Monday, 21 April 2008

Vivien Steels

People often say to me – “Oh, how lovely to be able to paint. Isn’t it relaxing?” And I say, “No, it actually makes me feel quite tense staring at a white, blank sheet of paper, until I’ve finished a painting, then I can relax.” But then I see all the faults in the work, begin the next picture and the process starts all over again!

Really I am a poet, who likes to paint to combine two creative mediums to illustrate my poems. I use mainly watercolours, but also acrylics, black pen and ink and coloured inks. As a sufferer of M.E., I find being creative links me to the Creator and creation. I feel that I am trying to make something beautiful, sometimes out of illness and despair. This is an extract from an article I wrote entitled ‘Why I write and paint’, which was published in WRITE-AWAY magazine in Spring 2001.

“Ultimately I believe wordcraft and paintcraft are spiritual gifts from God and although I must have faith in my ability to use words and paint in the best possible way that I can, I am thankful for loving the use of words and colour when trying to interpret and convey how I see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world around me, as well as the mystery of that which is unseen.”

It is important that we use and develop the gifts given us in our own unique way. We are all different, but the arts – painting, poetry, music – can touch the soul and reveal that deep part, which is within all of us.

I am very drawn to Native American culture. Some of my illustrations depict their costume and the natural world around them.

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