Today we’re joined by Dawn Whitehand – a great artist and poet!
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I have always written poetry and some prose since I was in my early teens, with a few pieces published in my early twenties. Then children came along, and things got put on hold.
In 1997 I relaunched my creative self through enrolling in a pottery hobby class. This led, within a few years, to a new direction in the visual arts, mainly sculptural and three dimensional works. A few years ago I decided I wanted to concentrate more on writing again and developed a blog called A Poem and a Drawing a Day. I wrote poem and drew an accompanying drawing for a year, and during that year was named within the top five blogs on WordPress during NaPoWriMo.
Since then I have relieved the pressure to posting on my blog less frequently. I aim for weekly, but sometimes it may drift out to fortnightly. The poem and drawings being published in this edition of Felan are works I submitted from my blog.
When you create, what inspires you?
Most of my poetry is inspired by the rawer and darker side of human emotions or nature. This has been a constant in my writing inspiration since my teens – I haven’t outgrown it yet! Since the drawings I create are based on the poems they are inspired by the same concepts, and hopefully reflect the poem concerned.
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.
When Words are Too Late – this drawing is based on a poem of the same name on my blog. It was inspired by the imminent death of a family member, and the inability to voalise feelings openly due to to years of emotional suppression
A Love Poem – this drawing is bright and cheery because it is based on a poem inspired by a happy event (an unusual source of inspiration for me) – my wedding day.
Image & Poem
This poem is inspired by the story of Romeo and Juliet, and forbidden love. It is also inspired by my current relationship – we often talk about having known each other before… The poem explores the idea of reincarnation and whether love unfulfilled in one lifetime can be pursued in the next life, and if so, do we recognize that person. The drawing is inspired by the shapes in the poem – the sheer cliff and the never-ending orb.
What is your medium of choice? Why?
I write all of my poems in journals containing handmade paper… for two reasons.
1/ I write my poetry in bed in the morning before getting up and being tainted by the world, before being exposed to social media, and before speaking to anyone.
2/ I love the handmade paper for drawing on, I enjoy the natural textures the surface lends to a drawing. So the left page has the poem and the adjacent page contains the drawing.
Later that day I type my poem up on my blog and scan my drawing into the post.
How did you first discover your love for writing/art?
I suppose I discovered my love of writing poetry as a teen full of angst. I also loved English and English Literature at school, and loved reading dark novels and stories. I have also always loved drawing. As a primary school aged child I used to copy characters out of comic books – so it was logical that the two would eventually entwine.
What advice would you give to an aspiring poet/visual artist?
If you weren’t writing/creating art about love, what would be your topic of choice?
Most of my poetry is inspired by nature of the darker, more raw side of human emotion. Even my ‘love’ poety’ has a dark side.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel love?
My hubby, my kids (now adults) and my recently passed away buddy (pet).