Between The Tides Exhibition by Trudie Shannon

14th May

Between The Tides

by Trudie Shannon

Who am I as an artist? I am, as an artist exactly who I am as a person. Trudie, woman, artist, poet, mother, wife.

Whether I am an artist who writes or a poet who paints I’m never sure. Both emanate from the same source and I doubt whether one is more significant than the other. When inspired I draw. (I am rarely inspired to draw from life, from reality.)

However, I have no pre-conceived plan of the outcome of the image when I first put pencil to paper. Once I commence painting, I feel my way into the image and into colour. It is not a conscious action but a sensation that encapsulates me physically, predominately in the area of my chest, as I regard my palette. I then feel drawn to particular colours

Each image is a mystery journey from its outset to its conclusion. At its conclusion I regard the finished painting much like an individual in a gallery ‘seeing it’ for the first time. I feel I need to look at it many many times, as if to familiarise myself with it. To a degree, (if I like it) it’s a little like a love affair. I need to be close to it for several days. Each time I look I see and feel something new.

Is there a hidden narrative? Possibly. I am aware that as I paint sometimes a story evolves in my head but not necessarily one that can be conveyed to any viewer. I may give certain elements a voice. This is particularly true in the series on show.

My medium is and always has been watercolour though I do not use it in the conventional sense. My work has often been thought to be done in anything but! The main reason for this is the sheer intensity of colour. I quite frequently use the paint directly from the tube without dilution. In the main I work with very fine brushes as much of it is finely detailed.

Where does my inspiration come from? I’m not sure that in the style of work I create that I can say it comes from anywhere except from within. I do not and cannot paint to order. Over the years I have been asked many times if I have travelled to South America or Africa. I have even had reference made to Aboriginal art as my paintings seemed to be reminiscent of the artwork of these places. I have been delighted and a little proud to think that people make such a connection but The answer is No.

However I am unsurprised by the apparent link. We are human beings living on the same earth and I believe the creative river flows about us all. The style I have, has evolved since I started painting aged 18. I have not studied art. I appreciate it but I do not spend time poring over art books or going into galleries, though if the opportunity arises I am happy to do the latter. 

The opposite can be said of my poetry which is most definitely inspired by my environment and the people who live within it. I do also write poems that are somewhat surreal in content which emerge from the same place as the paintings and it is also true that on occasion a poem will inspire a painting and vice versa.The only similarity between the two art forms for me is that with painting, I start with a line and follow it not knowing where it will lead and with my poetry a first line comes into my head and I follow it. I do know when something, a person, a situation will evolve into a poem. as the line arrives often in a given moment. It may take hours or days before I put that line down to evolve and grow into a fully fledged poem.

I write open verse so there are no restrictions and much the same with the paintings, I paint in my own style so am not compelled to follow any format. I do not set out in any given day, to paint a picture or write a poem. Inspiration is my creative keeper and I am beholden to her whim.

To the viewer:

I am the artist, you are the viewer. I offer you my paintings and my words, may they touch your eyes, your hearts, may they speak to you. If they do none of these things no matter, for your presence alone gives them purpose.

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