Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

The devil is in the details.  It’s true of fiction and the arts in general.  It’s the artist’s job to pick just the right visual cue, seemingly insignificant–the color of a mosaic tile, the particular aroma swirling through a kitchen, the lift of an eyebrow, which can make the scene or the image or sculpture real to the viewer.  If we get it just right, there is a leap of understanding between the artist and the viewer.

Marc Chagall mural, Chicago

Marc Chagall mural, Chicago

In fiction,  if the writer gets it just right, the character or scene becomes alive in the minds and hearts of the readers.  This is especially true in the opening sentences of a book.  I worked hard to get it just right in my novel.  If I have succeeded, it’s because the visual details, the tiny nuances make the reader curious and want to read more.

The three men from Montebello had never seen a machine so fast or so beautiful before.  They were smoking near the bridge in an oasis of shade because the summer heat had lingered that year, exhausting nearly everyone except a few children who shrieked and laughed in the stream just beyond the road.  In this swelter the men could do little more than start conversations and idly drop them like the ashes flicked from their cigarettes…

In these 2012 Art Prize entries, it’s the seemingly inconsequential details that humanize and personalize the sculptures–the vibrant color of the dresses, the blue eyes of the “wired” man and his coffee cup.   They form a human link between us and the artists.  If we are lucky, we can lose ourselves in the details, and for an instant, we step inside that piece of art and linger there for a while.

Three Sisters, Art Prize entry 2012.

Three Sisters, Art Prize entry 2012.

Wired

Wired. Art Prize 2012 entry.

Do you agree?

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19 replies »

  1. For me, it’s the expressions on the faces of the 2nd photo, the details that you might miss the first time around, but leave an impression. Just as the detail of the car in the opening line of your novel is a subtle detail that plants enough to get the imagination going. I’d say you got it right.

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