The links between authors and painters

2016_July_paintings“I learn as much from painters about how to write as from writers.”

-Ernest Hemingway

An interesting question raised by an author I have to admit (stereotypically? unfairly?) I would never have imagined to have pondered such a question.

But I have always loved art for many of the same reasons I’ve always loved literature – because the artist manages to pull the viewer away from his or her (real) world, and into the (artificial) world created by the artist.

On a single canvas, the artist can convey mood, emotion, a nation’s history, millennia-old mythological tales,  or a personal story. For an author, that’s a pretty impressive feat on a single canvas.

During my undergraduate years, I came ‘dangerously’ close to triple-majoring in art history. I joke that, living in Italy, my art history classes may have been the most important and relevant coursework I’ve ever taken. Alas, while I have not one ounce of artistic talent myself, I fully appreciate the talent of an artist in conveying so much emotion on one canvas.

And I can’t help but agree with Hemingway. We writers have so much to learn from artists and how they manage to tell a story so eloquently with a few brushstrokes.

So I can’t help but agree with the wise words from Ernest Hemingway. Authors, visit your local museum, admire the art, and walk away inspired…


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