Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Pickers”


I continue with my illustrations for Flash Fiction February 2020, twenty-nine days of flash fiction stories at Fictive Dream,  an online fiction magazine featuring short stories.

For the event I created a small abstract painting for each selection – in fact, I did more than one painting per story. I am showing you all the images, day by day, throughout February. I’m also including a short write-up as to how I went about turning the authors’ words into pictorial representations.

I hope you’ll take a look at my art, then go to Fictive Dream, see which image editor Laura Black chose for the magazine, and read the story!

Thank you to Laura for her faith in my work and to the authors for such wonderful material to work with.

Today’s story is:

Pickers by DS Levy. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


This story focuses on a couple of worn-out chairs as the vehicle for remembering, mourning, and exorcising the past. In both of them I used a chair shape as the focus in the green color mentioned in the text for its color.

Image 35 – I portrayed the chair that the narrator breaks, with its legs flying off, in a field of bright green, representing her initial laughter at the incident. The rest of the image then moves into a pale field filled with blue oblongs, representing how the narrator slides into tears.

Image 36 – I focused on the broken chair as in the first image, showing it at the moment of being broken, with its legs detached. I scattered small chips of color around the chair, representing laughter turning into tears. It also refers to the past and the memories that makes the narrator sit down in the chair this one last time, taken from the narrator’s memories of her mother and how she had painted the chairs multiple times in different colors so that ” a fingernail could chip off a rainbow of color.”

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

2 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Pickers”

  1. Laura Black

    I could have so easily chosen either of the illustrations for DS Levy’s Pickers. In the end I chose image 35 because it showed more of the chair intact. I also very much liked the idea of the blue tears on the right. Pickers is a most original story and I felt the chosen image stood out.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I like making pictures with furniture in any case and in this one, it was clear that the chairs had to be featured – they were symbols as well as actual items – and I wanted to surround them with other references from the text to show the context.

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