People often ask writers where we get our ideas from. It's a tough question. Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere — our experiences, our environment, people we know, places we visit. Mainly ideas simply come from our imaginations. An easier question is: from where do we get our inspiration? For me, it comes from two primary sources: art and other writers. I particularly love art from the Renaissance through the 18th century, but there's also artists' work I enjoy who lived much later. As for inspirational writers, of course I love my fellow historical, contemporary, and erotic romance peers. But here in my Inspirations gallery I've chosen to highlight three writers whose inclusion may surprise you. Click around and read the stories. I hope you'll be inspired, too.


Judith and Holofernes

Judith and Holofernes

Artemisia Gentileschi was a 17th century Italian Baroque artist whose determination to succeed among the male-dominated world of artists and her refusal to allow discrimination and ignorance to bring her down is an inspiration to women to this day. Gentileschi’s father, Orazio, was a well-known painter in his own right and it was in his […]


A Girl With A Watering Can – Renoir

A Girl With A Watering Can

I generally find inspiration in older artwork, specifically from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. However, it’s hard not to love the beautiful settings and artistic interpretations of the Impressionists. The painting of A Girl With A Watering Can by Pierre-Auguste Renoir captivates me because of the sweetness of the little girl. I love everything about […]


Marie Antoinette – Vigée-Le Brun

Marie Antoinette. Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

I have two paintings in my gallery by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, an 18th century painter who was a portrait artist for Marie Antoinette. Le Brun painted over 30 portraits of the French queen and her family and came to be closely associated with the royal family. In fact, when the royal family was […]


The Marquise de Pezay and Sons – Vigée-Le Brun


This painting by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and another I’ve included in my gallery of Inspiration, by Artemesia Gentileschi, are here for two simple reasons: one, I just love the actual paintings themselves. But two, and perhaps even more important, I’m inspired by the artists. I have two paintings in my gallery by Louise […]


Bindo Altoviti – Raphael

Bindo Altoviti

This painting is by far my absolute favorite portrait. I could stare at Raphael‘s masterful technique for hours. I’m especially struck – as my friend will testify since I point it out every time we go to the National Gallery to see it – by the incredible way Raphael painted the sitter’s hair. No matter […]


The Crowning With Thorns – Caravaggio

Caravaggio is one of my all-time favorite artists. His work has been hugely influential on a number of well-known artists, including Rubens and Rembrandt. He’s known for his incredible talent of depicting light, a technique known as “chiaroscuro.” Caravaggio was a true bad boy of his times. Ultra talented, he didn’t lack for commissions, but […]


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