Write Around PAM: Neil Meitzler

“Winter Rain” by Neil Meitzler 1972. Acrylic on Masonite. 22 7/8 in x 23 1/8 in. Square painting with strong contrasting colors and textures that give an illusion of 3-D space. A tan snow-covered mountain with a flat top and sharp edges extends from the bottom of the painting to the middle of the painting. Wispy white strokes cover the mountain. Sharp, thin gray clouds extend at an angle past the top left side of the mountain and drift into the thick band of solid white clouds above. A thinner band of bright white clouds surrounded by patches of dark gray clouds float just below the large white cloud. The rest of the horizon is filled with a dark orange glow as if the sun has just set against a solid gray plane. A smaller snow-covered mountain is barely visible in the distance.

Both visual art and creative writing can invite us into abstract thoughts, a chance to step away from the traditional narrative and into a different way of thinking, seeing, speaking. We invite you to spend some time in the abstract today, using this piece by Northwest painter Neil Meitzler as inspiration. “While our existence momentarily may appear stable and continuous, we change from day to day,” Meitzler observes. “Finally, only the eroding rock of memory is left.” 

First, we invite you to shift the physical way you write. Try turning your journal upside down, write with your non-dominant hand, write standing up, etc. Notice how this slight shift can allow words to flow differently onto the page. 

Next, we have two prompts to help you get started. As always, you can choose one, both, or write whatever else comes. Set a timer for 9 mins and just keep your pen or pencil moving.

The paint drips… / Grey offers…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the winter. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM 

Neil Meitzler, Winter Rain, 1972, acrylic on Masonite, Transferred from Seattle Art Museum: Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection, © unknown, research required, 2016.38.3

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