I’m sure all you writers out there have heard the old saying, “writing is painting with words.” How true. I even teach this in my presentation, “Adding Bling.” I love to take plain sentences and dress them up. For example: Plain: It was a full moon. Dressed up: The moon hung like a giant sugar cookie in the inky sky. Get the idea? And the more outside the box I can get, the better.
I just signed a contract with Pen-L Publishing for my third book, Daughter of the Howling Moon. Book covers are my passion. I believe a great book cover is the most important selling tool for any novel, and I’m really picky on what I want. So this time around I decided I would paint my own book cover. I mean, how hard could it be? Mama was a commercial artist and worked for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City many moons ago. Surely some of her painting skills lured in my genes. Right? Well. Sort of.
Painting is a lot like writing. I know what I wanted to paint. Could see it clear as a bell in my head. But I couldn’t get the picture from my head to the canvas. I stood there staring at the wonderful little tubes of colorful paints and laughed. Great idea, Ruthie. I called out to Mama. “Hey Mama! I need your help here. Let me channel your ideas and talent.” Did she answer? Well Sort of.
I did manage to paint a decent picture of my cover. However, as you will see, I crammed too much in one picture. I have the Daughter of the Howling Moon. The Moon. The swamp feeling. A snake. A jaguar. Tarot cards, voodoo doll, gris-gris bag, and sheriff’s badge. Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Just what is this story about? My publisher said, nope. Too much. And I agreed. But I loved the picture. Loved the feel of spreading acrylic paint across a blank canvas like cake icing. Loved creating a piece of the book and figuring out a way to paint my words. It was not a waste of time. In fact it inspired me to paint even more.
I’ve painted another picture that conveys the essence and scenes from the book. I will share it in the near future. What a great idea! I’m hooked. Mama did answer and she and I have many more pictures to paint and share.
Mama is having a blast.