Archives For childhood

This past weekend we had the unexpected pleasure of camping with a family that have been friends of ours since before we were married. We have been through a lot together, but of late, life’s stages have meant that we haven’t seen a lot of each other. So…we jumped at the chance to spend some time together roughing it by the ocean.

On Saturday morning one of our friend’s little girls came screaming down to the beach in tears after making a trip to the primitive bathroom facilities. She said that she had seen a dragon. We didn’t think much of it…and chalked it up to the furtile imagination of a seven-year-old girl…until we went back up to the tents and came face to face with a family of lace monitors.



8-2012 // lace monitor


They are BIG lizards … as long as a medium sized dog, but with short stubby legs. She HAD seen a dragon! The family of dragons, so far as we could tell, consisted of two adults and a juvenile, and they wandered lazily past our campsite a couple of times a day in search of the sunny spots on the cliffs.

As a child my mum used to read me may Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie stories and for a long time I have wanted to have a go at drawing a banksia pod. Here’s what I came up with:
7-2012 // banksia pod


I had hoped for some time early this morning to draw a family of blue wrens that I observed as I wrote my morning pages, but instead I was visited by the sweet Miss Emily who scared the birds away, but who was so interested in my paints and pens that I simply couldn’t resist her charms. Here’s the drawing that we created together.


9-2012 // my little friend Emily


I love the excitement of little minds playing with pretty colours and seeing how paints mix and swirl together. Perhaps she was a reminder to nurture my own inner child artist.


I’m a little bit behind with my visual journalling (like….a LOT behind) the days have flown by! I turned forty a couple of weeks ago, and only just managed to get a page done for it πŸ™‚
43-2010 // forty and fab

Childish Inspiration

October 6, 2010 — Leave a comment

I’m sitting here procrastinating about writing an assignment that is supposed to talk about solving the Synoptic Problem, all the while fretting about the support agreement that I am supposed to be writing when I get back to work next week (I’ve never written one of those before). I’m procrastinating because I’d much rather be writing my own material…writing my own books and drawing my own pictures.

A Twitter conversation a couple of days ago sparked some memories of the books I used to love to read when I was a kid, and that still inspire me today to write and to draw. I thought I’d share πŸ™‚ (and procrastinate some more)

I have always loved to read; and I have always sought inspiration and refuge in equal parts between the pages of books.

From the moment I was able to borrow library books from the school library I maintained a bag-load of glossy tomes to keep me entertained. I remember during one phase I borrowed masses and masses of craft books that were packed full of cheesy 70s paper mΓ’chΓ© and macrame projects, and I think I drove my mother insane with requests to make things.

Other times I devoured novels and found myself hiding in the leaves of the magic faraway tree or exploring foreign lands with characters I met nestled within the black and white lines of text. I’d lie in bed at night and wish that the people I met in those books were real and that my dolls would come to life. (Am I the only one to have done that?)

Some books left more of a lasting impression than others.

Some books I borrowed over and over and my name appeared on the borrowing card more than anyone else’s for the years I was at that school. All of the books that I borrowed repeatedly had similar characteristics, and I borrowed them for the same reason. They inspired me. They made me dream and imagine a future of action. The funny thing is that these books continue to inspire me thirty years later.

The first set of books are picture books written and illustrated by Bill Peet (Walt Disney’s best writer and storyboard man). Beautiful rhyming stories accompanied by vivid colored pencil illustrations. Whimsical stories. I still borrowed these books right up until I was in grade 6. I would read them and dream of writing my own books and drawing the pictures to go with them.

The other book that I borrowed over and over was an equally whimsical piece of work with page after page of gorgeous watercolour paintings. A book that had me searching under logs and within canopies of leaves for little people for many years.

I bought myself a copy of this book a couple of years back, and I still look at it from time to time. Such remarkable attention to detail and beautiful artwork! Such imagination!

Ever since I was a child I have dreamed of becoming a writer and artist. These books fed that dream.

Sometimes when I get busy writing technical specifications and business cases I forget to feed the dreams of my inner artist and they begin to wither, and I get tired and jaded.

I am learning that it’s important to keep dreaming. To nurture the creative connection to our Creator. To allow that connection to be expressed.

The books I want to write and the art I want to create these days bear little resemblance to my childhood dreams, but the desire to write and to create is as strong as ever…….now, if I could just knock off this assignment and stop worrying about work that I don’t need to do until next week……. πŸ™‚

What inspires you? Do you think it’s important to be inspired in life? Even as an adult?