An Artful Life Primer

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The topic of this book began to take shape soon after my sickness and surgery in 2013. It was June. I’d been doing a lot of thinking, knitting and drawing as I continued to heal, grow stronger and get used to life without a colon. I stood at the sink washing dishes in the beach house where my husband’s family goes for a week of vacation every year. As I washed dishes, the thought came into my head that I no longer wanted an Art Career. Numerous and varied attempts to find my niche seemed to fall flat and be frustrated by life’s demands. It occurred to me there, with suds and dirty dishes in hand, that what I really wanted was an Artful Life.

An Artful Life, to me, meant that ALL of life would be infused with creativity. Or at least with an eye for seeing the beauty in it, no matter what came my way. An Art Career could be, and was, constantly interrupted by domestic duties and often sidelined by health crises. An Artful Life, on the other hand, would be possible, if I lived all of life as opportunity for seeing beauty and listening to what it had to say to me. I realized there at the sink, that I had already been doing this for many years. I had somehow learned to use my pen and knitting needles to draw the beauty out of my circumstances and knit it into my heart.

After a second, and then a third surgery to deal with issues arising from the first one, I began to pen a very basic outline of what I was doing to live this Artful Life. I realized I had been developing a practice, a daily habit, of showing up to the page, the sketchbook, the wools & cottons, and working out what I encountered in life. It didn’t matter if life was boring or repetitive, exciting or painful…ALL of it could be scoured for beauty. Creating something, ANYTHING, in and through life’s days became a vehicle for seeing, capturing, releasing the beauty that I was convinced was there.

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This little book is all about my practice of creativity. It is very simple, perhaps too simple, in its straightforward three-fold approach. But I wrote this with you in mind. I want you, no matter your creative background or dependence on rulers for a straight line ;), to be able to engage in a practice of living artfully. Indeed, this practice doesn’t even require that you know how to draw or knit! Simple acts of creation are all that is needed. It will change you. That’s fairly bold to say. To practice creativity on a daily, or multi-days-a-weekly basis will transform you in astonishing ways.

Beauty comes to us in many forms and surprising packages. We need to train our eyes to see it, our hands to capture it, and our hearts to be transformed by it. Beauty is everywhere, in everything we do and experience. Even in washing dirty dishes.

An Artful Life Primer: Practicing Creativity to See, to Listen, and to be Transformed

Available on Amazon

Words On A Line

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So I was out a ‘walking

Sounds like the start of one of my other poems, but really and truly, these things happen while I’m on my walks! Crazy, huh? I got the idea to publish a little book of rhyming words by thinking about the question: What would I title a book of poetry if I was ever crazy enough to publish one?

And as I’m walking, I get this image in my head of words strung on a line, like bunting, or birds on a wire, or Christmas lights…and off it went from there:

So. That’s how the title came about, with a poem attached to it. This may seem really silly to you, but I think of these little rhyming poems as presents … little gifts I get, plopped into my head with a ribbon around it and a tag that says–just for you. 🙂

Words On a Line

Here strung are words
in rhythm and rhyme.
Like bunting or birds
or lights so fine.
They flutter and flap
twinkle, entwine.
Intended to map
and celebrate time.
I, who write them,
follow their line …
Finding a gem
in the rough to refine.
They lead me on
each word a sign.
Where to go next
or simply resign.

-jpe

11/16/2013

If you like the above poem, or any others on my blog,

click here for a whole book of ’em!!

Call Me Crazy

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I know you’ll think me crazy
But this is what I do …
I love to make and shape things:
A painting. A book. Or two.

Or three or more … what shall I say?
It’s all so fun to me!
So you can call me crazy–
My family does already!

