Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Crossing the Line”

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:

Crossing the Line by Anne Goodwin. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.



This story focuses on boundaries and what happens when they are crossed, in this case, racial boundaries. The setting is the countryside of South Africa. In both cases I used lines in the artwork, since that is the dominant image throughout the story and the word is used over and over.

Image 33 – I divided the background into two sections, covering one with black ink and leaving the other white. I used a gray-tan color to represent the veldt and blue white for a sky. I pulled the colors across the paper with a scraper so that the background’s influence on the top color could be seen, representing that the same physical components of a reality can be influenced by differing elements. I used black and white to create lines across the open landscape, representing the many boundaries expressed and crossed in the story.

Image 34 – I referenced different colors from elements mentioned in the story – tans, yellows, and grays for wheat and the veldt, with a little blue section for the swimming pool that only the narrator can enjoy. I used squares and rectangles to contain the colors and I drew black lines across the boundaries to represent the lines that exist even within the categories. In the center I set a couple of broken lines, representing the space where the narrator and Abel can exist, but they are enclosed by all the other lines.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Crossing the Line”

  1. Pingback: Flash Fiction February 2020–Crossing the Line – Paperkutzs

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    Both illustrations capture the ideas of division and boundaries that are so strong in the story. I absolutely love the use of colour in the second piece and the way it suggests a map.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I had two ideas for this story and these two illustrations are the result. I really like both of them and I feel I got the idea across of divisions and lines, and yet they look nice as images on their own. The story gave me a lot to work with.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I really enjoy reading the stories and trying to capture the “shape” of each author’s words, or the colors that will supplement the narrative, and so on. In this story there was the clear motif of the line, and also, the idea that there was a division in the world these characters all lived in. I tried to catch the structure and theme of the story visually with simple elements and colors and to make something that looked appealing as a composition on its own as well as do justice to the author’s aims. I think this is a great story with a lot of layers and it was a pleasure to work on it.

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