Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Maxfield Parrish

Twenty-Six Days of Creative Inspiration


Enchanted. I am enchanted by the art of Maxfield Parrish. He worked as both an illustrator and an artist and has many children's books to his credit. He is known for his fantastical settings and deeply saturated colors. There is a hue named Parrish blue in his honor.

His paintings transport me to magical places and spark my imagination to create new worlds. I am especially taken with the way he represents light in his work. As a lighting designer, I used his paintings as a springboard for my own work, especially when I lit  dance.

The Glen

Parrish's paintings inform the world building in my writing. The detail in his work has helped me flesh out depth and complexity in the places I create on the page.

Blue Fountain

You never know where Parrish's art will pop up. The cover for Elton John's album, Caribou, has a Maxfield Parrish background. The poster for the movie, The Princess Bride, is based on a Parrish painting.

Is there an artist who inspires your writing?

Click on the Blogging From A to Z Challenge logo in the sidebar to access the links to all the superheroes participating in this blog hop.


  1. Ooh very nice. I didn't know of him.

    An artist who inspires my writing? That's an interesting question. I love Georgia and Diego Rivera, among others, but I don't know if I connect them to writing. Maybe in some abstract/indirect way. :)

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Actually, my answer would be Diego Rivera, too, especially after seeing his depiction in Cradle Will Rock, a movie I really wanted to feature in my own A-to-Z challenge.

  3. Those paintings are gorgeous.

    I don't have any painters who inspire my writing, but Albrecht Durer is my favorite artist.

  4. I remember Daybreak hanging on my Italian grandmother's living room wall. It drew me into that place every time I looked at it. It wasn't until much later in my life that I discovered his many other paintings, each enticing to gaze at. A great M day choice.

    Van Gogh and Modigliani are among my favorites, but I can't say they inspired me to write.

  5. That's awesome! I love his work, I'm going to have to look up some more...

  6. I suppose, living in Beverley, I should say Fred Elwell, but frankly, I can't stand the man's work. I do love the illustrations of Abigail Larson quite a lot, and she even did one of my covers. I spend a lot of time now thinking about writing things that kind of live up to the weird quality of her art.

  7. I've admired James C. Christensen lately, and I should use his work for writing inspiration, but hadn't thought of it till now.

    Have a lovely week. :)

  8. Those paintings are beautiful. I'm enamored with medieval paintings; the dark colors and religious themes mesmerize me. Surrealism is also a huge inspiration for me, and finally, I love impressionism for it beauty. I could go on and on about this! Nice post!!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog.
    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  9. Terrific post, and I love your blog. Glad I visited.

    If you've the chance, come on over to mine. I'm the award winning author of the Bella and Britt series for kids.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Gary Olsen is one of my favorite artists. He does paintings of Christ. I have a print hanging in my livingroom of Jesus sitting on the Mount of Olives looking over Jeruselem. It is breathtaking.

    1. I'll bet it is beautiful. I'll have to pop over and see it one of these days.

  11. Excellent pictures. Didn't know about Elton John and Princess Bride!

  12. Well, I don't rightly know of any particular artist who inspires my writing. Might possibly be Wyeth, or Norman Rockwell. My writing is kind of down home genera. Just about ordinary people. Come check me out (if you have time) at my blogspot. :) Best regards to you. Ruby aka Grammy

  13. What a fantastic post! I did not know much about this author- but I love The Princess Bride and Elton John. I guess we can find art in all kinds of places. I love all types of art from Monet, to Ansel Adams, to various illustrators. Each style inspires me in a different way.


  14. Love his art! I hadn't heard of him before. It's probably cliche, but I tend to be inspired by Van Gogh. There's something so fantastical in his images. Whimsical and dream-like.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  15. Leslie: Great post. I love Parrish's work. Artist that inspire my writing? Many! Franz Kline in particular. His black and white abstracts remind me of the delicate balance between simple and complex.

  16. Gorgeous paintings and a great post. So lovely!

  17. I didn't know he did The Princess Bride!

  18. Thank you for sharing your artist inspirations. I've been searching them and mining gold.

  19. Okay, you are really scaring me. I keep discovering more similarities. Maxfield Parrish, REALLY??? Okay yes he is a famous artist, but what are the odds of us loving so many of the same books, artists... and there have been lots of other posts where I've claimed you must be my long lost twin.

    Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorites. But I have so many Parrish favorites. It never occurred to me that Princess Bride cover was modeled after him.