Sunday, August 5, 2007


It comes in all shapes and sizes. All forms and mediums. Songs, poetry, a line in a play or movie, a scene in a favorite TV show. The newspaper, the sports cast on the evening news, a line you write in another WIP. Sometimes Inspiration will drop an entire story into your head, as happened to me with the line in another WIP. Sometimes it's just an idea, or a character.

And sometimes, it's just the vaguest inkling that there's a story in there somewhere, but no matter what you do, you can't quite grasp it. I'm talking about a painting by British fantasy artist Josephine Wall. It's titled Alternative Reality. Here's the blurb Josephine put under the painting:
Life is full of choices! Having stepped into a mysterious mirror portal, her reflection is caught between two worlds and she must decide to which reality she belongs. Should she enter the hurly- burly of Victorian London street life that feels so familiar to her, and yet so distant? Or perhaps the eerie neglected buildings are all that remain of a palace where once she was a princess. The indecision is yours!

The moment I first saw it, I fell in love with it. It's a breathtakingly beautiful piece, the play of color and light is amazing and the detail is nothing short of stunning. Ms. Wall truly has a God-given gift with paint and brushes. I came across it thanks to my cross-stitching obsession. Her art is charted for stitching by Heaven and Earth Designs. When she was first signed, Bob and Michelle asked all of us to go through her site and make a list of things we wanted to see charted. I immediately put AR at the top of my list. (btw, I highly recommend a browse through the Surreal Gallery. There's a stunning piece in there called Stairway of Dreams that brings to life every booklover's most wonderful fantasy, bottom row of thumbs, first one on the left)

Months went by, she didn't come out. So I downloaded the wallpaper so I could gaze at it whenever I wanted to. A few more months went by, she still didn't come out. Then, last October, on the 29th, she was released as a chart. I abandoned all plans for that evening, bought it, stalked my email and was eternally thankful that Bob had mercy on me and sent it straightaway. I printed it out and set about preparing to start. I was even a very bad girl and took it to work with me the next day so that I could grid it. (the chart is 20-something letter sized pages!) Once that was done, I put in the first 30 stitches while I was still at work. It was a slow day.

It's been nearly a year and I'm still as in love with the piece as ever and get an unspeakable thrill every time I pull it out to stitch on it. But the inspiration, you say!

There's a story lurking in that painting somewhere. I feel it in my bones! Why is she so torn between the world in the mirror with the fallen down castle, and the real world of late Victorian London? What happened to the castle? What is the lady saying to her daughter as they hurry down the street? Why is she dressed in an evening gown?

Someday I'm going to find that story. And I'm going to write it.

1 comment :

  1. That is such a beautiful painting, and as you say, loaded with inspiration! You might even inspire me to get out my cross-stich and work on it!