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How many words is a picture worth to you?

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Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:49 am
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mikedb1492 says...



This is a slight spin off of an activity I've always loved from my creative writing class. It involves poetry, and it involves an image that speaks to your heart.

Here are the steps:
1) Find a picture/painting/visual stimuli of any sort that you connect with (or use one I've provided below).
2) Use it as inspiration to write a poem, describing the picture itself, someone/something within it, the emotions you feel from it, anything. Just write, remembering to use concrete details in order to capture what intrigues you about your chosen image.
3) Post the poem here with the image (if it's really big, though, post a link instead), the picture's title (if available), and the artist's name (if available).

If you dislike poetry: if you always write stories and have only disdain for anything poetic (like I did), you should still give this a shot. You will benefit greatly, because it forces you too compress your writing into concrete details and emotions. With practice, it will bring fire to your prose.
But if you simply will not write poetry, I'll be happy to see a 500-word (or less) piece of flash fiction instead. Something is better than nothing, and flash fiction helps compress to raw imagery as well.

Anyway, if you don't have an image in mind, here are the websites of a few of my favorite artists. Feel free to browse them. I'll also cherry pick a few so you don't have to search the the whole website.
Oh, and as a general rule, no nudity in the image. I want this to be open to as many people as possible, and having nudity would limit this to an even older age group than I want.

For paintings of wide variety that commonly include mythical and steampunkish elements, try http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=portfolio Jon Foster is the cover artist for Cherie Priest's Boneshaker, Clementine, and Dreadnought. He is probably my favorite.
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... iewimage=1
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=16
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=37
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=19
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=12
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=13
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=15
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=28
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=39
http://www.jonfoster.com/#goto=illustra ... ewimage=47

For a darker/morbid/sometimes steampunk feel, try http://www.keiththompsonart.com/ Note that Keith thompson is the illustrator of Leviathan and Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld.
http://keiththompsonart.com/pages/executors.html
http://keiththompsonart.com/pages/vhunter.html
http://keiththompsonart.com/pages/havelock.html

For usually magical/kind of dark/usually a woman/sometimes-anime-ish, try: http://www.jasonchanart.com/gallery.htm Note that Jason Chan is the cover artist for Eyes Like Stars, by Lisa Mantchev.
http://www.jasonchanart.com/gallery/200 ... -angel.jpg
http://www.jasonchanart.com/gallery/200 ... _color.jpg
http://www.jasonchanart.com/gallery/200 ... eangel.jpg
http://www.jasonchanart.com/gallery/200 ... rasbox.jpg
http://www.jasonchanart.com/gallery/200 ... l/fall.jpg
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