This week we’re going to turn to the visual arts for inspiration and see if we can’t come up with a thousand words worthy of a picture. If you can, take a field trip to a nearby art museum or gallery. Otherwise, go on a virtual art tour like one at the Frick in New York or explore the vastness of Google’s Art Project which contains work from 285 museums around the world including MoMA, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and many outstanding collections from Europe and Asia.
Once you find a work of art that catches your eye, really look at it. Write what you see. No detail is too small. Now describe the work using only your four other senses of touch, hearing, taste and smell. Compare the two descriptions. What are the strengths of each?
Try one of these writing prompts:
• If it is a portrait, write one or more pieces from the subject’s perspective. Try experimenting with first, second or third person narration.
• Write about what is happening just out of view or “beyond the frame.”
• Imagine that you are a character in the artwork and have just received some news that will dramatically change your life. What is the news–and how does this change your view of the world around you?
If you choose to share your writing, be sure to tell us the name of the artwork and a link if the work is available online.
About the Keeping the Appointment Challenge! Check in each week, grab the prompt and go. New prompts will be posted on Tuesday. Find a quiet place and write in response to the prompt for 15-30 minutes. Only after you have something on paper, take a look or a listen to other examples if you like. Wait a day or three and reread what you wrote. Revise for 30 minutes or so. If you want, post what you wrote. We would love to see it–and we promise to keep our own editing selves to our selves! In other words, this blog is a place to share your work, not to “fix” the work of others. We receive it with the open, generous mind of a fellow-writer and reader. Comments are welcome as are words of thanks.
Image: Richard Diebenkorn’s Seawall (1957) Oil on canvas. 20 x 26 inches. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of Phyllis G. Diebenkorn. © 2013 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation