Some of you have asked what artist is the most frequent source of inspiration for submissions to The Ekphrastic Review.
We are so pleased to have such a variety of artworks acting as catalyst for your creative writing, from prehistoric to yesterday's, with many selections from around the world and a wide array of styles and artists. But the two artists who stand out for sheer volume of submissions inspired by their work are Vincent Van Gogh and Edward Hopper.
For this ekphrastic writing challenge, we are going to add to our library of Van Gogh inspired poetry (or prose, or short fiction.)
What is it about Van Gogh that is so enchanting? There are countless artists who painted the French countryside or vases of flowers, but Van Gogh's work is an essential part of the lives of almost everyone who sees it. His works sell for tens of millions of dollars. Why? There are artists who render beautifully yet their work never draws us in. This is a delicious mystery that doesn't seem to get solved by analysis of technical or topical matters like composition, colour use, subject, lighting, perspective. All of those are vital components, yet an elusive spirit or magical quality seem much more important to the viewer in art. Without this je ne sais quoi, are becomes a technical drawing or something utilitarian to explain a function or purpose of something. When we respond emotionally to art, we develop a mysterious intimate relationship with it. I'm wondering if we will be able to shed some light through poetry and prose on this question: "Why Van Gogh?"
The rules are easy: use each artwork shown in this post as a springboard and write a poem or short fiction or nonfiction piece inspired by it. You can research the painting or artist and use your discoveries to fuel your work, or you can enter the piece blindly and go by imagination. You may take any angle or subject that you wish. You can describe the artwork or work from "within" the piece, or it can be a mere doorway to an unexpected and unrecognizable place. You can do one for each painting or choose a few, or only one.
Because The Ekphrastic Review is now receiving a tidal wave volume of submissions and it is becoming nearly unmanageable for me, I haven't posted challenges in awhile. But challenges are a fun and important part of Ekphrastic and they also cause a spike in readership, so I decided to bring them back. We will do things a little differently for reading, publishing, and presentation of accepted challenge pieces. From now on: instead of a rolling submission deadline for challenges and presenting selected works individually, we are going to have a deadline and publish all accepted pieces for each artwork together.
This will also distinguish the ekphrastic challenges from the every day submissions, which are presented one by one. It will afford the reader the chance to see the many different ways an artwork can be interpreted or inspire creative writing, which is one of the most interesting things about ekphrastic writing.
The deadline is one month from today: September 7, 2018, when a new challenge will be introduced.
Best wishes! Please let me know your thoughts about the new format.
Submit to Lorette C. Luzajic at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to use the subject line "Van Gogh Challenge" so your entry doesn't get neglected or lost during consideration.
Pretty please share this challenge with your writer and artist friends and on social media. It really gives an upsurge in readers and brings new readers. This benefits our writers and artists and those lucky enough to enjoy or be moved by their work. Thank you.
The Ekphrastic Review
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