Alchemy Doesn’t Begin with Gold: Toward a Subjective Regionalism
I consider my creative work a practice, which has changed a lot over the years, but certain threads are deeply woven into my routines and rituals. Light and form, shape and texture, an aesthetic dependent on an eye seeking pleasure, all a part of how I perceive the world. In school, I suffered from left-handed backwardness syndrome. I did not excel in penmanship or drawing because my left hand smudged and rubbed out my cursive lessons along with my fledgling birds and pencil trees. Add an undisciplined drunken obsession with wild color and I made a mess out of everything.
Consistent threads in my visual roots revolve around photography and ink drawings. While the camera demands some basic technical knowledge, the technology has extended the range of the possible for those who practice with digital cameras, programs like Photoshop, high-quality copiers, and giclee printers. Photography and ink drawings can bring one vision into the other. With the camera, I alter what it sees to fit my eye through a process of subjective regionalism, using regional forms, colors, and nuances to fabricate a world of Crooked Comix. With ink, I am able to limit my palette and keep the colors clean and separated. With practice, I have discovered Crooked Comix in my landscapes and critters in the hills. And in that narrative: anything goes. Welcome to my world!
David Memmott has been living and writing in the Pacific Northwest most of his life and his work explores views of the American West both rural and subjective. His collection Lost Transmissions includes the long poem, “Where the Yellow Brick Road Turns West,” a finalist for the Spur Award. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Cirque, The Poeming Pigeon, Weber: The Contemporary West, Triggerfish: A Critical Review, basalt, Sheila-Na-Gig and Gargoyle. Memmott founded Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism and is editor/publisher of Wordcraft of Oregon. His digital art can be viewed in the Moonlight Garden at davidmemmott.com.