Each month this year I will pick a topic of gratitude and get specific. In February, it was women artists that I adore. Women who have made an impact in the arts, who have a story to tell against all odds, and put out breathtaking work of all media. Who are some of your favorites?
Feb. 15: Heather Smith Jones
The book Water Paper Paint: Exploring Creativity with Watercolor and Mixed Mediaby Heather Smith Jones was THE book that gave me confidence to pick up a paint brush, after so many years not holding one. Her work is beautiful, and constantly evolves. I had the pleasure of featuring her in one of my Tapioca Dance newsletters, and hope you can explore more of her work!
Feb. 16: THE SPLIT NIBS
Four years ago, I became one fourth of a quartet of writers, in a little group we call The Split Nibs. The group consists of an emmy-award winning comedy writer, a short story master, and a novelist (and me…a sometimes writer who paints). We gather monthly to help work through problems, both on the page and off, and encourage each other to seek out rejection (both on the page and off). I am grateful for this group!
Feb. 17: JK Rowling
I mean. She’s a Cinderella story if Cinderella didn’t care about meeting and marrying her prince, but instead making millions off her storytelling. My kiddos and I are working our way through the new illustrated Harry Potter books, and it’s magic. Pure. Magic.
Feb. 18: Seraphine Louis
I have only recently become aware of the colorful world of Seraphine Louis, a French painter in the early 1900s. Her style and story speaks to me, and I’m grabbing everything I can to find more about her work.
I have yet to see it, but a few years ago the movie “Seraphine” came out about her life. Adding to my list of things to one day watch…
Feb. 19th: Fiona Staples
I had always thought “comic books” and graphic novels were always superhero based, until I was given the series “Y: The Last Man” by Brian K. Vaughn. It opened my eyes to an entirely new genre of art, the best of both reading and watching movies. His books got me hooked, but it’s Fiona Staples’ artwork in Saga that has me staying forever. She set the bar for what could be, and I truly hope SAGA never become a movie, because Staples’ brilliance has captured the magic of both the imagination and the need for visualizing it on paper. A gift!
Feb. 20th: Maira Kalman
Can I just have lunch with you, Maira? Her artistic style is so distinct, yet her subject matter is varied. Some of my favorite books to read to the kids are hers, and some of my favorite books to flip through for inspiration are also hers. Whenever I see a Kalman piece out in the world (usually as a big mural at an Einstein Bagel Co), I squeal with delight as if we were actually friends. Sigh. One day.
Feb. 21: Lisa Congdon
I admire artists who share their work and process so that others can succeed. Everything Lisa creates is open for others. You can see her influence in so many contemporary artists, but her original work is still the most…well, original. If you are in the early stages of an artistic career, I highly recommend subscribing to CreativeBug, and her book “Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist”
Thank you for reading along! I’d love to hear some of the women on your top list!