Tag Archives: writer

Doctor Who…The Writer’s Tale

So what else does an artist read?  Well at the moment I am thoroughly enjoying the gay and witty emails of Russell T Davies, as he shares insights into his creative process as writer for the wonderfully revived “Doctor Who” series in his book “Doctor Who, The Writer’s Tale”. 

I was particularly interested in his comments about how he carried so many potential episodes around in his head as he developed them, each having a life of their own, and how they were constantly with him.  There was no separation between work and other life, in fact all of life impacted on his stories as they unfolded.   How visual he is, how things come together from various pieces, and how not every story or character may come to light and yet they have had a life in his head.  And not only was he writing for Dr Who series episodes, and it seems a number of series at any one time, but also Torchwood and others.  Judging by the time of the emails (the book being a year’s dialogue of emails between Russell and journalist Benjamin Cook), Russell barely sleeps.   All of this has been fascinating as one creative individual to another and I could see a number of parallels.

As a portrait artist, I am currently carrying atleast 9 portraits around in my head, along with a concept for a series of up to 30.  Some will become paintings and others, depending on all sorts of things, including my life around me will be destined to be stored away in my brain.  And I can understand Russell’s comments about characters he develops and then when they don’t end up seeing the light of day…I get attached to my ideas for paintings and when for whatever reason they don’t come to fruition it does at times make me feel sad.   Although I notice when this happens, usually something better or certainly different evolves.  I recently had an idea for a project which I was very excited about, could see the whole painting however for a number of reasons I needed to let go of that concept (although I can still see it) and instead this has evolved into a completely different painting.  And, similarly I don’t sleep that much as well, with all those ideas, those faces and all that energy they create.

Anyway it has been curious to read this fascinating and funny book to get an insight into this creative mind.  Even more curious, my daughter’s friend has just returned from the UK with a signed note to my daughter from, none other than, Russell T Davies complete with a handdrawn Dalek.  And if by sheer chance Russell ever reads this… “Yes, you did spell her name right”.

Exhibitions and resilience building…

Although it has been some months since my last diary update, life as an artist just gets busier.  Painting is my joy however there are all the other aspects that go with the the territory; preparing for and entering exhibitions, tracking paintings and timeframes, deliveries, pick ups are all part of what is required and yet at the same time managing your energy and emotions in the process.   While you may be selected for some exhibitions, then there are the rejections and if there is one thing you need as an artist apart from persistence, is resilience.

Flicking through the Sunday papers this weekend, I was interested to read an article about Tom Keneally on donating his personal library of 2,500 books to the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (The Sun-Herald page 18).  Apparently the publication of his first novel “The Place at Whitton” supposedly “saved his life”.  Keneally is quoted as saying “I think if that book hadn’t been published I might have become a psychiatric patient or a drunk or a homeless person in time.”  Whether a painter, writer, musician or any creative artist, the moment you put yourself and your work (not always easy to separate!) out in the public arena, then it is a real test of your resilience in the face of rejection.  

In my case, I will continue to paint, to develop my skills, build my resilience and for those exhibitions I have missed out on, will have another attempt next year!