Today’s post and writing prompt is inspired by Friday’s writing prompt, Starry Night, which was inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting.

Today’s Writing Prompt: How does or can art inspire your writing?

Long after I completed the post, Starry Night, I found myself staring at the small replica of the painting I have on my wall at home wondering: How does or can art inspire writing? For today’s writing prompt, reflect on that question. Free write, write a journal entry or write a piece of short fiction answering that question.

Admiring a Starry Night

Van Gogh’s painting, Starry Night, is so well-known and commercialized that it has almost lost its artistic appeal and value… almost.

There are good reasons why Starry Night is so well-known and widely admired. First, the artist’s life is fascinating and tragic and makes for a great story to tell and hear when viewing the painting. And of course, the strokes and techniques he used in the painting are fascinating as well and draw you in instantly. But more than that, the painting inspires a certain reaction and feeling that bewitches people because it’s full of contradictions.

The painting depicts a nighttime scene but is still bright and elicits hope and joy. And while Van Gogh painted the scene in the painting from his window of the Saint-Paul Asylum in France after admitting himself and there is a hint of loneliness and darkness in it, there is also a pull toward others and community elicited in the painting via the small town depicted at the bottom of the painting. Full disclosure: I am not a trained art critic. But when I stare at this painting, I can almost sense Van Gogh’s desperation to connect with others, along with his fear of or inability to do so. And how the middle of the night offers him solace but also encroaches on his sanity and wanted cheery demeanor, as depicted by the dark looming cypress.

Long after I stared at the replica of Starry Night on my wall to complete Friday’s writing prompt, I found myself in a more pensive and solitary mood, yet still deeply hopeful and inspired. And it made me realize how art can affect our writing, as it can dictate and sway moods and perspectives. So, if you’re ever experiencing writer’s block or need some inspiration for your writing, consider going to an art museum or looking at some artwork online.

Is there a painting or piece of art that has inspired you to write before? Tell us about it in the comments.

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