"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison
"Don't forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell." - Charles de Lint

19 April, 2023

F is for Fantasy

Fantasy is such a broad term, and I don't really know what to focus on. For this post, I'll keep things simple and point to one of my favorite surrealist artists whose work never fails to prod me with so much inspiration: Remedios Varo.

Three tall and narrow houses with large windows show a person within spinning. Faint threads flow out of each window and intersect to form a pattern in the middle. Empty, narrow lanes with stone steps cut between the houses.

I'm not a huge fan of contemporary art unless it's surrealism since there's so much for me to sink my teeth into when I run across representative works. I love analogy and metaphor, and surrealism can give me that in spades. Moreover, a lot of Varo's work seems to be in a setting that's caught in a time limbo with no clear indication of day or night, and I'm totally here for it. 

A woman hides behind a wall while a group of men in black suits fly past, looking ominous. The colors are muted with a lot of shadows against a dark red sky.

Anything liminal is my thing, and I hope to achieve that with Charon's Crossing especially with the setting being in a contemporary retail store -- a small, cluttered one, even. I'll happily lose myself writing a world that's perpetually caught in twilight in the way many of Varo's images appear to be stuck in that state. Twilight itself is pretty packed with so much meaning and especially symbolism. 

I'm looking forward to exploring that when the time comes. And as a runner-up, a more contemporary surrealist artist I draw inspiration from is Daniel Merriam, whose work feels more fairy tale-like and less unsettling. Incredibly elaborate and imaginative with his use of watercolor in some of his work, a medium that's really difficult to work with IMHO.

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