Yeah, tbese days I’m close VERY CLOSE TO hitting that button and finalizing my VERY FIRST BOOK. I’m working on lots of projects and most of them are out there. The world says only show the good stuff. I share mostly everything. The world says paint trends. I paint what I want. Today I read about a janitor, a single mom. She wrote a book and it won a prestigious award at a prestigious university, the university where she worked as a janitor.
I never would have found this article had it not been for Austin Kleon and his KEEP WORKING KEEP PLAYING… newsletter. It just so happens that today I need to reflect.
Ughh…this week was hard. I spent most of my time cleaning up the files for my wise trees book. I am tired of looking at my laptop screen. It feels like I am neglecting my art.
I am so glad last week happened. I set out to work on my work in progress folder and all these ideas begged to be painted. The best part is I am listening.
This is an old sketch. I finally painted …
I’ve been adding new art to my shop. The fact is I don’t care who likes it or not. All I feel is this sense to continue sharing my work.
Maybe its baby steps toward my biggest project yet. I’m scared. Deep breaths. I’m excited! I long for summer days when I work on art all day or night. No matter where life takes me, I must always create.
I painted and painted this balloon. I kept messing up. Each time I vowed to make it work. I painted over and over again and then this happened. Not bad thanks to a little help from an eraser tool. This balloon sums up my art and every moment that led to my wise trees book. I can’t believe my book is almost here.
I am now working on a new book. Her name is Elfie and she wants to build the biggest bestest tree in the world. She’s cute and my deadline is this holiday season. I can do it because …
I am procrastinating the final stages of my wise trees book. It’s true I have. I admit it to you world. The bigger question is WHY? I’m afraid of what” they’ll” think. Wise Trees came to me as I was strolling through the park, just me and Roxy. Since then I have painted many MANY trees. I have written and REWRITTEN many times.
Yeah… this tree and the color works
I Believe this book is awesome. I know it is BUT I am curious what the world will think? I keep painting and repainting trees.
I pencil in a time to register my book with the Library of Congress but have yet to do so. It’s time I know it is. There are many other books calling my name. I want and need to answer before the excitment ceases. I can eaither hold on to this book for a long time or go with what I feel and revel in that I already know that kids love my trees.
Today I saw this kid draw. He drew Disney characters. I should have taken a picture. He says he’s been drawing for a long time. BUT he’s only in 2nd grade. I thought about me and how I stopped drawing for years. I guess I grew up. I am reminded of all the TOYS R Us stores. The song “I don’t want to grow up because if I did then I wouldn’t be a Toys R Us kid lingers in my heart. I guess the world grew up. I hope Joseph never stops drawing–I hope he never grows up. I’ll never give up my art. There’s many books to write.
Today I had an unexpected opportunity to share my art with an audience, the children who will one day read it. My trees got wow’s The kids were excited and that’s what I wanted. As I think of it now, gosh it made me feel good. What a birthday gift. For a while this has been my project. I painted these trees becasue I needed too. I understand how creative it is to create for yourself first before you can create for others.
Seriously writing a book is hard. I love the painting. The stories practically write themeselves. BUT it’s the editing mind games that twist you up. Do I keep this? Who are these characters? What’s the message? Will I make the kids smile? Bartholomew makes me smile?
At some point I began writing because this story was filled with lessons I need to read, lessons I need to live.
Ana and Geogre Book Ending
What a lesson to learn from. Some dogs want to fly. Some foxes want to sing. Some bears want to paint. Some rabbits rather grow strawberries. Why not. For when you explore and listen to the voice that tells you the truth, you discover there’s a world of wow-a world of no impossibilities.
I have two books written. What I love most about these book projects is that I am learning to let lose and just create. I am learning to listen to curiosity.
I have a fast deadline ahead of me. There’s the Wise Trees book deadline and other projects. And yet I take time to paint ideas that have nothing to do with the project. I have a book cover to finalize and the final draft–I keep saying this. It’s nerve wracking so I have to paint.
Some projects are old…
but I had this inclination to repaint
What a relaxing breathe of fresh air. This is my first book. I’m nervous. I have read the book,many times. I love it. BUT I must edit with a fresh pair of eyes. Why not take a breather and build my confidence with fun art?
OK so I guess my book can’t escape me entirely. I used a tree watercolor wash as a background for this quote. The idea for this quote is–WAIT A MINUTE should I do something like this for the book cover?
The WISE TREES BOOK helped me realize that I am a writer and a painter who needs to write all these stores in my head. It’s not fair to have them exist only in my imagination and not give them a chance. I will bring them all to life. Wherever I go whatever I do, the ideas are simply there-nagging me really.
I had to repaint some trees. It’s awesome how you can create something beautiful out of literally anything. I write about this little lesson in my book. Of course the tree for that lesson is the tire tree. I’ll be repainting that tree next week. I made this tree without a care in the world, some tempera paint and a sponge brush I customized. SO glad I had that idea.
As I write this I feel a breeze. Yeah that’s what this tree’s about.
notes for next week:
paint purple tree
finish the other tree
work on layout
-Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.
I have stolen like an artist. I walked in to this project with an idea. I took my love of nature and connected that with my imagination. Along the way I stole lots of awesome ideas and put them in my creative box.
I stole this idea from a 1st grade teacher but I made my own small brush. She and her class painted the ocean and I painted a tree. I’m painting this tree again.
I’ve made some awesome friends. I watch myself drawing trees and as of last night bears with texture, highlights and shadows. I did this before but this project has made me appreciate and love all of the wonderful resources that are allowing me to bring this book to life.
…a sample of my recent drawing for the next book Ana Bee and George Bird. I stole the idea for the book layout from observing the Mercy Watson books-and lots of them really.
Wise Tress would not have been possible without all of the artists who answer my questions. I wrote about this before.
I stole the idea to experiment with mixed media and fun objects from Eric Carle. I really should turn this guy into a frog and share his story with the world.
It’s just that 4th of July is a day to celebrate freedom. I am reminded of a few words of a boy who lives trying to survive in the midst of war and he mutters something along these lines. “I thought about the good times and the day that I’d be free…the only freedom they can’t take away.”
Yeah I love the idea that freedom exists in the mind and is the most precious of freedoms. Freedom of thought is powerful. Freedom is a choice to creativity seek out that which must be sought.
If in the end you have 100s of ideas that didn’t work, at least you have an experience and a hellavua story for the next artist to steal from. I’m so grateful to live in a wonderful country where I can be free to think as I choose and create as I choose.
-Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible