|J.M.W.Turner. Death on a Pale Horse.|
1825-1830. Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery,
I enjoy art and paintings, even thought I might be a fine artist once upon a time. That was before I jumped from a tiny pond into a big one and found I wasn't as good as I'd thought.
The Tate Gallery in
owns paintings by some of my favorite artists: J.M.W. Turner, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, and so many others. Impressionists and romanticists especially draw me. Years ago, I spent some happy hours at the Tate, absorbing the magic of those masters. And to add to my experience, I went in a London taxi, one of those black, old-fashioned-looking cars where the doors open backward. And finished with a proper English tea. Heaven. London
So, based on those experiences and dreams, I made the hero in Cold Comfort an artist (among other things). Riley's paintings are dark and stormy, reflecting his view of life. He's a sailor, so much of his work involves rough seas and sails whipping in the wind. I (and therefore he) love J. M. W. Turner. Riley's style is similar but bolder, depicting harsh seascapes. In his house, Claire finds a small painting that gives a clue to the images that haunt Riley's dreams.
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
circa 1805. Oil on canvas
Current location: Tate
In her house, Claire has a portrait of her mother by contemporary
Alabama artist Jackie Williams and a reproduction of by Turner, which added to Riley's interest. I'm not sure mention of Norham Castle survived one of my revisions, but it's there in her living room. Trust me, I know. Norham Castle
That's one of the benefits of being a writer. You can create worlds, situations, dream up characters, and give them the ability to cope with it all.
Do your interests drift into your writing? Do your characters sometimes fulfill unrealized dreams?