The old adage says a picture is worth a thousand words.
The same is true for a house, a sculpture, even an old necklace.
Museums are a treasure trove of ideas. When I’m at school, I’ll spend hours wandering the corridors of various museums, notebook in hand. A damaged Sphinx provides a line of poetry. A painting inspires a scene or brings back memories (I have a fondness for Saint Sebastian after the Uffizi Gallery, so every painting of him I see reminds me of Italy).
When I was in high school, I often flipped through my massive European History text. One painting (I wish I could remember who painted it) caught my eye, specifically one individual. It was a painting of an Italian family, huge and varied in ages. Towards the back there was a young man, staring out at the viewer. Captivated, I later wrote a few scenes about him, alas, they came to nothing.
I always want to know what happens in the dark corners of paintings and photographs, or what has just been interrupted. Telling the stories myself is a lot of fun.