In 2001, Vince Bell was living and working in Nashville, Tennessee. Vince Pawless, a guitar maker in Gainesville, Texas, heard Vince Bell on the radio, singing his song “ All Through My Days.” Vince wrote to the other Vince and, as a business promotion, offered to build him a free guitar.
Vince Bell gladly accepted Vince Pawless’s gift of a custom-made musical instrument, and that year, during the build of the guitar, the two kept in touch often by telephone and email.
A New Friendship
With the delivery of that mesquite dreadnought acoustic guitar, a friendship began between the two Vinces—one that’s gone on for two decades and still continues today. Vince Bell moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and whenever he played a gig in Texas, Vince Pawless would show up to meet him there, sometimes traveling with Vince and his then-wife, Sarah, to other gigs. Before long, Vince Pawless became Vince Bell’s accompanist on guitar and banjo.
As Vince B. puts it, “Vince P. has been making the guitars I play for years. My music from a v2 model Pawless guitar led me to the words that became Ojo, the spoken-word album I recorded with producers Bob Neuwirth, Dave Soldier, Patrick Derivaz, and many world-class musicians in New York City in 2018.
And Then a New Art Form
“That first exposure to improvisational music prompted a question: If my words could be so well rendered with the accompaniment of improvised music, might there also be an improvisational writing style lurking somewhere inside me? A style like improv music, like freehand painting?
“I went back to Santa Fe and started writing hundreds of pieces that I called IMPROVs, each one at first up to a thousand words and completed in a couple of hours. I’d choose a word and then use it with different meanings and imageries every which way I could, just as fast as I could write. I started posting these free-spirited, somewhat poetically dense IMPROVs on social media and my website.
Vince P. Was Also in a Creative Storm
“About this time, I saw that Vince P. was making acrylic paintings happen at the same breakneck speed: hundreds each week. We began a tag team of art production, he painting impressionistic landscapes and me pouring out improvisations from the library between my ears. We began placing brief quotes from my writings beneath some of his many landscape and seascape images.”
Says Vince Pawless, “I had painted some oils growing up, and in my early years acrylic paints were just cruel to work with. They’re better now, though they can still be cruel sometimes. You try to blend them like oils and they’ll turn to mud. It forces you to use colors more individually than you would in mixing oils.
Combined Power of Words and Images
“About the time that Vince Bell was doing Ojo, I started out painting aspen groves. From aspens I went to barbed wire fences, adobe structures, and Western mesas with shrubs in the foreground. A lot of things popped up in those paintings, and I never knew at first what they were. I was letting the paint, the knife, the water, the brush, just do their thing as a painting progressed. If something magical happened, I left it alone.
“Vince would send me his blogs, and I would choose a particular line and do a painting for it. We’d put the two together, photograph it, and post it on social media. I think we both realized that the combined power of just a few words with one image gave them legs of their own.”
In 2021, the two Vinces trademarked their work as WayWords Art™ and started offering prints of the images for sale. On this page are the first 20. Your satisfaction is guaranteed for each of these prints.
For information about any of the art pieces for sale here, contact Vince Pawless at firstname.lastname@example.org.