The Art in Writing

This week, we've been talking about artistic influences in our writing. I have to confess -- the topic was my idea. Art plays a huge part in my writing process.

I've been drawing, painting, sculpting since I was a child. As an adult, I studied oil painting seriously and worked for a time as an artist, selling works on commission. I love painting. Give me a blank canvas, fresh tubes of paint, my favorite brushes, music playing and hours ahead of me, and I guarantee you will see my soul smiling.

When I started writing eight years ago, I started at square one. What I brought to the page was years of analyzing composition, color, brush stroke. I knew to step back and look at the overall canvas, and to get close, to see the tiniest details. I knew there were many technical things I'd need to learn, and I also knew that, at a certain point, writing would be about letting go and believing in magic.

My background has made me a visual writer. When I create a scene, setting and tone are important. My goal is to make the page (or screen) fade away, and bring images to life.

On an applied, quantifiable level, many works of art either inspired, or were featured in UNDER THE NEVER SKY. Both Van Gogh's Starry Night and Munch's The Scream were inspiration pieces for the Aether storms in the story. (Munch, I believe, said he was painting the infinite scream of nature, which is chilling and fabulous, isn't it?) Bernini's sculpture, Pluto and Persephone, appears at the end of a lighted alcove, as does a lesser-known Matisse drawing. When I think of a certain character, I see him through a Lucian Freud lens: pensive, sprawling and flawed. When I think of another, I see him as a Bernini sculpture: embodying athleticism, intensity and movement. Art is my language as much as words are.

I would like to crawl into a Picasso. A Rembrandt. A Dali. A Caravaggio. I would like for their paintings to be worlds I could step into, but I can't. What I can do, in story, is bring them to life in my own way.

If you haven't already, hop over and check out my new blog. I'm giving a signed UNDER THE NEVER SKY ARC over there. If you missed out on an UNDER THE NEVER SKY ARC in the YA Muses Blogoversary contest, here's another chance. Stop on by!


Love this! Starry night is one of my character's favorite paintings ^_^

I'd love to step into a few paintings, too.

Starry Night is one of MY favorite paintings. I love art two, painting and drawing, and I agree that it can make a writer a visual writer. I'm going on over to your new blog to check that out.

I like the idea of stepping into paintings. I can stand in front of them, transfixed by the color, the expressions on painted faces, the slopes of why not just pop into the frame for a few minutes and see what it's like from the inside?

Heading over to your new blog, now.

The stories I love most have settings and characters that jump right into my imagination and fire it up--so similar to the effect paintings have on me, which is probably why I love wandering LACMA. I aspire, I aspire.

Love this, Veronica...what a great way to picture your always teach me important day I'll have to return the favor or buy you an espresso...

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