Monday, November 15, 2010

Characters & Stories in Art

I read a post the other day on Gowanus Lounge about a woman who was reunited with "Motherhood Triumphant"--a painting she modeled for almost 100 years ago as a toddler. What an interesting story! You can read more about it here.

Seeing the painting triggered a memory from my teenage years when I would visit my Grammy's house in Palm Desert, California. Those long, hot summer days kept me inside where the air conditioning felt like our lifeline. All cooped up, I had to get creative to keep myself entertained. Drawing. Writing. I Love Lucy episodes. There was also this atlas-sized book I'd stare at for hours called 100 of the World's Most Beautiful Paintings.
I was mesmerized by these paintings. They were so vibrant, so full of life. Each painting was a window into another world, another time. There was the coy woman and her lover's tender expression in Picasso's The Lovers. I was captivated by the pensive expression of the woman sitting alone in Foujita's painting Cafe. No matter the painting, there was only so much of the story told in that single snapshot. And as a lover of stories, I wanted to know more. Was the woman sitting in the cafe lonely? Perhaps she was waiting for her husband to arrive. Or she might have been taking a moment to relax and ponder the day's events. 

I was thirteen or fourteen at the time and planned to one day write a short story for each of the 100 paintings found in the book. If ever you need some inspiration, turn to the characters and stories in artwork. The stories expressed by paint and brush are just waiting to be put into words.

By the by:

I stumbled upon this really great blog where random paintings are posted everyday.