Poetry and painting by Judith Skillman In the interview below, you’ll also see mention of “Ekphrasis.” In the days where each Thursday painter gave a brief presentation to the class, Skillman inspired us all with her presentation about ekphrastic poetry – a poem based on a work of art. In an ekphrastic poem, the writer describes the work of art, and may extend into the work’s underlying story or significance. One of the earliest examples is in the Iliad, when Homer describes Achilles’ shield. Another is John Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Some day I hope to post a V. Note on ekphrastic poetry, but today I most wanted to share this book and her interview. Interview: Judith Skillman and Carol Smallwood on Ragazine Smallwood: In Premise of Light you dedicate the collection to your mentor in art and your first poem mentions a famous artist. Please expand on your art study and the cover you did for this collection: Skillman: I began taking art classes in fall 2014 at the Pratt in Seattle, and stumbled into Ruthie V., a wonderful teacher. Because my first major was visual art, the study of painting has been a gift. Ruthie V. is a talented painter and an excellent teacher. She is thoroughly versed in art history. I found I could employ Ekphrasis while learning about Lucien Freud, Édouard Vuillard, Emil Nolde and the myriad other artists who came alive through a mere skim of their lives, subject matters, and techniques. The cover art comes from a small oil painting I did as an attempt emulate the work of an artist I love—Joan Eardley. This piece was a pass at her “Seeded Grasses and Daisies, September“. In visual art the student is encouraged to copy, unlike poetry, where both teachers and students consider it plagiarism to imitate another writer. To me this disparity seems flawed, as the act of copying or modeling one’s work after an artist or a writer one admires may be one of the best ways to learn craft. That said, I did not in any way capture the essence of Eardley’s painting. What happened was more like translation, in which a different version appeared, barely recognizable as the original. Wallace Stevens’ essay The Relations Between Poetry and Painting, printed in pamphlet form after his talk at Museum of Modern Art in 1951, reinforces the similarities between writing a poem and painting a picture. Both require composition and execution. Neither writing nor art ‘happens’ from inspiration alone. Both require forethought, planning, and then abandonment to the creative process—followed of course by revision. Read the full interview here: https://www.ragazine.cc/2019/03/carol-smallwood-interviews-judith-skillman/ See more of Judith Skillman’s poetry: http://www.judithskillman.com/ Don’t you just want to eat this painting? Thursday Class If you’re looking for a painting class with solid techniques balanced with 1:1 direction to help you develop your own personal style, take Thursdays. No one paints the same way in Thursday class. We’ve got 2 Thursday shorties for spring, and a coupon. Join us! PAINTING FROM LIFE OR IMAGINATION 10:00-2:00 or 6:00-10:00pm, 4 Thursdays Starting April 4 ABSTRACTING FROM AN IMAGE 10:00-2:00 or 6:00-10:00pm, 4 Thursdays Starting May 9 Special Offer: Use the coupon code SWEET at checkout to get 20% off your second Tuesday or Thursday Shortie (4 week) class. Expires March 31, 2019.