Visual Sense Memory

psalm 181

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life,

by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later,

when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.

William Faulkner (1897 – 1962), Interview, 1958

While showing a painting I was asked if I remember specifically painting that work. This idea came to me; that of a visual sense memory.

Have you ever caught a scent that took you back to a certain person, place or time? Or heard an old song that transported you into your youth? Let’s call this a sense memory. It is not nostalgia, but more a reawakening.

For me, every painting that I do acts as a trigger for this effect when I see it later in time. I can remember the circumstances, the location, the emotions, and the successes and flaws immediately.  Perhaps it is the intense sense awareness that you have when you create. Being alive in the moment that causes the ability to recall this memory so acutely.

I am curious if any of you visual artists out there have this visual sense memory when you see your past work?

You can see details about this image psalm 181 and the last image from this series of autumn paintings psalm 183 at my web-sight