Summer Solstice Celebration

mixed media on yupo paper


Deep Sea Wishes

We went to the sea

you and me.

We went to drop petals

letting go

watching our pasts float away…


We made wishes


After all, we didn’t really know what we wanted.


Then we sacrificed our legs

slipping into the sea

flipping our tails–

Mermaids at last.


© 2013 Angie Kidd all rights reserved

Making Something Alive

brush pens and inktense pencils

I just finished reading What It Is by Lynda Barry.  I confess I read it cover to cover in one sitting, internalizing every scintillating word.  She talks about the idea of the image and where images come from.  Memory is important.  Movement is key.  And I love her meditation on the mind.  She says, “My mind’s got a mind of its own.”

If we can tap into that infinite resource, we can make something alive happen on the page.  But what is alive?  The past?  Something that actually happened?  What about something we only imagined but carried with us all these years?  Are the two a blend of each other?  Or perhaps only the present moment matters.  What can you bring to the present moment?  Action!

The camera is rolling.  It’s the story of your life.  What will you say?  What will you show?

I decided to follow one of her exercises, which suggests recalling classmates from childhood.  What do you remember about them?  What would they say about you?  Now pretend you are them.  First person present tense.  Voila!  A story begins.

What It Is by Lynda Barry

Barry’s portrayal of the mind demons had me laughing out loud and nodding my head.  They echo our own thoughts: Is it good?  Is it bad?  You’ll have to read the book to find the answer.  Or better yet, start your own creative venture without thinking too much, and you may just find the answer yourself.

Happy Friday from the Garden Gnome

watercolor and pencil on yupo paper

This painting is dedicated to my friend Susan who gave me the garden gnome that inspired this piece 🙂

It’s the season for lighthouses!

watercolor and watercolor pencil

I’ve been a fan of lighthouses since high school. Curiously, it wasn’t a real one that first caught my eye. I was on a college visit to Bowling Green with my mom. We walked into a Thomas Kinkade gallery, whose work I was unfamiliar with at the time… and there it was.  A lighthouse like I’d never seen before. Kinkade is known as the “painter of light” and anyone can see why.

I felt the light somewhere deep in my soul and it has stayed there ever since. At one point, I even thought I wanted to move to Maine and live in a lighthouse. That is, until I realized all the work it takes to actually run one.  If you’re looking for a good lighthouse story to read with children, try Toni Buzzeo’s Lighthouse ChristmasCynthia Rylant also has a charming series of early chapter books called The Lighthouse Family.  I like the sound of that, don’t you?  And finally, for independent readers, try the regional tale, A Pocketful of Passage by Loraine Campbell.

So what is it about lighthouses that draws us to them?  Perhaps it’s because we’re all on a journey at sea in a storm looking for safety.  Looking for a light.  Something to suggest hope.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn.” — Harriet Beecher Stowe

Some of my favorite lighthouses are in Michigan scattered along the Great Lakes.  My husband and I have seen quite a few of them, but our favorite is Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, MI.  It’s a real beauty.  We almost got married there, but the lighthouse was under renovation at the time.

After my accident, I was searching for a little hope and found it in Petoskey, MI.  There’s a great little lighthouse there, which I was lucky enough to sketch.  I think that was a beginning.  Or perhaps life coming full circle.

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”  — Anne Lamott

So my dear readers, search for a light if you must, but also think about being one.

My new mantra is: I don’t have a leader, I have a center.

colored pencils and oil pastels

Art as Therapy

Prismacolor markers and pencils

I’m a runner.  Two years ago I fell on my face.  As you can guess, the experience was pretty traumatic.  My friend, a nurse, said it would be considered a head injury.  My world changed in an instant.  My front tooth was bent at an odd angle.  My husband and dentist (both angels) helped pull it back in place.  In those first moments, I lost my ability to communicate.  For a Gemini, this is a problem 😉

The recovery was emotional.  One of the things that helped me most was art and prayer.  These two things go together more than people may realize.  I started by writing about it, but the experience was hard to put into words.  Working with images can be more intuitive.  Here is a sketch I did when I was trying to facilitate the healing of my tooth.  Many times we feel powerless.  The best thing of course is to go with the flow and give up control.  But working through difficult situations by creating art is also a beneficial tool for becoming empowered.

I’m a big advocate of positive thinking.  I think it keeps us relaxed and helps promote healing.  If we can visualize change (through art and positive thoughts), we can make it happen.

You may not consider yourself an artist, but don’t let that stop you.  Art therapy is more about the process than the end result.  Focusing on color imagery might be one place to start.  You can make it as detailed or abstract as you want.  Check out this art therapy blog for more information.

We may never learn the reason why certain things happen to us, but we can bring a sense of peace and closure  to these events.  In literature, we call this catharsis.

So where am I two years later after this event?  I’m running outside again.  I’m also finally pursuing my lifelong dream of becoming a published author and illustrator.  I’d like to think art and prayer/positive thoughts had something to do with it.  What will you do when life gives you lemons?  Please comment and share!

Need some comic relief?  Here is a new favorite quote of mine:

“When you’re falling on your face, you’re actually moving forward.” — from Friends: Lovable, Livable, Laughable Lines