Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Julia Paints Again

Julia hasn't been doing much art for the past six months or so -- too much stress. (Do I use that word too much?) I'd never considered that stress kept her from drawing/painting, but I know it keeps me from writing. Makes sense. But her life has calmed down just enough that she decided to do a little 'bad art,' as she calls it. Bad art will get her painting again, king of jump-start her creative juices. Here's her bad art:
This quote comes originally from Shakespeare's The Tempest.
It's a little booklet of some of her favorite quotes with accompanying art. The quote above comes from a book I read as a young girl called The Ghost Next Door, and I passed it on to Julia. It's a silly junior high book, but I dearly loved it. It became the 'first summer reading' for me, several years in a row -- that magical book you read that helps you flip from your 'school self' to your 'summer self.' If you're an introverted, creative, magically-minded child, this transition each summer is quite important. You become your real self again for a couple of months.
And a little quote from Peanuts, above.
The quote below is P.S. Shelley, from his poem "Ozymandias." This one stuck in Julia's brain quite nicely. This stickiness of poetry is one of the reasons I had my students memorize and recite so much poetry.
They didn't always appreciate it, but I was surgically attaching wonderful literature to their brains that could not be easily removed.
The next quote comes from Homer's Odyssey; I presented it to Julia as the epic's theme: "Our minds are as the days are, dark or bright, blown over by the father of gods and men."
This began as a black/white pen drawing, a dark root maze with one dangling light bulb. Julia showed it to friends and asked, "How does this make you feel?" She called it her psychology test. Some people found it adventurous, mysterious, exciting. Some found it scary and depressing. In this booklet she colored the right side.
I asked her to draw a mouse. I'm (trying to) write a short mouse story for little children. Keeping the text simple and minimal is hard. He's a cute little fellow.
Of course, I'm writing this story because we've been doing a bit of THIS lately:
With the harvesting of the big corn fields around us, and the onset of cool weather, the mice are looking for cozier winter quarters. They will not find it with us!
I'm glad Julia's doing art again; it makes me happy. I don't pressure her to draw or paint, but I do try to encourage her occasionally, reminding her that she loves it. She spouts her creativity as I do -- in fits and starts, with long breaks in between. I'm no good example for her. I can put off writing a book or story for years, waiting for that right time. Shame on me!
What brings out YOUR creative juices? What do you do to make sure you create whatever art you do? Are you scheduled or spontaneous? Do you procrastinate or do it often?


  1. What a great mouse! I like her "bad art" and think it is very good!
    I like to doodle a bit every day. Sometimes I write more than draw.

  2. Julia is wonderfully talented. Truly these are beautiful and I live the fact they illustrate quotes.
    For the record, I like the simplicity of the black absailing white, getting back to the fundamentals.x

  3. If this is bad art, we should all be this bad!

  4. Julia's art is wonderful! The mouse is fantastic! I have a hard time getting myself to do art, which is why I try to commit to an ATC swap now and then. Then I HAVE to make something. I wish my creativity with art materials was more spontaneous. I would like to really make something up out of thin air. I have problems narrowing things down and deciding WHAT to paint. So, I keep myself bound up just wondering what to do. I also have notes for stories I want to write. I have to get over the idea that something has to be sellable in order to be worth writing. My daughter told me the other day I should write a book for my grandchildren and just get a few copies printed. I think that's an excellent idea. I'm not sure I can handle that until I have more time to sit and contemplate. Like in a year or so. I hope that's not just one more procrastination tactic! :)

  5. That little mouse is sweet and it is nice to see some of Julia's nice artwork.

    I am more spontaneous and also a procrastinator. :-) I showed my sis-in--law my 'creative space' where I work and blog and said what a mess it was, and she said it's what it should look like because you are working here, or something like that. I am getting in the mood to create some new pieces, hopefully this week.

    Enjoy the rest of the week and may you and Julia enjoy your creative times whenever they may be.


  6. I like Julia's art. I think it's good art. Sometimes we need some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes little things like painting rocks starts the flow. I make "bad art" but I don't care. It feels right.

  7. I do love Julia's art. And I certainly understand why it might have taken her at least this long to get back to it.


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