The muse is where you least expect it. I certainly never expected to find it in a Lilly Pulitzer signature store. Then I took a closer look at some of the art work …
a colorful sailfish swimming off the coast of a pink Florida
a trippy boho sun
a crazy angel fish
When I got home, I decided to add color to the drawings for my story, “The Mermaid’s Purse.”
She can thank Lilly Pulitzer for her blue and green streaked hair!
It is late August, and the vegetables cometh! I found this tomato in our garden…
I just grew this way!
Being a big fan of the book, “How Are You Peeling” by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers…
I had to give it some black bean eyes and a friend…
In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit to having done this in the past…
You don’t have to wait until Halloween to be inspired by the garden…
Go see what’s out there. The muse awaits!
Dance of the Turnips by Sherri Stockdale for Eastham Turnip Festival 2015
The cover of the book “Empire of the Vegetables” illustrated by Amedee Varin
For my first post I wanted to share the weird art of Amedee Varin. These illustrations are from a book called “The Empire of the Vegetables.” Varin’s glorious anthropomorphic vegetables were a great inspiration to me when I set out to draw “The Dance of the Turnips.” From what I can tell, “The Empire of the Vegetables” was a children’s book that was written around 1850. I think these veggie people are a little too frighteningly realistic for many young children, but I am blown away by his talent…and I’m glad to see that he used his power for weirdness, as he probably could have drawn anything well. I observed his drawings and the drawings of many others to create my turnip people for the Eastham turnip festival (yes, that is a thing!) Lots of the drawings of anthropomorphic vegetables and fruits that I found were from very old books and postcards. Vegetable people seem to have had a heyday during Victorian times…and many of them are kind of creepy. I think the trick with creating these kinds of drawings is that you have to walk the line. They can easily become too scary, or on the other hand too goofy . I’ve seen it go both ways. Does anybody else out there have a soft spot for anthropomorphic vegetables and fruit? I know you’re out there ‘cuz I’ve seen your pins on Pinterest!
lettuce man walking with a purpose by Amedee Varin
not sure this lecherous looking squash guy deserves this lovely carrot lady
march of the leeks by Amedee Varin
crazy detail on this carrot head by Amedee Varin
green bearded gourd guy by Amedee Varin
Dance of the Turnips by Sherri Stockdale
“Oops!” Clover the rabbit accidentally eats the snowgirl’s nose.
The definition of a muse is a spirit or source that inspires an artist.
Why is the blog called “aMUSEd?”
Where do ideas come from? I’ve always loved the idea that there are spirits that bring forth our creative passion; that focus our attention and hasten our intentions. If so, I imagine the muses are as varied as the artists they inspire, stirring up everything from ghost stories to classical masterpieces. I have always been drawn to the delightfully weird, and that seems to be what my muse has in mind for me. I am compelled to create stories and images with an amusing twist, and so I believe my muse has a benevolently twisted sense of humor.
Writers tend to be a distracted bunch. Our stories live in our heads and demand attention often at very inconvenient times! Most of my story ideas have come to me when I was supposed to be thinking about something else. The muses won’t be denied. Just try carrying on a conversation or paying attention at a meeting when your muse is whispering a perfect turn of phrase in your ear. Maybe you’re like me and have notebooks filled with ideas and stuffed with scraps of paper…things you’ve scribbled down while grocery shopping or in the middle of a dinner party. Like many writers, my mind is a witch’s brew of ideas. I never know what’s going to bubble to the top.
I am a self proclaimed children’s writer and illustrator, and I’ve been writing stories for children for almost two decades. My stories, poems and nonfiction articles have been published in Spider Magazine, Ladybug Magazine and Australia’s School magazine. I currently have two picture books available on kindle: Handsome Jack and The Snowgirl’s Nose.
In a crowded online field, I hope that I can somehow reach kindred souls. Will I be writing and posting into a vast cosmos, essentially creating a ghost blog? Maybe, but my philosophy is that it is better to have created and been ignored then to have never created at all.
Where do you find inspiration? Please share musings about your creative process. Welcome to my blog!