• KD DuBois

Paintings as Inspiration

In Daughter of the South Wind I made references to works by Salvador Dali and Margaret Keane, and in its sequel (yet to be edited) Daughter of the East Wind, I compare something to Vincent Van Gogh. It’s odd that I spoke of art because I’ve never had an art class in my life.

Yes, I’ve shuffled through the Louvre with the masses, and have been to a few other art galleries in the US. Usually I’m more interested in the architecture of the buildings than the paintings. I get overwhelmed after looking at twenty works and never know what I should focus on in each one. Do I admire the use of perspective? Did the artist use some special technique to capture the luminosity of dewy skin? Was there a blend of two distinct styles/periods or whatever they’re called? Oh, the pressure—what am I supposed to be learning as I walk from frame to frame?

However, some pieces do make lasting impressions. How can one not see melting clocks in different situations after looking at Dali’s masterpieces? Who doesn’t get a little bit fascinated and a whole lot creeped out when viewing Keane’s Big Eyes works? How can I not get drawn in to the bold colors and strokes of Van Gogh’s sunflowers so that I feel like I’m back in Kansas?

I don’t plan the art references in my stories, they just happen, and I admit, I get surprised when they do. Little did I know how much I’d absorbed in those halls of paintings. I almost want to go see some at my city’s gallery. Except this time, I’ll study up a bit before I go, so I have a framework to keep me focused.


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