drawing | vein {or a thing about trees}

i read, and acted out on, THE ARTIST'S WAY, in the nineties. i remember loving every step of the way, and cursing those d*** morning pages. did it change my way to go about my creative perspectives and evolution? i doubt it. but to this day it does have a lingering effect on me. for that i'm grateful to the author, and to myself, for being persistent and consistent. in peaks and valleys.

it took me a while to discover my nineties down time had grown into a squalid attitude rather than a grand total of just a few bad days. i went through the motions of educating our young son, i tried to survive a gruesome part time job, and i found myself strapped inside a house. not just a house. a tiny one, that needed an awful lot of... renovation work doing. my first home, alone. 

i wanted to write, become a pro. that was my dream. so i joined a few writing seminars and i tried hard to fall in with the appropriate crowd. that never happened. so when julia cameron's twelve steps program appeared, i thirsted for it without realising it. i dug in and came out purged, or at least, it felt that way. it did bring out a longing to create, only perhaps not what i had previewed exactly. 

years later cameron published THE VEIN OF GOLD. for the life of me, i couldn't find my vein in it. i 've looked at the book in my bookcase on numerous occasions since and i think, no. i cannot tap more. the tree has given its juice, the vein is there, i can rest assured. finding your artistic way is a one way trip to yourself, and once arrived, well, you're already there. 
the mere presence of those books in my bookcase tells me creative labour and an icebergy tip of talent do the trick. every. single. time.

i'm a huge fan of keiko minami's illustrated works. there are moments i need peace and quiet around me and at those times her work never fails to spring to mind. i felt particularly vulnerable last week, on my way to cartoon classes, as i discovered i'd mistaken my personal diary for my saturday notebook. i was passing a bad moment indeed, so i tried cooling down by doodling a winter tree and its bare 'veins'. oh yeah. it did the trick. veronica's vein {of gold, might i say} this weekend on our DC. 


  1. as for me you are a pro, dear, now that i infer from the simple fact i'm hanging on your lips here, each time again.

    i didn't know the work of Keiko Minami, beautiful indeed.
    your blue tipped leaf...:) x

  2. Nicely done Nadine. I remember struggling thru those D#$% morning pages too. But what brilliant books those are, and how lucky were we to be able to work with them? I know what you mean about peace and quiet. Much of that's been missing in my intensely busy...and noisy week, and this weekend looks like a little more of the same, (except without the roof noise thank goodness). I can completely see how you could have picked up the wrong journal, but the winter tree may have almost been worth it. Lovely. :D
    Heading over to Minami's world now to take a peek. :D

  3. Reading between the lines: your story is so recognizable! And the one way trip to yourself made me smile. Love your doodled winter tree. Thanks for sharing. - eric

  4. so glad sketching worked for you
    i so enjoy looking at it
    i agree, the blue tip,,,, it is adorable

  5. I do admire you for following the book. WOW! I remember purchasing it at the bookstore I worked at. I couldn't wait. Then...I gave up...even after trying to skip around trying to find something to hang on to. I did great in school until I developed my own ideas about things. High school was went well but I struggled that last year. College and any classes or courses or instruction once I left high school...I really struggle with. Self discipline? I have that and use it for other things in my daily life. I'd like to figure out what it is that got me :)

  6. ha, the artist way and those morning pages ;^))
    oh yeah, been there, done that
    and recognize a lot, the longing to create, to be a pro
    and that in the end things are not what you had previeuwed.... that too
    this drawing is one of a pro
    and i love that little blue-tipped-leave
    and those small houses at the side!
    and the story of the wrong journal, ha, it made me smile
    i can picture you sitting there ;^)))


  7. Yes I too love your words your photograph and your beauty filled vein tree drawing (and blue tipped leaf - and the houses!). Thank you for sharing.

  8. one year in the 90 I wrote these morning pages too ... at that time they were help for self-help for me, because I had a very unsatisfactory job. later I quit my job - it was really a liberation. perhaps mrs c. was a little help in this process!
    your drawing is wonderful - I love this little thing at the leftside and the houses (prints??) at the right.
    :-) mano

    1. yes, I wrote many many pages - one year or 1 1/2 ... every morning!

    2. good on you, and i know the feeling.... x

  9. Not exactly sure what you are talking about, but that is Ok. I love the lettering on the cinema!