A paper filled with lines, shapes, and color blocked the words on the page of my book. I looked up into the wide, excited eyes of my youngest daughter, and like nearly every parent who ever lived, I said, “Oh! That’s… Well, what is it?”
With that optimistic confidence that only toddlers seem to possess, she gave her answer. I don’t remember what she thought the blob was, but I recall taking a second look and thinking that it looked remarkably like an embryo. If only my doodles and scribbles could be “translated” into something recognizable.
As a child, my attempts at art were… well, let’s just say that I never won any art prizes. No honorable mentions. And Mrs. Elkins, my second-grade teacher, did assure me once that you couldn’t fail “art.”
I think I may have cried in relief.
A few years into marriage, I discovered the illustrations of Tasha Tudor.
The simple, magical drawings left me determined to learn. So, I did what I do best. I copied them. Line by line, I drew things exactly the same length, the same curve, the same… everything. Did they look like hers? Not hardly–more like the cheap imitation of the cheap imitation. But it taught me something. I COULD copy. Not well, but I could do it. Copying taught me the value of just a tiny curved stroke for a nose or an ear instead of trying to copy the whole shape. It taught me to pay attention to shadows used by the artist.
I can’t do it with actual objects. When I try to sketch a box, I’m right back to those pathetic drawings of childhood. But if I look at a box someone else has sketched, well…
Buoyed with that exciting change, I tried something else. Paint.
There, I found more success. I found I had an eye for color, for shadow, and for how to blend a brush. I could trace the shape of a ship in a bottle onto wood and paint it so that it looked like a ship in a bottle! Pansies with the colors all blended together? Not a problem.
This took my crafty endeavors out of just fibers and textiles and into a whole new world that eventually led to… paper.
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Is It Any Wonder That I’d Use Paper for Creative Endeavors?
I mean, I’m an author, after all! During the early years of writing, I found less time for sewing and painting, but I need a creative outlet. So, I took up cardmaking. Scrapbooking isn’t really my thing, but cards… I can get into those. You can spend as much or as little time as you want on them. Lately, I’ve even been planning one kind of card per week and making several of it. I pick them out one day, gather the papers the next, stamp the images the next, and so forth.
I really think everyone, no matter how creative or “artistic” they think they are or aren’t, really should take time to do something creative on a semi-regular basis. In this, we imitate the true Creator.
Here are a few of my cards that I found pictures of. #becausecards
Why am I yammering on about creativity and art?
Well, this week is the release of the next book in the Independence Islands Series! Rachel Skatvold’s, The Elnora Monet is live and ready for you to dive in. See what is happening on Enora now and who they call “the Elnora Monet” and why!
It’s a wonderful story, and I just loved the personalities, the clashes, and seeing restoration in this tale! Not to mention, one really pampered cat.
Islanders call him the Elnora Monet.
Is that island speak for “pompous, arrogant jerk?”
When Carly Mulligan volunteered to make house calls on Elnora, she never imagined treating the richest cat on the islands. What other feline has his own wing in a mansion like the Belshaw Estate?
After a wrong turn in the mansion, Carly stumbles across a secret room—one filled with incredible paintings. Perhaps there’s something more to the man than she first thought.
Most people envy Jean-Luc Belshaw’s position. The heir to a lucrative business and family fortune, he should have everything he could dream of.
But Luc dreams of days past. Days when he traveled the world with his wife and painted the breathings of his soul disappeared with Angeline’s passing. Faith and inspiration gone, he wonders if returning to France to take his place in his father’s business is the right thing to do.
Carly has a few relational demons of her own, and she’s reluctant to trust him, but Luc’s paintings draw her in even as his story touches a long-empty place in her heart.
Only God can transform two broken pasts into a work of art.
The Elnora Monet continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
Summer’s not here yet, but hey! Beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
To celebrate Rachel’s release, the islands authors are having another round of giveaways! Check out each one and be sure to get entries in on each website. You won’t want to miss them!
Rachel Skatvold (4/27)
Tabitha Bouldin (4/28)
Carolyn Miller (4/29)
Chautona Havig (4/30)
Melissa Wardwell (5/1)
Kari Trumbo (5/2)
Celebrate Lit (Sandy Barela- 5/3)