The View

Greetings and sorry for the lapse in blogging!  I’ve been traveling most of the summer.  But now I’m back, at least for now, and ready to share my adventures with you!

On our trip to the Southwest, my husband and I visited a place called Monument Valley situated on the border of Arizona and Utah where we stayed at a hotel with a view of some of the most spectacular naturally made monuments I’ve ever seen.

Though not ruins, the monuments feel like remnants of an ancient civilization, and in some ways they are.  Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation Tribal Park.  This location has also been used for a number of Western films.

Take a look at the four monuments I’ve posted below.  The first one is sometimes called a mitten, which reminded me of home–since the state of Michigan is shaped like a mitten.  Take a look at the others.  What do you notice about each of them?  Which is your favorite?  Scroll down to find out the one I like best.

Monument #1

Monument #2

Monument #3

Monument #4

So my favorite is definitely the mitten!  But now I must make a confession.  All four photographs are of the same monument.  They’re simply taken at different viewpoints while on a hike.  The first is of the front, then the right side, the back, and finally the left side.

This walk was probably one of my favorite hikes.  One of the things it reminded me is that any given thing can be viewed from multiple vantage points, none of which are necessarily superior to the other.  Each view offers a different interpretation of the subject.

As an illustrator, it’s important to find just the right perspective for each illustration in your story.  Will it be a close-up to create more emotional intensity?  Will it be a bird’s-eye or worm’s-eye view?  Will it be a sweeping panorama for depth?  Or angled in some way to add tension and drama?

As a writer, it’s important to figure out what point of view you will use to tell your story.  First person brings your reader closer to the story but limits the reader to only one character’s perspective.  Third creates distance but often stays close to one character in particular.  Omniscient allows for dipping into the thoughts of multiple characters but may make it harder for readers to connect to the story.

In life, it’s important to see situations from different perspectives.  This creates empathy and understanding.  If you’re feeling bored with your own life, trapped by the monotony of your daily routine, try stepping out of your comfort zone and view your life from a different angle.  You might discover new meaning and even excitement!  And maybe just maybe a new adventure could be waiting just around the corner.

 

Advertisements

Bring on Spring!

Slot Canyon

Hummingbird

Petroglyphs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I created these acrylic paintings last summer, but haven’t had a chance to show them until now.  I thought they’d be a great way to welcome spring.  The character on the right is known as Kokopelli.  This figure is considered a fertility god in the Southwest.  His symbol is found carved on many ancient rocks.  He also represents music and storytelling.  By playing his flute, he is said to chase away winter and call forth spring.  Some consider him a trickster similar to the Greek god Pan, which is fitting for this April Fools’ week 😉  Kokopelli is often associated with the hummingbird as well.

My husband and I first encountered the Kokopelli symbol on a trip to Sedona, Arizona.  And then again in Utah.  These paintings are based on photographs we took while hiking there.  They’re a gift to my husband.  For some reason we feel very at home in the Southwest.  While we were in Utah, we walked through narrow slot canyons, saw hummingbirds feeding near a ranger station, and viewed petroglyphs at Capitol Reef National Park.  We saw many little lizards scurrying around, too.

The hummingbird is a symbol of optimism and the lizard is a symbol of dreams.  I hope you feel optimistic about your dreams as you approach springtime!  If not, consider making a change.  Both of these animals are also symbols of adaptability.

Happy spring!

The Red Lizard

Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper

I sketched this from a photograph taken during our summer travels in Utah.  My husband and I visited Escalante.  We were searching for the Spooky slot canyon and somehow ended up in the fork canyon.

We saw many lizards on the trip, but most of them were a dull brown color.  This one was red and perfectly matched the red rock it was perched on.  We couldn’t get over how it managed to climb the wall.  Nature is truly miraculous!

*Illustration also featured at SCBWI-MI Scribblers.