Monday, 22 September 2014

Celebrating the art of matching words to images with a Montreal Rose

  by Nancy Snipper


Beyond the Dream: epic solitude – Nancy’s collection of poetry and short stories. 

Sometimes, it takes only a second for Lady Luck to slip into your life. No matter how much an artist of any kind tries to prepare, plan and push – even seek recognition, all too often, events and the stars seem to conspire against them.
My lucky day happened at the Montreal Arts Centre where many visual artists rent space for their own studio. On one floor you can find up to ten artists working, including several from Montreal. One of my friends, the great painter and craft genius, Roxanna Kibsey has her studio there. The day I arrived  at the gallery, Roxanna was taking care of things at the front desk. I had arranged to visit her and see what new wonderful work she was doing - the tiny doll houses she was decorating and the class she was preparing to give. While sitting with her, in walked a lady who said just a few words to Roxanna, and then she instantly left. I managed to find out she was a painter who lives in Montreal and got her phone number. I asked Rose to come over. I wanted to see her paintings and perhaps interview her at a later time. She came over a few days later to show me some of her artwork. What I saw left me dumbstruck. Here was an artist who seemed to speak my soul. As a writer, I use words to paint pictures – to create characters and reveal scenes that hopefully resonate with the reader. Rose’s paintings seemed to speak my inner soul. I was able to match over 85% of my poems with her images after examining all her work on the Internet. This perfect pairing of poem per painting was uncanny.  I had wanted for a long time to put my poems in a collection, but now a more elaborate vision entered my imagination. Why not create a book of poetry and art? I asked Rose if she would like to have her art alongside some of my poems. I quickly sent her some of my work to read, and she was eager to do it. She said that my poetry was the missing puzzle to her paintings. On the spot, I decided to put out a book that featured the union of my poems with her images.  Our collaboration was fun, and utterly satisfying. We seemed to think alike, but it was the love of the land, mutual respect along with luck mixed with out own creative drive that made this no-rules journey a rich and happy one. Our commonalities were uncanny.
Rose and I soon discovered that we both were nuts about nature; we grew up in it (I, on a lake in the Gatineau Hills, and she in a remote countryside area in New Brunswick). Both of us had the same sense of humour, were sports-loving and gentle rebels who never bought into society’s competitive edge, plus we both taught. Eight months after our initial meeting, “Beyond the Dream: epic solitude was born. Thanks to the superb talents of book designer, Catherine Charbonneau, this collection of my poems and short stories results in a remarkable marriage of Rose's art with my writing. This book is a quintessential creative collaboration.

To view beautiful excerpts from the book and/or order your copy of Beyond the Dream: epic solitude, contact: nansnipper@gmail.com
The book can also be purchased at: Paragraphe Bookstore (2200 McGill Ave., Montreal).