The Process, musings by Chris Foster.....
“Where do you find the words?” Chris is often asked this question about her paintings. She tells us she has, for 30 years, accumulated a computer database of writings, organized by subject matter.
Sometimes the idea or words come first, and then the image that follows is my interpretation of those words. Other times, I just paint what appeals to me and find my own words to accompany the visual. The stage of finding the right words may require weeks of meditation before I find the right fit.
I‘ve recently been doing what I call improvisational “Jazz Writing.” I start the work with an idea but no thumbnail plan of the finished drawing. One mark is put down, and then the second mark or stroke or word) is a reaction to the first, and the piece continues to unfold. This is a very spontaneous way of working and the results cannot be predicted, as it’s best to work in the moment. The viewer may find misspellings, no punctuation, or illegible passages. Of course, the artist’s knowledge of good composition and design are crucial to the success of the painting. Unexpected things will appear. This method of working requires a setting aside of my ego. “Going with the flow” isn’t as easy as it sounds, nor is silencing my own mental critic. Quite often, failure is part of the process.
My calligraphic paintings aren’t just about reading words. They draw the viewer in to ponder meanings and explore their own personal feelings about the ideas expressed.