Painting My Words


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.

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4 Responses to Painting My Words

  1. Good for you, Ruth. Letting the universe flow through your fingers with paint as well as words.

  2. Some people get so lucky in the multi-talent giveaway! Ruth, you are blessed indeed.

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