The point of all this is that we spent a morning at the Van Gogh Museum. (Note to travellers: book your tickets online, get there before 9am.) The point of all this is that the museum was fascinating -- I loved it. I loved the paintings, the insight into Van Gogh's life, and I felt a deep sadness that this man had died without knowing how loved and revered he would become.
When I finally reached home after our travels, I found a piece of writing I did some years ago in which a little girl examines Van Gogh's Starry Night, and in case you're not sure this is Starry Night -- it's my favourite Van Gogh painting.
I drafted and redrafted, and redrafted still further, and then I sent it to a friend to critique, still with the opening para being the description of the painting. At that stage I didn't know what the relevance of the description was, all I knew was that I liked it. But it took my friend one reading to work out what the themes were - belief, resurrection, love - and why the description would work better further along in the story. (Sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees.)
I think I've finished the story now. I am certainly very happy with it. In fact, I am rather in love with it. I think this has got to do with the fact that I've been there, inside the story. The pub where my protagonist goes to have gluhwein is one where I've been; the cobbled street she walks along is familiar to me.
So, if you're looking for inspiration for a short story, sit yourself down in front of a painting (famous or otherwise) and describe what you see, how it makes you feel. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky.