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Art Inspires Art – Filling the Well

Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon
Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon

The following is a guest post by Cheryl Hollon, author of Pane and Suffering. If you would like to write a guest post on my blog, please send me an e-mail at

Writing for me is exhilarating and at the same time exhausting. I tend to push very hard for several weeks near the deadline for turning a book over to my publisher. That means up to a sixteen-hour a day living and breathing in book world. I call this phase book jail. As a result, I’m a quivering mass of nervous energy and completely empty of words. At this point, I have trouble writing the simplest e-mail.

At last, I’ve found a solution. I walk into a museum. I wander with no set plan or no set time limit. I just let the art wash over me and it begins to recharge my creative energy. For the artist, this is cross training at its most pleasant.

I’m lucky enough to live near downtown St. Petersburg, FL. There are four museums within the space of a dozen blocks. At the north end of Beach Drive is the Chihuly Collection with a stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork in a magnificent 10,000 square foot setting designed by award-winning architect Albert Alfonso.

When I’m in the mood for the Chihuly, I want to stay longest the gallery with the stunning installation titled “Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier,” whose red hot swirls dangle from the ceiling. I also adore the multicolored chandelier known as “Milli Fiore.” After I’ve walked through the museum, I spend some time in the gift shop where items for sale are not the typical selection of cups and postcards.

Across the street is the Museum of Fine Arts with a large permanent collection of French Impressionist paintings. They also host the Hot Gatherings/Cool Conversations/Wine and lecture series that feature a touring glass artist. As part of a 50th Anniversary celebration, the Museum of Fine Arts is organizing Monet to Matisse—On the French Coast. Drawn from public and private collections in North America and Europe this project explores and compares for the first time ever Impressionist and Modernist visions of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Coasts of France. I disappeared into those paintings with joy.

Around the corner is the St. Petersburg Museum of History with a permanent interactive exhibition of the chronology of St. Petersburg’s history filled with priceless artifacts, documents and photographs. The Benoist Pavilion houses a replica of the world’s first commercial airliner which made the first scheduled commercial flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa on Jan. 1, 1914.

Finally at the south-end of the downtown area is the world-famous Dali Museum with touring exhibits as well as the largest collection of Dali art outside of Spain. Salvador Dalí’s art is often as shocking as it is brilliant. The Dali museum in downtown St. Pete offers the largest, most comprehensive collection of the famous Spanish artist’s work in America. There are changing and special exhibits throughout the year, including children’s activities, film, music series, lectures and more. I enjoy the Spanish themed Cafe and wander the waterside Avant Garden.

This technique for ‘filling the well’ refreshes my creativity and in little more than an afternoon, I’m ready for the next writing challenge. I highly recommend it.

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Cheryl HollonAbout the Book

To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed façade. . .

After Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs–including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father’s apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .

About the author and her work: Cheryl Hollon’s Website.