Recently I wrote a blog post on Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and how his art paired with a single sentence works as a writing prompt. As a follow up, and another prompt for you, I decided to share a few of my own “mysteries”, the art that I use as my personal imagination and story starters. Even if they don’t make it to a page, these pieces and other pieces by these artists provide me with characters and stories I could dream about again and again. I hope they also inspire you and if they do, please share your stories with us!
- The women in Maxfield Parrish’s art are beautiful, graceful, strong. They jump, climb, swing along playfully but when they pause their thoughts are reflective, dreamy, vibrant with life and enthusiasm, or somber, weighted, wise. His women inspire me with their internal stories and dialogue. They are thinkers and I so often am interested in less of what they do but rather what is going on in their heads. For years I have loved them.
- New loves are the characters of Soju Shots, http://sojushots.blogspot.com/. I first heard of Soju Shots when he allowed us to publish his work for our second issue of Quantum Fairy Tales, Issue 2, 2013 http://quantumfairytales.com/issue-2-january-2013/. Clockwork Gnome introduced him to us as “OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD”, followed by Booyas and other joyful noise. It wasn’t until recently however, on Instagram, that I found myself continually moved with that “get in you the gut” type feeling as often brightly colored images of monsters and people, often children, sometimes portrayed these beautiful creatures’ tragedies and often perilous and melancholy lives. And not that his subjects are always miserable, in that Charlie Brown way of theirs, by any means. They are often sweet and humorous and celebrating something wonderful. It’s just that when they are miserable it is often so subtly stated, and contrary to the beautiful surroundings they are placed in, that it takes me off guard and leaves me with a lump in my throat. This, of course, is compounded by his short descriptions that tell a larger tell, ones that he is so good at I have told him I would love to see his version of a Mysteries of Harris Burdick type book.
Here is one example, captioned, “and just like that…. You were gone.”
And another . . .
And lastly . . .
His little match girl.