Write the story of a picture
*You can pick a favorite picture, or use one of these examples
You can change the time-period, to make it easier to write. Pay less attention to the setting, and more attention to the people’s faces and their body language.
You might want to write the story of the central figure in the picture. Or you might want to look at one of the less significant details in the picture. Why is it there? What does it signify? Who is that person?
You could also write the story of the person who created the picture. It doesn’t have to be a real historical version. You don’t even have to know who created the picture. You could tell the story of someone anyone who sets out to create this picture. The obstacles they faced. The things they overcame. Or the situation they found themselves in.
You could write a fictional history of this picture. Where it has traveled? Who has owned it? What scandals hasn’t seen from its place on the walls?
This prompt is a reminder that it’s quite all right to be inspired by other artists work!
Leave a comment and tell us what picture you chose, what you wrote about, and how it went. Also: how’s your month going? What have you learned about your writing practice so far?
16 thoughts on “Tell The Story Of A Painting”
This is a painting I saw while the Van Gogh exhibit was in Chicago. And yes, the exhibit was MOBBED – I’m just glad I got to read the note next to the painting, that’s where this story comes from.
The diner isn’t mentioned much, but this story takes place there nonetheless: https://storiesin5minutes.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/at-the-diner-storyaday/
What happens when one character has a nightmare that combines The Persistence of Memory with The Scream? Well, when his lover is a painter…read on to see!
What a great prompt idea! Here’s my contribution:
a day late as my internet was down most of yesterday… a flash fiction: https://promptlywritten.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/the-return-flash-fiction/
Enjoyed this prompt. Chose one of my modern favorites, Hockney’s “Mr. & Mrs. Clark”.
The story went to places I didnt expect. The whole StoryADay exercise is teaching more and more about my writing and real self. Unnerving at times, but I like it.
I tried but I didn’t find a painting that inspired anything interesting (I still have a terrible cold, though, and it doesn’t help with the writing…). So I wrote something else instead: https://only100words.xyz/2016/05/18/sorry-sorry/
That’s a little gem of a story.
Such an interesting prompt. I could have picked any number of paintings but decided to keep with the theme and use the ‘dark, satanic mills’ painting. It’s an idea of what may be going on in the painting which I can probably work into a longer story. It really needs a conclusion.
Another dark, dank day, people gathered in the square. Chimneys belched their sulphurous fumes as light rain burnt the faces of the assembled crowd. Arkwright the mill owner stood in the middle of the mob; the collar of his dark brown overcoat turned up against the weather.
‘What about our jobs?’
‘How are we going to feed our children?’
Voices barked at him, more employees joined the throng after news swept through the town like an express train. Children clung to their mother’s skirts, as they tried to shelter from the icy wind. Men in cloth caps closed in on Arkwright, he shuffled back a few paces.
‘Old Mr Arkwright would turn his grave,’ a thin man jabbed his finger in his direction. The women and children closed in behind him whilst their men surrounded him in a tight semi-circle.
Flash fiction about the Gardner museum heist
Chloe pressed the phone to her ear and raised her voice. “I can’t hear you.” She gesticulated wildly to Dean who was, as usual, immersed in a text argument with his friend Billie over the new Star Wars film. She’d tried to settle the argument two days previously by pointing out all three of the latest films were almost shot-for-shot remakes of the original three, just with different characters and robots for toy marketing purposes.
Between the traffic and his concentration, there was no room in his consciousness for his sister’s frantic signals and he walked on, oblivious to his surroundings. He was probably still sulking she hadn’t bought him a KitKat in the supermarket.
“What?” She shouted at the phone again choosing to ignore the caustic comment about her size from the bloke in the blue denim shirt ( Honestly! Was this the seventies?). “Thirty two what?”
She paused to turn the volume up further, wishing she hadn’t caught her earbuds on that mannequin in Marks and Sparks and by the time she looked up again, Dean was several yards ahead. “The thirty-two bus? What about it? It goes to Insley, not Torstairs.”
She looked up at the screech of brakes and the bang. She couldn’t see Dean anywhere.
What a wonderful prompt! I felt drawn to two of the paintings, but I ended up with the dancing one.
The café was full of light and sound and Susan was too interested in watching the other diners to want to eat. The manager had put in one of those new music machines and cleared a space for dancing, and several couples were already out on the floor making a go of it. Dancing was such fun. If only Fred would learn to dance.
“Darling, sit back and eat, you don’t want to let it get cold.”
“But Fred, I really want to dance. It’s my favourite tune.”
Fred laughed indulgently and put his hand on her shoulder. “Listen to you. Every tune is your favourite! I really must learn to dance one of these days.” He said the last sentence absently and Susan knew that there was as much chance of him learning to dance there was of him taking up tatting.
She sat back, picked up her fork, and stabbed the hamburger that was in front of her. A chip shot off her plate and onto the floor.
“Steady on old girl.”
That was it. He might be good-looking with a good job and his own car but he was a patronising-” Even in her own thoughts, she stopped herself. A lady did not swear.
“Take me home, Fred. I have a headache.”
Which was not really lying, when you think about it. Susan did have a headache and his name was Fred. Once she was safely home again, she would get rid of it.