Monday, September 5, 2011


Hallelujah for the Creative Dialogue! Here I am with Maria the Hutia, the Long-Tailed Tropic Bird, Amber, and my magical companion, Wandjina! Art by Hallelujah Truth

Greetings PILGRIMS!  Welcome to my CREATIVE JOURNEY! OR NOT!  Today, you find me in a maelstrom of my own mind chatter--a noisy storm blowing me back and forth between two opposing mental states: FAILURE and SUCCESS. I am SOUL BLOGGING right now to summon COURAGE to WALK MY PATH in accordance with my beliefs about CREATIVITY. I believe that process is more important than product and that the lessons we learn along the WAY are invaluable. My current CREATIVE maelstrom involves a Bahamian hutia, a story written about this endangered animal by a geographer, and my process of illustrating that geographer's story.

In 2008,  I agreed to illustrate "The (Mis)Adventures of Maria the Hutia" even though I couldn't draw. I said YES because I believe in the power of ART to engage people in important matters, like science education. We can all make a difference by teaching others what we know about this AMAZING BEAUTIFUL WORLD. I did think I was going to paint my way through this story until it became apparent that the project's zero-funding meant color images were out. Instead, I would draw easy to produce black-and-white images of Maria Hutia. I would do this so that Bahamian children would be introduced to a young lost animal in search of her pristine island in hopes that they would learn more about their surrounding environment, including iguanas, sea turtles, crayfish, and coral.  

Fast forward 3 years, and I have have learned to draw! I tell Maria the Hutia's story visually in 27 illustrations. I have TRAVELED through numerous doubts about my ARTISTIC skills and vision while making these pencil drawings of Maria's adventures.  Currently, I have "finished" 15 images using micron pens and india ink. Have I experienced SUCCESS in this CREATIVE endeavor? 

Maybe...Maybe Not...I can explain my inner struggle by sharing lyrics from old musicals that I was listening to last night and today. First, are the lyrics from Show Boat that express my feelings of "hard work" and "agony" I have encountered in the process. I recommend you click on the link and listen to Paul Robeson sing it.

You an'me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' an' racket wid pain,
Tote dat barge!
Lif' dat bale!

From the musical Show Boat, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein

I totally immersed myself in "toting that barge" and "lifting that bale" while I worked with a size 8 micron pen outlining the story's characters escaping from the zoo. I felt miserable. I whined all kinds of things: 


I can't draw.
My drawing takes me too long.
My illustrations are boring.
My illustrations aren't skillful enough.
I'm not ever going to finish.
No one will like these images.
What a waste of time.
My neck and back hurt.

Then when my CD of Show Boat finished, I changed to the show tune, South Pacific. I always love listening to the song, "Some Enchanted Evening"! As the songs continued and I heard the song, "Happy Talk,"  I started laughing! Here was the attitude I CELEBRATE and strive for as HALLELUJAH TRUTH! Do listen to this sweet song! I have linked it below for you!

Happy talk, keep talking happy talk
Talk about things you like to do
You got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream
how you gonna have a dream come true?

From the musical South Pacific, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein


Shifting to the magical space called POSSIBILITY made me laugh! I have a dream of making a difference through my ART. I believe in the power of ART to HEAL, ART to TEACH. I dream that we can HEAL the EARTH by learning more about it. 

I believe our inner dialogues matter! What will you do today? I suggest HAPPY TALK! Listen to the song, Living Jewels of the Land, The Sky and Sea , that the geographer Ronald Shaklee wrote about Maria the Hutia. What a beautiful song about some of the life in the Bahamas!

Introducing Launa the Iguana. Launa thought of the family she had left behind. A tear came to her eye. In the story,  The (Mis)Adventures of Maria the Hutia, she is responsible for leading the other animals out of the zoo and to their journeys to find home. Art by Hallelujah Truth

1 comment:

  1. Yup. Process is the action of being in the moment, and letting go of your or other's judgments about the end result. You're on the right track, Ms Truth. I don't even think there are lessons to be learned–not the hard and fast stuff we wish we could boil our experience down to. I've been making observations lately, trying not to pin them down to a "learned lesson" about me or art or life or America. It makes the ground shifty, but maybe also ripe.