A Box of Crayons

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It really all starts with a pencil or a box of crayons and a big blank sheet of paper. Think that most artists begin their journey that way. Combine art materials with freedom, space and a love for drawing and one has an artist in the making. I am fascinated with how an artist becomes an artist. How one goes from coloring with crayons to publishing children's books, from drawing stick figures to painting portraits.  It is so exciting for me to read the "behind the scenes" about artist's lives... how they got started, who influenced them, what their studio looks like, etc.   So all that to say.... here is a new book( Artist to artist, 23 major illustrators talk to children about their art.) This type of books is kind of like chocolate to me... love it! When books like this come in the mail, I have to wait until that still, quiet time to open the pages and read. It's fun to get lost in books like this, to find out about illustrators, read their words about creativity, about their life and family and who impacted them in their early years with drawing and creating.  This past week, I found the perfect night to sit down, open this book and read page after page of different artist and how they "talked" about their art, their love, their "craft". One can feel the joy and glow from the artist as he or she tells about their adventure in their love of the three letter word.... art.

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This is a page of one of the artists, Petra Mathers.  It is so fun because each page has a flip out of more illustrations and info about the artist. Some are self taught, some are schooled in the best art schools in the country.  Some love to travel and some are happy being in their farm house with snow all around.  Just depends on each artist.  I love reading about people's lives and seeing how we are all created differently, with various gifts and abilities and it is extra special to read about people's lives who love what they do. 

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And studios....
What is it about looking at different artist's studios and the inspiration and energy that I get from just looking at one photo.  As each artist had several pages filled with photos and writing in this book, there was always a picture of them in their studio.  Some were organized and very clean and some were a total mess!  Yep, we are all so unique, so different and it is wonderful!    
Petra, the artist in the photo, looks so content at her drawing board.... reading, studying? I'm not sure what she is doing, but it looks like she is in her element.  Her window seat is filled with books and pillows  and her shelves are filled with colorful books.  Pure joy to me!  She is one who didn't start her "art life" until after her son was born.  She said she took drawing classes when she was young but didn't like them and felt embarrassed by her drawings. However, when her son was given a box of crayons, she said she couldn't resist "those glorious colors and started making pictures of castles and animals for his room."  It all started with a box of crayons!  And from there, she studied books about primitive painters around the world and loved their free expression and vision, unconcerned with rules.  She said, " I followed their example enthusiastically, without a goal, just for the fun of it." What inspiration.. what a story!  And that is only one out of many!

I could ramble on and on about each artist, it's beautiful to read their stories and take little parts of what they say and put it in my heart to remember.  For each one has their own voice and way of viewing life and sharing what they have learned on their journey in art.  Sometimes I wonder, what if everyone followed their "voice" and truly did what they love, what they were passionate about, what they were created to do?  First, I think we would have happier people. Second, we would have more people with grateful hearts, praising their Creator. And third, the world would be more beautiful.  Ok.. how did I go from this to that?....oh, well. Those are thoughts for the day!  Happy day to you!
ps. If you want to see more info about the book.  It is under "reading list" on the right hand side of this page.