Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Art as Inspiration, part 2

Part 1 is here, where I talked about my favorite painting.

Art has a profound influence on my life...occasionally. By that, I mean that I don't think about art all the time, and I certainly don't know enough nor have the talent to even attempt (visual) art. But I do appreciate it, and I do seek it out.

And sometimes, seeing visual art inspires my own literary art.

Recently, I was indulging in my lately online guilty pleasure: Historical Tweets. On the site, they make fake tweets from people in history. For example, here's Marie Antoinette, tweeting about cake:

HAHAHAHA!!!! Oh, Marie Antionette, you and your shenanigans.
(Side note: Don't know why the image is appearing skewed...sorry, Marie.)

OK, so when I saw this, first I laughed, then I hungered for cake, then I noticed the picture in the background. I mean, it's pretty intense. Marie's scowl could harm small children, or at least make them cry...and check out the brunette she's staring at.

There's a story there.

I searched for the pic online, but actually had quite a difficult time placing it. Eventually, I found this:

Looking at this image, I can almost see a story. Who is the brunette? What connection does she have with Marie? They are sharing a moment so deeply personal that even the bedraggled beggars fade into the background...and, speaking of, why is that one woman, so clearly on the side of the beggars, also so clearly not a beggar? She's clean, well dressed, and beautiful.

A story spun from my mind when I saw this image. Of Marie Antionette as a young girl, befriending another young girl. Of innocence...and innocence lost as, eventually, the girls stood on opposite sides.

In my search for more info, I also came across this image:

It's titled, Arrest of Louis XVI and His Family. And look...you eye goes immediately to the brunette and Marie Antionette.

These seem to be different brunettes, but my imagination can cast them as the same woman. It makes me even more curious about their story, their connection. As an amateur art historian, I'm curious about the history here, and about how two separate artists were motivated to create images were the focus in this disparate time was on a locked gaze between two very different women.

But as I writer, I sort of love the mystery here, and itch to write their story myself.

So, has any art work inspired your own writing? Do you "fill in the blanks" with your own stories?


PJ Hoover said...

Ooh, when you figure out the rest of the story, let me know! It's awesome. Or write it and then let me read it :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Omg, this is amazing (as is your awesome research). I imagine the woman is her accuser, her denouncer--a representation of France.

Anonymous said...

It's not art, per se, but I've been inspired to write flash fiction based on songs or music I've heard. I feel like a philistine for not having set foot in an art museum (for non-work purposes) in years...

Vonna said...

Painting led me to writing. My most successful paintings, the ones that sold or won awards, told stories.

I started writing a brief synopsis to hang alongside my art. For years, I wrote the rest of these stories without showing them to anyone except my husband and the occasional niece or nephew.

I no longer paint, but sometimes I sketch out characters or scenes from my books, just to keep my story straight.

Heather Zundel said...

All kinds of art tends to spark my imagination (music, paintings, photographs, fragments of notes, etc.) but I am trying to think of a specific piece of artwork. Oh! The Nike of Samothrace statue has always arrested my attention. I don't have a story for it yet, but I know it is there.

Chantal said...

Oh, it feels so good to hear this! I, too, find the story in the painting. Since I was a child, I've created the little stories with each landscape or scene. I love it!

Christina Farley said...

Very cool. I do like paintings and imagining what happened or what could have happened. But non of my stories have been inspired by paintings. Yet!