Saturday, March 7, 2015

Learning To Tell a Story with Words and Pictures

For the next while I thought I would post about things related to the challenge of reaching an audience. How do you tell a story with a single image? How about with many images? What scenes do you choose and what styles?

This is mostly on my mind due to a book project that I've been working on for a while (in the planning stages) and I'm just starting to work on it seriously. More on that in future posts.

I also recently had an older painting of mine posted on my Church's Facebook page and have been fascinated at the response. Here is the painting:
"Stand" by James Fullmer, Acrylic on panel (24X36)
"The storms of the world can be scary and the winds can push a weak person here or there but she stands strong and unafraid. She is illuminated by a light from above. You can not see the source but you can see the effect that it has on her - how it brightens her compared to her surroundings. She is hopeful, standing on a firm foundation and looks to the heavens. She is focused on her goal. Around her feet are beautiful things. She didn't go to this location because it was beautiful. She brings beauty where she goes (notice how the rock is barren and in shadow but becomes more alive as it gets closer to her). It's all about how one person can make a difference in the world. How being an example can light the world - how a little bit of beauty can bring happiness and hope to many."

I painted this in 2002. It was part of one gallery show and had a good response from visitors that I got to speak with. I submitted it to the LDS International Art Competition and it was not selected. After that it's pretty much been in a box in my studio. It wasn't part of the projects I was working on and I really had no idea what to do with it.

A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by a Church media department to ask if they could use it on one of their Facebook pages. I gave permission and yesterday they posted it.

I will tell you that I've never had an experience like this before. As of today, about 300 people have commented not just to what was painted but what I wrote about it. I've published things and my LDS projects website gets a good deal of traffic but I've never heard from so many people about how a creation of mine has been inspiring to them. I'm still trying to process it.
 What do you see?

Mermaid Finished

... And after a long time...

The finished image!