The Girl in the Painting

In my new novella “The Month of April” I dedicate this story to The city of New Orleans, but also to “the girl in the painting.”

This is the painting. It is a beautiful watercolor painted by the late great artist Steve Hanks called “The Streets of New Orleans.”

I fell in love with this city back in the early ’90’s the first time I visited and have been back several times since.

As an art collector, and collector of music memorabilia, collector of books, (Many I have given away to mentors over the years) I was visiting one of my friends who owns an art gallery. I was browsing through many of the paintings he had in his show room and found this painting and fell in love and had to have it.

After my friend created a custom frame for it, I hung it over my desk for many years. It is a limited edition print signed by the artist himself.

However, the girl walking away in the painting, she became my muse for the story The Month of April.

I would often times be writing at my desk or editing papers for students and when I stopped and leaned back in my chair I’d stare at the painting often times wishing I were in the French Quarter listening to the band playing in the painting, but I wondered who she was mostly.

She seems to sashay as she walks, as if she were walking to the rhythm of the song. It struck me as odd because she is wearing a heavy black or blue overcoat.

As a writer, she intrigued me. So I created this story “The Month of April” for her.

I still own the painting, although it’s no longer hanging over my desk as I type this. We have been doing some renovations on the inside of the house so most of our paintings are stored away. But one day it will be back on the wall.

But this is the amazing thing about writing, is that you never know how you’ll be inspired or what will inspire you. It could be something personal, something you have lived, and or struggled with, or it could be fantasy, role-playing if you will, or in a galaxy somewhere far away. Having read so many books in my lifetime, and now, having a chance to read so many independent authors, I love the human imagination so much. I didn’t know when I purchased this painting almost 20 years ago, it would inspire me to write a complete novella about the girl in the painting. But I wanted to share this with you, and encourage to always be on the lookout for something inspiring, because it can happen by looking at a painting, or listening to a song, or even in our dreams.

Still, I am so happy to have written this beautiful story and I hope you love it too. You can find it on or find it through the link in my menu at the top of this page.

So from a love of New Orleans, to my love of art, to my love of writing, “The Month of April” came to life just like the late great artist Steve Hanks brought this wonderful and beautiful city to life in this amazing painting “The Streets of New Orleans.”

Published by Chad Ard

Author, Editor

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