-jpe

11/20/2013

**Ahem. Well, um, yes! Just for fun, I published a little volume of my poems rhyming words! Actually, I did it for this purpose: to give to my dad. I’m pretty sure I got the rhyming gene from him and we have a good ole time sharing our poems with each other. I’ve now given it to him for an early Christmas present, and so I can tell you all about it. If you like poetry, you might enjoy this collection.  If you don’t like poetry, this book might change your mind! 😉 There are 57 poems in it, less than half of them have been shared here on Drawn2Life. I included my line drawings, and black & white versions of my watercolors which illustrate many of the poems, as you’ve seen here on my blog.  In my next post, I’ll share with you the poem that inspired the title of my book. Actually, it was the other way around. But I’ll explain that to you as well! Till then …

… just call me crazy! 😉

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If you want a copy:

Createspace eStore

Amazon

My Etsy Shoppe (for a signed copy:)

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A Humble Offering

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You may or may not have known, but I have been writing a little side blog of encouragement for creative folks. I started these “Letters to an Artist” back in February of this year, as a way to remind myself of what is true about being an artist whose faith undergirds the creativity I seem to struggle with on a daily basis. These letters, (imagined and not intended to be actual words of Christ), are meant to be inspirational, and encouraging to creatives of all kinds, as well as to those who are creative but who do not realize it yet. 🙂

I have now compiled the first 75 letters into a book. It can be read all at once or like a devotional, one letter a day. It is my hope and desire that they will be of encouragement to you in your creative journey, and then spill over into every nook and cranny of your life.

Here are the links to where you can purchase a copy:

My Createspace eStore

Amazon

My Shoppe on Etsy–this is the only place to purchase a SIGNED COPY!

Be sure to indicate a name should you like it to be personally signed to them.

$9.95 ($10.95 for signed copy via Etsy)

Full color cover. Black and White Interior.

Please pass this along to friends and family who might enjoy this book. Share on Twitter, Facebook, or any social media means you have at your disposal. Of course, good ole “word of mouth” is awesome too! If you aren’t already following the Letters to an Artist blog, consider doing so, as I will post other “letters” in future.

Read/print out a sample page spread of this book!

In humble gratitude,

Jennifer

P.S. To keep the cost of this book as low as possible, the interior of the book is black and white. If I had included the color artwork of mine that you see here on the blog, it would have been too pricey. So I made simple black and white line drawings for each letter. I hope you enjoy them and the savings!!:)

PRE-ORDER for Letters to an Artist

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It’s getting close to the publishing date for Letters to an Artist!! For those of you who have been following on my other blog, I’m excited to announce that the previous 75 Letters have now been compiled into book form and will be available for purchase on or before the 20th of November!! I have it available for PRE-ORDER via my Etsy shoppe, so that when the books arrive, I can send you a signed copy asap!  It is 10.95 through my Etsy shoppe since you are receiving a signed copy! And you can also have me sign it to a particular person, should you wish to give this book as a gift. The book will be 9.95 through Createspace and through Amazon! This will make a lovely Christmas gift for creative folks on your list!

 PRE-ORDER here through Etsy for your signed-by-the-author copy!

**Please note that the interior of this book is black and white! The reason for this was that a 160 page full-color book would’ve been too pricey. So you will not have the individual artwork that was posted with each letter. BUT you will have a black and white line drawing that goes with the front cover color painting of mine! I hope you enjoy the drawings as well as the savings!!

Click here to view/print out a page spread from the book!

***ALSO…I have redone the blog, Letters to an Artist, with a new theme! If you are receiving this notice through an e-reader, you might want to click here to go see how it looks.  You won’t see the 75 Letters that are now in book form, but you WILL have future Letters coming to you on the LetterstoanArtist.wordpress blog! So keep following there, or sign up to follow me on that blog so you can receive the Letters as they are posted!! I do not post them here on Drawn2Life. Let your friends know about the blog and the book; those who you think might benefit from the encouragement.

To read more about the book, click here!

 

Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy!

**Announcing!!**

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Genevieve has her first children’s book out and available to all!

Genevieve and the Kite is a story based on a conversation my youngest daughter, Maddie, had with her Aunt Cathy on the porch of our beach house a few years ago.

When invited to fly a kite with her cousins, Genevieve responds that she doesn’t like to fly kites.  This sweet little book reveals why she doesn’t like to fly kites; and in the end, Genevieve finds freedom from her fear.

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Though the book is perfect for ages 4-8, children and adults alike will find encouragement to face what holds us back from trying something we think we just couldn’t do.

Genevieve and the Kite is available NOW through my Createspace eStore.  AND is also available through Amazon!

More to come, in upcoming posts, on the making of Genevieve and the Kite. I hope you can get a copy for yourself and for a friend!

Sincerely,

Genevieve 😉