Tue, Oct 06 | Zoom (link given after registration)

"Art into Poetry / Poetry into Art — Connecting Words and Pictures" workshop with Randy Spencer

In this 2-month workshop, participants will see how a number of poets have turned to works of art as the stimulus for their writing.
Registration is Closed
"Art into Poetry / Poetry into Art — Connecting Words and Pictures" workshop with Randy Spencer

Time & Location

Oct 06, 2020, 9:00 AM – Nov 24, 2020, 5:00 PM
Zoom (link given after registration)

About The Event

Please direct any questions to our workshop coordinator, Carol Blackwood, at carolblackwood@yahoo.com or 803-603-8634.

Workshop Description (from the instructor)

In this 2-month workshop, participants will see how a number of poets have turned to works of art as the stimulus for their writing. We will look at the different ways that art can be used to generate poetry, from using the images themselves or connecting to the artist's life to connecting the artwork to the poet's own life and times. We will use writing prompts to help group members begin to create their own transitions from art to words, first with everyone working to translate the same well-known paintings and moving toward participants writing from their own or friend's art or photographs. This is a Zoom workshop and the goal is for everyone to share their writing and learn from each other's efforts. There is a method to all this madness, as learning to paint word pictures pays off in developing alternate sources of inspiration to use when creating a painting or other artwork. As the workshop moves further along, participants will reverse the process and create artwork which is inspired by or interprets poems, both their own writings or some chosen by the instructor. The whole activity of "seeing" in words can help us spread out and grow in different, maybe unexpected, ways as artists.

Format: Since the workshop is on Zoom there is always a group conversation available and group members will need to be able to print materials sent by email from the instructor or work shared among the participants. At the beginning, certain materials will, for convenience, be sent to each member the old-fashioned USPS way.

Dates and times: Depending upon speed of registrations (so material can be mailed) the workshop will begin on Tuesday mornings, either the first or second Tuesday in October and last 8 weeks. One of those days is Election Day and if this is a major problem for the group, we will just extend the workshop and extra week. Time will be 9:30 to roughly 11:30, somewhat dependent on Zoom scheduling.

Workshop is limited to 8 participants unless a special circumstance requires a slight increase.

Cost: $10 in order to copy and mail out initial materials. 

About the Instructor

Randy Spencer has been a member of CCAL for a half dozen years and has entered shows and won awards both through CCAL and other competitions, primarily in watercolor and photography. He has an MFA in Poetry Composition from the University of South Carolina and has published several books of poetry which have included poems responding to the works of various visual artists. In the past he has taught poetry workshops for adults and adolescents.

Two poems by the instructor based on paintings: Monet's painting at the Columbia Museum of Art and Andrew Wyeth's dry brush technique.


Doctor, you say there are no haloes

Around the streetlights in Paris . . .

I tell you it has taken me all my life

To arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels . . .

--Lisel Mueller, “Monet Refuses the Operation”

Only endless variations, only avoidance of night,

Then morning, its pearl mist, its submission to day,

Yet nothing is there, only color floating on light.

I see only this sun—refracted—its beauty, its flight

Captured, its beginning--fugitive, gay.

These endless variations easing into the night,

Glazed pigments--lavender, a bright

Cobalt blue, a thallo green—yet filmy haze

Where nothing is really there, only color floating on light.

My reflection ripples in the water, a pure delight,

An enchantment, a moment never to let drift away

While these endless variations continue into night,

These same shimmerings, soapy, wind-blown, which excite

As tree-shapes--never trees--as water portrayed

As if nothing were truly there, only color floating on light.

At the easel, they say, the opacities have robbed my sight.

But those years, working in solitude, trying to say

On canvas how light varies, how the day is melded into the night,

Do they know what can I appreciate? What is there?

My eyes see haloes. Vibrant colors float on light.


“You only know it in your bones.”

—Andrew Wyeth

I forget how deliberately

you drizzled water

from the red sable,

how slight the pressure was

between your thumb and forefinger,

color bleeding out over the skin,

the bristles spreading

like a feather, and how

in that brief second

between wet and dry,

you touched the paper

as knowingly as an engraver.

Workshop Supply List



Registration is open to CCAL members for $10

Registration is open to non-CCAL members for $22.50 (includes CCAL General Membership for one year)

  • CCAL Member: Full Payment -RSp

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