The power of storytelling always fascinates me. To me, a painting is not just a static image but a visual story that can evoke emotions, memories, and a sense of connection in the viewer. The National Storytelling Network defines storytelling as an ancient art form and a valuable form of human expression. However, “storytelling” is often used in many ways and can refer to various art forms. I believe it is essential to promote storytelling as a distinct art form and understand its unique characteristics. Creating a painting is a storytelling process; we must decide on the composition, colour, and brushstrokes to bring the story to life.
Storytelling involves a two-way interaction between a storyteller and one or more listeners. The responses of the listeners influence the telling of the story. This interactive nature of storytelling is what makes it so powerful and immediate. It creates a connection between the teller and the audience and breaks the imaginary barrier between them. This differentiates storytelling from forms of theatre that use an imaginary “fourth wall”.
In storytelling, the listener is an active participant, creating the vivid, multi-sensory images, actions, characters, and events of the story in their mind, based on the performance by the teller and their own past experiences, beliefs, and understandings. The listener becomes a co-creator of the story as experienced. This is why storytelling can be a personal and meaningful experience for both the teller and the listener. One thing that sets storytelling through painting apart from other art forms is the ability to create a sense of immediacy and impact. A piece of artwork can convey a story in a way that is both direct and powerful, connecting the artist and the viewer uniquely. Using colour, brushstrokes, and composition can create a sense of movement and emotion that is impossible through words alone.
In my work, I strive to incorporate storytelling elements in my art. I use visual language to tell a story, evoke emotions, and create a connection with the viewer. I believe a painting can be a powerful tool for storytelling, just as a spoken language or a manual language such as sign language.
In conclusion, storytelling through painting is a powerful and evocative art form that can connect the artist and viewer in a unique and meaningful way. As an artist, I feel my responsibility is to promote this art form and inspire others to explore its power and potential. Through my paintings, I hope to create stories that touch people’s hearts and spark their imagination, encouraging them to engage with the world in a deeper and more meaningful way.