Artist Ian Davey paints exquisite and delicate scenes of nature on an unusual canvas: swan feathers. Naturally, much of his work depicts birds, alongside other kinds of flora and fauna. Naturally, I’m impressed.
I actually just wrote “I’m obsessed,” but that’s not true, is it? No, I’m impressed and awed and a little in love with the work others do, but looking at Davey’s impossibly detailed, impossibly delicate pieces, I’m reminded of what true, genuine, nearly obsessive passion looks like. He must love what he does. There must be something sweet and quiet about creating each piece. It’s probably like how I feel when I leave the room and it’s just my characters playing on a page (not me anymore, not a writer working, toiling away with a lock of hair in my mouth and a furrow growing between my eyes as I stare, stare at the words). It must feel something like that.
I think that’s why I’m drawn to artists who do this kind of dexterous, focused work. Like Jenine Shereos or John Stortz. It’s easier to spot with visual artists, but there are writers who work the same way. Some writers paint with huge brushes and gesture wildly. Their characters tend to barrel into my mind, knocking down defenses and inserting their speech patterns on top of my own. But then there are writers who sneak up on you. It might take longer to swallow those first chapters, but once I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, I tend to stay there for a long, long time.