Words and titles

Beautiful words are like little gems glinting in our imaginations. When I'm reading, I jot down in a notebook, words or phrases which particularly glow from the page, and I now have filled a few of these little books. They are usually Moleskines and I like to cover them with different papers.


I write with the finest of nibs in black, brown, orange, purple or pink ink, but never blue - I'm not sure why this is. Maybe I've seen too much blue ink when marking essays when I was teaching English. I turn my notebook to orientate the quotations in different ways on the page so that at a later date when I read them, I have to turn the book round in my hands and each quotation gets my individual attention. Sometimes I add an illustration or doodle. There often dried flower heads nestled between the pages.

Reading back over the words at a later date is heart-lifting and can inspire the titles of my paintings. Some of these titles are in the image below. I mull over words which appeal to me and arrange and rearrange them on a page - always handwritten - and eventually they fall into a pattern I like, much like mixing paint and colours till they feel right. I particularly like words about landscape and weather, favouring the images associated with winter weather.I also like words to do with home.


Writing these titles takes time but I revel in creating them and enjoy the process as much as I enjoy creating the paintings. Words, to me are like tiny paintings which stir my emotions and delve deep inside me, resonating with fluid memories of place and experience.

I really like the words below, written by George Eliot in 'Middlemarch' about having 'keen vision' and heightened senses. Imagine if it could be as good as that - hearing the grass grow! How magical. The magic of looking and listening to that 'roar on the other side of silence.' Chosing words with care is an attempt to go a little way towards the other side of silence.