The words of the wise, ring clearly in my head. If you want it, then by golly DO IT!
I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I talked and wrote about it like is was off in the distance. Art is right here in the rainbow song . Art is the voice that makes me laugh when I’m surrounded by children who by golly, tested my patience today. Art banishes lizard brain the moment he shows up. Not today.
I wrote three books and I’ve got lots more to write.
Ella you taught me not to let fear and doubt steal my magic. We all have magic but that magic is only as good as we allow it to be.
Wise Trees you taught me to listen to my curiosity. You taught me that my best happens when nature holds my hand.
Ana & George you have shown me that when the world shouts you can’t, that’s the moment you take center stage and sing your heart out. It’s about the journey, the people you meet and talk about unexpected surprises.
As I sit and think of it all, wow the moment my body and all its movements lived the words of great artists well… that’s when change happened…
I just hit the submit button, on my third book. As I read the final words, my mind wandered.
I’ve spent a lot of time on this book. I rewrote it many times Ana was originally supposed to be a bee.
George well he was inspired by Elvis. He still is
That all changed.
I’m happy with the final edition. I keep thinking about how much work goes into writing a book. I can’t imagine authors who write chapter books. How do they do it?
I know more than every, that once you start writing the characters, and the story takes on a life of its own. Its like this force takes over . You have to write. You’re tired and your eyes hurt but you have to finish it. I think I even dreamed about these characters.
I want to gaze upon a rethogot tree. I want to attend the jolly jam. I want to paint more trees.
So here I am reading a book, Creative Inc. and researching Banksy. The artist pops up here and there with something to say. His ideas are original. Banksy ideas are thought provoking. He’s an artist.
…which makes me ponder the meaning of my art. What do I hope to achieve? I hope to speak to those who are tired of reading the same old self-help books. You are not broken. You are beautiful so create like it. I want to let the kid play. I want to let the world know there’s room in the sandbox for all of us….
I had a busy week. Got up at 5:30-6:00 am every single day with a plan. I painted, edited, scanned and set up the layout for Ellie. I never realized how much work goes into scanning all the artwork and preparing the files.
I went back and forth publishing and updating Wise Trees. I shared the book with art friends and it felt good to have them excited with me.
And then the stupid book cover didn’t upload. It just wouldn’t load. Something went wrong with the file. There it is, I had it all done, worked out, finished and the cover wouldn’t upload.
Oh but I finally got it right. I finished Wise Trees! I have been working on these books for months, two summers and …..I am reminded of some words from The Nose Knows podcast.
You get to a point where things get crazy, and you just got to get things done. You have a deadline to meet. Your adrenaline is full speed. You have to trust your instincts because there’s no time for fear or doubt.
Two days later I’m done DONE with Ellie. And done with Ana and George. That’s it DONE.
I’m using my old sketches for the artwork. These sketches are pretty good.
Scan these sketches in as images? Redraw some of the messy ones. A full color page and title page? Maybe I should outline each art piece with full color . I do like the sketches in The Giving Tree. But I want to add a little color. I have to meet this deadline. I’ll have to think about that, but yeah, I think this will work.
I had this design in my sketch book for way too long.
So why did I hold onto it. Well I don’t like to paint or wear black. I do like the little black dress…
Today I looked at my design tucked in a brand new pad of watercolor paper. I placed it there as a work in progress.
I painted with a deep purple.
Doesn’t the idea of a purple hat add fun to what I’m trying to say? Yes. Nothing speaks more to me than the purple tone. When you let go of what they’ll say, magic happens.
I imagine a woman walking down the street. All eyes are on her. Some are jealous. Some are uttering how much they hate purple. “Who would wear a purple hat?” they’ll laugh. All the while she is walking, smiling and wearing her hat never even noticing.
When you let go and be you, you could be Audrey Hepburn. Yes.
I can’t believe how creative these kids are. “You guys are artists. WOW” Seriously I am surprised at how much fun it was to watch them take control and feel a part of something. Prior to this activity we were doing boring fill in the blank busy work, the theme was how families work together. The discussion is awesome but busy work can be boring.
The moment I said your ticket to craft time is finishing these few pages, well I never saw them more focused. I showed them my sample and they were blown away. We had a great discussion. What usually takes an hour took a mere 20 minutes! Art made these kids smile and did we learn about families that day, Y-EAH!
These kids were sharing and creating! I could feel the energy and words that remind me of my purpose, words I’ll never forget. This is the best day ever! When I gave the kids compliments on their amazing skills, they simply said,” I’m just doing my best.” I watched as they were filled with joy from the mere scraps of paper, foam, ribbons and fabric I gave them. It felt amazing. Literally they were old scraps, scraps of projects from the past. But just the right pieces for their masterpieces. I wish I would have taken pictures. They encouraged each other too.
Yeah this was one of the best days ever. No one can take that from us. As for my purpose well, I’ll continue to share art with the world. I got books to publish, and …
I can’t seem to draw Ellie right. I keep trying and erasing. I guess tonight’s not a good day to draw. I can’t seem to concentrate. My drawing feels to forced. I keep erasing and erasing and ERASING…stuck in the same place. Do I draw my characters as I have? For some reason I’m drawn to this historical vintage feel. I sketched clothes and animals BUT my drawing skills– wish I could just draw.
It was so much easier to paint trees. Wait …maybe I should take what I’ve learned from my Wise Trees book? Yeah I painted trees with Q-tips and melted crayon. It was awesome!
Note to self. Stick to the book deadline. Publish Wise Trees. Publish Wise Trees. You’ve talked about it.Now walk your talk. Keep writing and creating. Keep making art. It’s all you can do. Create your art.
Last night I felt the need to write a letter to idea. I have never in all my life felt the way I do now about the notion of an idea. I have, its just that the book BIG MAGIC is amazing. I sat down when all was quiet and calm and I wrote idea a letter:
-Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible
with a cotton swab. Well I tried and it didn’t turn out well. But then it did.
I mixed-up the right beautiful pink. Or wait I meant purple. These are purple shades but they do have some pinkness to them. I love that. I’m not one for purple purple but these are awesome.
palette looks amazing (still looking for a heart shaped one)
testing the color before I start painting. Most of these are too dark.
Oh my …I am rolling my eyes and taking breaths. Literally I sat down with an idea; the idea for a purple tree has been on my mind. The tree I painted last week came out awesome. Sometimes ideas have a mind of their own but, the fun is in experimenting.
First attempt notes: cotton swabs are fun to work with, need more contrast and the green is all wrong
Second attempt notes: The tree trunk came out awesome. The texture and color with the purple was amazing. SO I had to goof it up. I started layering with a brush and a mess happened. I don’t know. I almost threw it away. Somehow I love it.
Third attempt notes: OK forget about the cotton swab and alter course. I liked where this was going until I applied too much dark.
Fourth time is the charm: I went back to the original tool, took my time and fixed the contrast. Looking good! The idea for this tree is that trees come in all colors and are beautiful. This is the last tree I pant for the wise trees book. Oh maybe not since I still have the book cover to work on.
Painting this purple tree was a real surprise.
good lesson on if a first you don’t succeed
first ideas are often the best ones
so now I have all these cool textures that need lovin’.
Maybe this is the start of another book about cute animals in all different shapes and shades. Yes lets. Who knows.
there’s a whole world out there to explore
mixing acrylic with tempera works
don’t forget to keep that brush or cotton swab moist with paint and a little water
or that could be an awesome texture too
so in terms of mixing the more red you add the darker the purple.
Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.