One of the most interesting things about researching art, specifically sculpture is finding out even more the value of using color–use of its nuances and technique. Not only has considering use of hue helped me with a specific scene in my play, tentatively titled La Inquisition de Arte, color and its reality encourages looking, perhaps, abstractly and visualizing distorted shapes in a creative, contextual way. I’m considering using different shapes as a visual way of working with characters’ emotions and how some of their decision making influences the way they work in their environment. I’ve noticed that use of characters and what they attempt to do with their lives can be seen with thinking and creating with color. I’ve narrowed it down to working with Spanish Impressionism; and I realized that part of technique during that time period reflects shadows that aren’t black; they are colored because “black” doesn’t variegate itself. Color as “pure white” is reflective of the sun, hence plein air. Also the good thing about researching this time period and looking specifically at statues and their diverse color-connotation helps me prepare more for my own progress in wanting to get back into painting.
One of the interesting things about rural life is the continued look at the uncanniness and unpredictability of dark humor working in films–pretty much interconnected with novels and plays. I really liked Squibbs’s and Wilson’s performances because characters were such polar opposites of each other. The film, Nebraska, was an eccentric look into focusing on the theme of the family dynamic and what boundaries parents did and didn’t have with one another and the effect those boundaries had on their children. Interestingly enough, the characters, the two sons, beat to a different drum as much as their parents. The sons were so different and yet craved diverse similarities. Grown up. But so divided. Even at middle age, or close to it, these characters–the sons, sitting at the dinner table, made me see retrospectively loss divided, loss that they already know; but, at the same time, they are accepting of what is lost and who they are. One son yet, however, hasn’t found a place for himself but is willing to accept the place he is in until he can find that place of his own. I was surprised at the willingness and patience he had with his father, played by Dern. The mother, played by Squibbs, isn’t as irksome as she may appear; however, she has a profound affect on the family’s decisions, what leads them to do what they do. Dern, always effective, his character learns to shield himself the only way that he is capable of knowing and doing–beyond alcohol; but he is aware of his decisions, albeit knowing he contributes to his family’s emotional suffering. Although short, Wilson’s character is well-thought out, meaning her positive countenance resembles a much needed patience that counters the family. A really good choice of opposing characters screenwriter Nelson applied, that bite into dark humor within a rural landscape through black and white film intrinsically resonates.
One of the most provocative things about playwriting, for me, even the most time consuming, so-to-speak, is coming up with a title. In revising some beginning scenes for my new play, which takes place in New Mexico and deals with a passion of mine–art, I’m considering looking into Romanticism as a thread. A few of the components of that time period could include Neo-classicism, Nature, and Impressionism. I haven’t yet decided on which one to pick. And in terms of titles, I’ve been able to come up with one–although it may change and obviously refine itself. With titles also comes the need for formatting, which has actually helped me to align thoughts and ideas, inadvertently creating more ideas for me to consider even though this consideration is based on technicality.
What was also profitable was getting some more insight into regional landscapes in terms of thinking about titles, specifically the Pacific Northwest: Vancouver (British Columbia) Oregon, Alaska, and California from the 2014 AWP Conference in Seattle. Most of the focus, however, was on Vancouver; but there were effective comparisons to the East and West Coast. What was good was listening to the speakers discuss the many fruitful opportunities available for theatre in Vancouver and I really liked the discussion of oceanic color pigmentation as symbolic of storytelling. There was a discussion over cityscape, the city as being multi-tasking and simplistic through imagery, rhythm, and scenography; and this continued to let me know that drama is indeed active, moreover there continues to be the landscaped theme of “restlessness,” that there continues to be an alienation or loneliness to it, a comfort rather with the empowerment of land and what it can do to develop ideas and creativity. Landscape can provoke and break psychological barriers considering space, time, and topography and that there is prolific ecology to the nature of landscape.