Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Waiting Game

For those of us in America, this has been a nail biter of a week, but finally we have a new President along with our very first woman of color Vice President!  And so, hopefully, we can all begin to re-unite as a country and a community.  And also, we can now breathe a big sigh of relief, mend fences and get back to the business of being kind to one another, making the world a better place and of course, making art!

Nonetheless, I do believe that for those of us working in The Creativity Factory (I just made that up -- pretty good, huh?) there are lessons to be learned about art and waiting, patience, and looking at the world with an open and accepting heart.

The long view at La Belle Farm

It's true it was hard to focus and write this week.  And yet, I managed to work on my novel, The One and Only Parisian Charm School for Exceptional Girls and Boys, as well as make illustrations of my protagonist, Penelope Pendergrass.  

 As you can see here, I'm working on her profile.  I added the headband because my brilliant art teacher, the wonderful author and illustrator Jacqueline Rogers suggested that since I have a huge cast of characters, I need a way to differentiate them.  Usually, this can be done easily with a unique hair style.  So, I gave Penelope long hair and bangs inspired by Jane Birkin.  Oh, and since the novel takes place in Paris in 1968 during the tumultuous month of May, I added a Bridget Bardot style head band.  

And then, I tried it again, but accidentally made a little bump in her nose and I thought--I rather like this!  And she reminded me a little of Amy Winehouse, and so I made her hair bigger and I added hoop earrings.  

I still need to find a way to differentiate her from Penelope, but I do believe that one of my secondary characters, a friend of Penelope who's a couple of years older than her just emerged on my page!

So yes, during this nail biter of a week, I was able to write and paint.  What's my secret?  I abide by habits formed over decades.  I write first thing in the morning, no matter what.  I do not look at emails or news.  I reserve that precious time of just coming into consciousness for my creative practice.  

And for painting, I keep the supplies--the paper, the brushes and ink in the kitchen, so that I can alight there at any time and begin working.  I do a lot of bad paintings before I do something I like, but I embrace the practice.  I know that bad work will lead to the release of good work.  And the truth is, I don't think there's any such thing as bad work.  All work is part of the journey.  It's all about creating habits.

I'd love to hear how you survived the week and if you were able to create!

In creativity,




  1. Thanks for a glimpse at your creative process, tucked away there on the farm. I’ve always thought it’s such an interesting and true paradox that creativity needs a routine.

    1. It's so good to hear from you, Elaine! I miss you and look forward to reconnecting in the not-too-distant future. I would love to hear about your projects. big hugs! jamie


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