The Linchpin

Yep. You guessed it! To draw and draw (and paint) my little life!

Genevieve knew it. I’ve even known it in some measure all along…it shows up in my Artist Statement, in this post and this one.  But somehow I’ve needed a re-ordering, a sorting, if you will, to realize once again, the path I’m on.  One commenting friend suggested it might be “creativity” as THE ONE THING.  Though this is certainly valid, it has been too broad for me and I’ve been wanting/needing some focus among all my creative loves.  When my friend, Teresa, asked the question and I answered her so definitively, she said, “Well, then THAT’S your job and all the others are your hobbies.”  I loved that.  There have been SO MANY times when I’ve tried making the others my “job” and I’m left saddened that “drawing” is put on a back burner.  Though I love and enjoy-to-pieces the other creative endeavors…I’m content to think of them as hobbies.  Drawing is central.  This explains why I draw my knitting, draw my crocheting, draw my ukulele and illustrate the poems.  This explains so much.

But there’s another element to my “job description” that I haven’t mentioned yet.  It was as much a part of the answer to Teresa’s question as “drawing my life”.  Here’s my entire response to her:

I want to draw my life and to encourage others to do so as well.  I want to empower others (as I myself practice this daily) to see the Beauty that is right under their feet and all around them in their everyday, ordinary lives…if they will but look for it and draw, paint, or collage it to remember and celebrate their life.

This explains a lot…why I teach art to kids from Kindergarten through 8th grade, why I’ve taught a Visual Journaling class a couple of times in the past, why I’ve given several sketchbooks away to friends in hopes that they would draw their lives and find joy there, and why I titled my first Zine, Thoughts on Drawing & Life.

Perhaps I need a little of Genevieve’s determination some days to focus the creative ADD and the flotsam and jetsam of living.  Perhaps I just needed to name it…(again?).  I have several ways I want to expand my drawing horizons…they include you.  I’ll continue in Baby Steps to see some of these dreams come into reality.  I’ll share them as they evolve.

In the meantime…draw your life!  Read Ish! by Peter Reynolds.  Read The Creative License and Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory. Go through the terrific exercises in the books One Drawing a Day by Veronica Lawlor and Artist’s Journal Workshop by Cathy Johnson. I love EDM (Everyday Matters) both on Yahoo and on Facebook for the camaraderie and sharing of our drawings and paintings.  Join us, if you aren’t yet a member.  Carry a little book around with you and sketch or doodle the little things you see…interesting, beautiful, quirky, fun, and even the sad, dreadful, and horrible.  Your life…your beautiful life.

P.S. Teresa used the word “job” interchangeably with “calling”.  That’s how I’m thinking of it…a calling on my life.

P.S.2. The Free Dictionary definition of Linchpin:

linch·pin or lynch·pin  (lnchpn)


1. A locking pin inserted in the end of a shaft, as in an axle, to prevent a wheel from slipping off.
2. A central cohesive element.
2. a person or thing regarded as an essential or coordinating element.
Noun 1. linchpin - a central cohesive source of support and stabilitylinchpin– a central cohesive source of support and stability

0 thoughts on “The Linchpin

  1. chris says:

    great post and very inspiring. I go back and forth between drawing and painting because sometimes I just have to smear oil on everything (although the two do connect) but the focus on seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary day is a great way to slow down the scattering and truly enjoy the present moment.

  2. Liz Adams says:

    I like how you think! and draw, too. And I’m posting a comment to test whether I can, since you mention some people have had trouble. Okay, here goes! Liz A.

    • jenpedwards says:

      Yay! It worked! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by and taken the time to comment. It’s wonderful to meet you…and now I’m popping over to your patch of webland!

  3. raenassketchbook says:

    I think there was a moment of panic that you might decide to choose one of your other creative outlets, one that I wouldn’t be quite as interested in…so glad you didn’t! I think we all knew what it SHOULD be, just hoped you would know it too! So now we can celebrate!

    • jenpedwards says:

      You are sweet to say so Raena! Thanks for your continued visits and comments. I love seeing all the incredible drawings you’ve been doing on your blog!

  4. freebirdsings says:

    It’s terrific you’ve figured out where your focus should be. I agree it is more a calling than a job. We are all glad you’ve chosen to share your drawings too!

  5. Gigi Galore says:

    This – and every one of your drawings – is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Your work is so lyrical and pretty and divine to look at! I have read some of your words (in your blogs) and they are inspiring and truly encouraging 🙂 Wonderful! And thankyou 🙂

    • jenpedwards says:

      Thank you Gigi, so much, for your overflowing comment…truly, it is an encouragement to me! You’ve made my day! I wish you a lovely day! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment!

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