Writing Exercises at the Beginning of the year

I had my first workshop session for short story yesterday. We kicked it off by looking at paintings and visual art to describe and to evoke certain emotions. Of course there was focus that every picture, while having agreeable components–we all acknowledge that there is a tree and a barn–every person in the room responds differently to what they see (Yay individuality based off of life experiences and singular synapses.) Anyway, I was sold, it brought back my art class/art history days and I wanted to run all over the place with joy.

One painting we looked at–without knowledge of title or painter was “Wind from the Sea” (1947) by Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009).


As an exercise, we first wrote three examples of things that this painting made us taste, touch, smell, hear.

Then we wrote down the first impression/feeling that we felt when we saw the picture.

After that, we free wrote for a few minutes incorporating some of those sensory examples while evoking the initial feeling.

As you can guess all of the examples were different. Here is mine:

“The cracked shade slaps against the window that faces the road. The curtains, more dust than lace float into nothingness, mixing with the grit in the air. A branch snaps in the forest on the other side of the field–crashing. Splashes from the overstocked lake, unfished for years, are the loudest sounds around. A breeze picks up, rustling the dry grass and swirling small clouds of dirt–the only thing to travel that road for more than fifteen years.”

It’s rough, but try to guess what I was trying to evoke!


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