Looking at yourself – Inspiring Art for Writers
I hadn’t heard of Joan Semmel before I came across this painting and I can’t help feeling that is a failing on my part. Wikipedia tells me she is an American feminist painter, professor, and writer, best known for painting large scale, realistic nudes of her own body as seen from her perspective looking down.
I was blown away by this very different way of seeing the female body and I hope you are too. (Although I don’t think she is actually naked, there are bikini bottoms hiding within the soft folds.) I love the structure of the painting. We are close up and personal, almost able to hear the artist/model breath, but while we are captured by the shadows and contours of flesh we never lose sight of the woman’s life literally playing in front of her…
What can we get from this as writers – does it help in writing a memoir? And what about writing fiction – getting inside a character’s head, focussing on her, but never allowing the reader to lose touch with the space outside…. But perhaps most important of all, it’s a reminder of the sheer fantastic beauty of the ordinary.
You can find out more about Joan Semmel by visiting her website HERE. She was born in 1932 so is now well into her 80s…
If you enjoyed this, there’s a pretty good chance you’d also like my writing guide Back to Creative Writing School. Nearly 90 five star reviews on Amazon…just saying.
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