March 5, 2010

Artistic Transportation

"Writers are just people who have a whole lot on the inside that they need to get to the outside, with pen and paper as their preferred method of transport.  Same with dancers, artists, and singers - all the same urges with differing transportation."  ~Graycie Harmon

In my search for an image to post with the teaser for Remnant, here, I came across this painting. I was struck. Not only was this Limhi, a main character in my story, but the title of the painting is, "The One Who Remembers", as is Limhi. I wouldn't have to change a thing in the book to match who I see here. Is it crazy that reassurance came with this? That I feel joy that my character is real enough that he exists for someone else as well? I stared at it for quite a while in wonder. I had only searched "American Indian Paintings" but, after glancing at the titles of some of the other works, I was thrilled. "Teancum" "Lamanite Woman". This artist was LDS! I sent an email asking permission to post it on my blog.
Then, I explored the rest of the artist's site, here. Maria Hathaway Spencer works primarily in Prismacolor (colored pencil) and Watercolor. As an Art Major, these were my two favorite forms of "transportation", so I can appreciate what she has done with these tools of creation. Simply gazing at her other pieces, I found myself wondering about the stories, imagining character and conflict and triumph. It was a wonderful exercise.
I began to think about other times imagery has inspired my writing. Certainly, the Orchard, The Inn, and The Lake are all situated in some of the most picturesque places I know and love. Bringing my characters (and readers) to those places was an act of love, of sharing. 
In my second novel, The Inn, I kept writing a character, Ryan, as Derick, a character from the first book. It drove me nuts, because these men were very different. I just kept lapsing. Finally, I searched online and found Ryan. I posted his image on my bulletin board and glanced at it often as I wrote him. It worked!
So, here is my question:
Have you been inspired by an image, a painting, a place, a photograph? Was it before, during, or after your work?

Enjoy exploring Ria's beautiful site. Her fairies are ethereal. She has a fantastic playlist, too! You can also find her work on display at DeZion Art Gallery and these other places.
Thank you for the imagery, Maria. Your method of transportation is inspiring.

4 comments:

David J. West said...

Thats great, its so cool to find new people just surfing around isn't it?

ali said...

This is a stunning portrait. And how remarkable that Limhi is just how you pictured him. Almost doesn't seem coincidental, does it?

And yes, I'm often inspired by art. Usually music, but sometimes paintings and such.

L.T. Elliot said...

I LOVE moments like this (and that is a beautiful painting, btw.) I once came across one of my characters and I almost started weeping. How amazing was it to see him in person after living in my head for years?

Chas said...

Wow, Cool! Maria is my sister! I'm so glad you found her art, she's really amazing. Now I really can't wait to read Remnant.

Did you know Maria is a poet and singer, too? She wrote lyrics and sang for my most recent CD, and we've already got a couple more of her songs that will be on the next CD.

Here's a link to one of her songs: http://chas.willowrise.com/?p=1001

That's so cool about her art. She's really got an amazing gift. Can't wait to read the book!

Chas

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