We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – The Declaration of Independence
When the founders of our nation landed on the shores of Cape Cod, it was with the pursuit of religious freedom. All the other truths we’ve fought for since that time, stemmed from this same quest. The thought that no one has the right to define God or how we worship, opened the door for an all-inclusive loving God to walk through. With no religious dogma, no one is excluded. We are free to be who we are. In 1955, Rosa Parks knew that when she refused to move to the back of the bus and began the Civil Rights movement. Last week Edith Windsor knew it when the Supreme Court ruled in her favor, giving gay and lesbian marriages the same federal rights as heterosexual couples. No matter what race, sex, size or disabilities we have, we are all welcomed into the fold. It doesn’t matter how we worship or who we love, the Creator delights in us exactly as we are. And why wouldn’t he? We are his handiwork.
I am deeply grateful to be born in the land of liberty. Our freedom is sacred and worth defending. July 4th is a day to celebrate this gift and remember all who have fought and died for it. As we watch fireworks light up the sky, with hands over our hearts, to our servicemen and women we stand in awe.
“America did not invent human rights. Human rights invented America.” – Jimmy Carter
This is one of the photos I based my illustration, “Let Freedom Ring” on. I was moved to create it after the World Trade Centers were destroyed.
When I was a little girl, I decided the most wonderful things in the world were books. They were my friends. They kept me company when I was lonely and showed me a bigger world when I felt like I didn’t fit in. Around age ten is when Little Women captured me. I loved Jo March. She was self-conscious but pushed the boundaries of being proper anyway. She was a bold, outspoken dreamer. She revealed myself to me. I wanted to grow up to be Jo March but with a paintbrush.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, had modeled Jo after herself. Louisa was an ordinary woman who lived and breathed. In reading about the real Jo, I made the connection that art is created by flesh and blood. It comes through everyday people, to inspire us all. And so began my dream to become an artist…
In honor National Reading Month, Auryn Inc. is giving one of their children’s book apps away every day in March. My app Love You to the Moon & Back will be free on March 22nd. You can get a link to the offer by going to Apps by Auryn’s Facebook page on that day. I will send out a reminder on the 22nd to everyone who has signed up for my blog.
Share the love of reading with a child. Ignite their imagination.
Rachel looked like she was plucked from the 1940’s. She had the perfect look for the vintage feel I was going for.
Ashley lived down the street from me. She was a delight and had no problem dropping everything to model for me.
A detail of the original art. In it is a huge mistake I missed until a third grader pointed it out. During a school visit she asked me why the book cover was backwards. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed that. A clear case of missing the forest for the trees.
In a conversation, my friend Andrea told me how happy she was with the direction her life had been going. She said, “Things are going so good, I don’t want to let go of the glow.”
Don’t let go of the glow. I liked that. It’s important to guard our thoughts against the negativity that can so easily creep in. I’ve learned that whatever I illustrate sticks with me so I promptly rustled up a couple of models (Andrea’s son Adrian being one of them) and got this drawing down on paper. The next week when Adrian’s mom mentioned she was intent on “keeping the glow going,” I thought, “oh no, here we go again.”