Writing with Art with Joe

a Studio Friend workshop with Joseph Young

What can a painting teach you about writing a work of fiction? Can studying the 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi improve your use of adjectives? Is there something to be learned about tension in your writing by looking at one of Mark Rothko’s color field works?

Using visual art to improve your writing chops

What can a painting teach you about writing a work of fiction? Can studying the art of 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi improve your use of adjectives? Is there something to be learned about building tension in your writing by looking at one of Mark Rothko’s color field works?

In this 5-week workshop, we will be asking these questions, exploring the techniques and aesthetics employed by visual artists from many different eras and schools of art as a means of building our writing skills.

Here are more examples of the kinds of questions and writing we’ll explore:

Details

  • 5 weekly sessions, coming soon!
  • “In Person” (via Zoom) on Sundays at 11am*
  • All course material, assignments, and critiques will be sent via email or on the course website
  • Participants will write and workshop 5 new pieces
  • Participants will be paired with a partner**
  • Cost: $325 $195 thanks to our sponsor, The Art of Everyone!
  • Also receive a complimentary Write Away membership through 2021

* Limited to 6 participants
** A workshop partner—not a dating service

How the course will work: 

  • Each week, writer and all-around art lover Joe Young will provide workshop participants with 4 works of visual art, including a brief background on the artists and their work, and pose a different Writing Challenge (e.g., building tension/conflict) to be explored through the lens of those artworks.
  • Participants will choose one artwork as a prompt, using what they observe in that particular artwork to guide them in writing a new short work of prose.
  • Participants will then gather online the subsequent week for a writing workshop. We’ll discuss the works of art, talk about what we’ve learned about writing by looking at them, and receive feedback on their newly written work from other participants and the instructor.
  • Not only will your writing skills be sharpened, you might learn a stray thing or two about visual art!

About the Instructor

Joseph Young lives, writes, and makes art in Baltimore. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, websites, and blogs. His most recent collection of short fiction, Always Never Speaking, was released in 2019. He has taught writing workshops at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore and through programming at his home, the Micro Fiction Row House. Visit his website at josephyoung.net.