Flash Fiction and Paint and Color and Ink and Paper – 2/24/19

Flash Fiction February 2019 – twenty-eight days of short short stories, an event taking place at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine featuring short stories. My part in the event? I did a small abstract painting as the illustration for each story. I’ll be showing one of them to you each day in February to accompany the story on Fictive Dream.

Today’s story is “Altercation”, by Matt Kendrick. Check out the illustration, then go to Fictive Dream and read the story.

Here is the image, with the banner:

image 43 fictive dream 12-29-18 2019 small17


and on its own.

image 43 fictive dream 12-29-18 201920


12 thoughts on “Flash Fiction and Paint and Color and Ink and Paper – 2/24/19

  1. Sharon Mann

    Very nicely done Claudia, after reading the story, these shapes take on several meanings for me, but, I’d like to think they are abstract figures coming together

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. This story had so much visual info I could have made quite a few paintings. I did include figures here and I tried to show the ambiguity of whether they would separate or be together, I always hope for together, but I am not sure with these people.

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    The story is fantastic and one of my favourites so far. It was so dense with imagery and the way atmosphere and tension are conveyed was very effective. I can see lots of the colours and other elements from the story reflected in your choice of colours and shapes and composition. I think the fact the jagged line goes across the whole piece really captures that sense of the resolution being temporary, a ceasefire rather than a truce. I also like the separation between the figures, temporary or permanent.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. This story was vivid and visual and I could have done any number of images from the text. I think this one sort of summarizes the whole story, and I liked the color scheme a lot – straight from the story!

  3. Fictive Dream

    I like your interpretation that this story is about a relationship in which the cracks refuse to remain fixed. We meet a couple during a ceasefire and, with this in mind, I chose image #43. The sombre palette suits the mood, I feel. I like the separation of the white figures – they may represent the man and woman, but they also engage with the onions, their juice ‘like acid rain.’ And I love the crack across the whole image. Thank you, Claudia.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. This story had a lot of color and visual qualities in the text, and there were many pictures that crossed my mind as I read through it, but some motifs were strong, and I tried to incorporate them in this picture.

  4. Matt Kendrick

    Thank you Claudia for this wonderful image to accompany my story. It’s amazing to have someone as talented as yourself paint a visual response to my writing. I love the fact that the two figures are so ambiguous between togetherness/separation and that you have used the three colours specifically mentioned in the story. All your work for Flash Fiction February has been fantastic and really enjoying reading your thoughts on how you represented each piece.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you, I am really happy you liked the art – I hoped to be able to construct an illustration that brought out the feelings in this story, and your text was so descriptive and visually rich, a pleasure to work with it.

  5. memadtwo

    They look like ghosts in jars…”bottled up”. A lot is bottled up here.
    I have to respectfully disagree with everyone liking the visuals in the story. I would have liked to more space between everything, words and images. Your painting reflects that, and is much more effective in summarizing the relationship by not cramming all that stuff in.(K)

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I understand what you mean. For me, when I read, it’s a linear procession of visuals – both the words and their shapes and forms (I am not a phonics reader, talk to my 2nd grade teacher about my insistence that each word had a face and could be recognized and phonics were to me, gibberish) and the mental pictures or colors. If the story is densely packed, I move slower. As you say, allowing space. To me this story was a slow read because of this, not a bad thing, but I had to regulate the inflow. It was conducive to the kind of illustration of a moment, where some stories were encapsulated in one image. It’s interesting to me that you said this because I had not articulated to myself the difference the writing makes in how I read the story – some had many flavors mixed, some had one big flavor. I wonder if any of this makes sense. Anyway, I like your description – ghosts in jars. I did feel these people were not really inhabiting their lives to the fullest.

      1. memadtwo

        That’s exactly right–they were not inhabiting their lives.
        That’s probably the right way to read a story like this, but to me, this all happening in one big explosion, so the writing should reflect that. Not dense, but fragmented. Of course that’s my interpretation of what happened which may be totally wrong. Maybe it was slow and dense and suppressed. Anger can be like that too.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          I think the density of the writing led me to see this as one of those periodic lava flows from an active volcano, maybe. That is just the assumption I made. I see what you are saying and to be honest, I think we are both right. I can see both interpretations and I do think they can fit, existing side by side.

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