have turned on the lights :)


Ello said...

Oh I loved the colors. You are right it is simply joyous! If I walked into a room with this as the centerpiece, It would completely captivate me. I can see mountains and I can see angels and winged horses. This is simply a marvelous piece! Please tell him I love his work.

Melissa Marsh said...

Gorgeous paintings. You can definitely see the joy that went into creating them.

That's one thing I worry about with my writing - when I publish someday (have to be positive!), I don't want to be pushed to churn out books to the point where the love for the written word falls by the wayside. I think it's a very valid issue among artists of all ilk.

Shauna Roberts said...

Great painting with lots of energy and happiness.

I think the lighting of your video is just right. it's cool to have Scott as a shadow and the painting the only bright thing in the screen.

I think creative people naturally like to both explore a technique or subject in great depth and to afterwards want to move on to something new and fresh. I know I'm that way not only with my fiction writing but also with quilting and breadmaking.

I'm afraid I'm guilty, though, of preferring artists (musicians, painters, jewelry makers, etc.) to keep doing what they were doing when they became my favorites. When they move on to conquer new horizons, I sometimes stop buying their stuff.

CindyLV said...

Lovely work. I checked out his other paintings and thought they were beautiful, too. I really loved your video. I'm always amazed to see something creative being born. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations to your sweetie for finding joy.

liz fenwick said...

Love the on a canvas and joy and vitality!

Usman said...

That is a beautiful painting. I love oils. It's one of the things I'll do when I get published: buy a painting.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...

Lisa--This really is a joyous piece. Most traditional abstract expressionist works have tended to express chaos, or depression, but rarely joy. I still like his figure works, especially when you are the model. I can feel the love in those paintings that isn't there in those with other models.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love it. And I love the video--how amazingly cool to watch the creation, the joy.

I'm so inspired by the both of you. Such creative energy and drive...


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful painting. I love the colours and the movement within - to me it conveys warmth, happiness and energy.
I am not a painter, but sure wish I could even 'dabble' with a brush.
I look forward to seeing more of these creations.

Sustenance Scout said...

WOW how cool was that! And I agree the lighting was perfect. The artist in shadow, grooving with the music, chewing gum even! just letting it all flow. I showed the video to my nine-year-old artist-in-residence, who loved it too. Then I scrolled up to show her the finished piece and her eyes lit up! Looking forward to seeing more of Scott's work, K.

Yellow said...

This is amazing. I'm grinning from ear to ear. I agree that the lighting was perfect, focusing on the painting with Scott in a siloette (damn, I wish there was a spell checker on the comments section).
I'd rather he moved onto to something he feels driven to do than for him to grind to a halt.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's gorgeous. Great colors. I know Lana has really enjoyed doing her abstracts. It's very freeing for her and it sounds like maybe it's the same for Scott.

debra said...

Lyrical and joyous. Kudos to Scott for riding through the storm :-)

Carleen Brice said...

I'm partial to abstracts, but I do like these so much! The colors are just amazing!!!

Lisa said...

Everybody --- First, here are a few words from Scott:

Thank you all for such kind words. I feel like I've just come out of a period of creative burn-out and deep discouragement. Your encouraging words mean more than you know.

Ello, It's really cool now that it's hanging in my front hall because we've got spotlights on a dimmer and it's a different painting with different colors in every light.

Melissa, I agree with you. Somehow I suspect this period of pre-publication is one where we probably have more creative freedom than we'll ever have again. There's a bright side to everything :)

Shauna, I think we all feel that way to a degree. When we fall in love with the first book or CD, we really want more of what we loved in the first place so it's hard to let artists change and evolve. Of course when the shoe is on the other foot, I think it's tough. Look at how many romance writers who have been lambasted by their readers for changing genres!

Cindy, I've always loved watching Scott paint and it was a lot of fun capturing this first abstract on camera. As you can imagine, when he paints figures in oil, the work is far slower paced :)

Liz, Scott thanks you. I love it too.

Usman, This one was actually done in acrylics. You can't work this loosely and on this scale with oils, but all of Scott's other work is in oil paint. Much of this paint was actually in a nearly liquid form. I think everyone should buy original artwork, no matter what the medium or price tag. It really enriches your life!

Anon, As much fun as it was to capture the process on digital video, I plan to do it again. It will be interesting to see how the abstracts evolve and Scott has lots of ideas. You SHOULD dabble. It's a great creative outlet and everyone should have one of those.

Karen, Good point. Maybe I unintentionally did it right! This one is up in the front hallway, so you'll see it next time you stop by.

Yellow, Now that he's out of his creative slump, he's like a different man. Much lighter and full of energy. I can't wait to see what comes next!

Charles, I imagine she gets the same feeling of liberation that he does. I know much of her work is very painstaking (Scott calls those difficult parts "fiddly" -- like when he's working on a face). I don't think he ever loved the process when he was doing one of those, but I could see that he loved painting this.

Debra, I am so glad he found his way.

Carleen, Color has really always been his strongest suit. He really has a gift with it.

Larramie said...

I had the good fortune of being the first to view -- judging from no comments listed -- Scott's creative transformation last night. But after the video ended, so did my Internet connection. :(

Back finally to say that this abstract is beautiful, harmonious and full of positive energy. The colors actually appear to move and me think of Rio's Carnival.

Wherever you found this muse, Scott, hang on tight to it! And thank you for sharing, Lisa.

Lisa said...

Larramie, I'm sorry you got disconnected last night, but I'm glad you came back today. I actually thought Rio too -- maybe it was the music :)

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.

Virginia Woolf