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Big Red Bow & Boat

Big Red Bow Woman and Boat at Night sharpie by me

The next installment in a boat series, I guess. I just loved drawing this one. It just sort of appeared one day, and I loved the hues. Thanks Sharpie, for mixing up some alluring colors for me.

It didn't start out as night, but thanks to a sharpie mishap... but I am coming to ADORE those mishaps, because my favorite part of this little drawing is that it is night!

I also love drawing these women from behind with big bows. I love the mystery of whether the boat is coming in or going out. Perhaps it is all those Victoria Holt novels I read as a girl. Thanks mom!

It is fun to just enjoy looking at art I've created, not because they are good, but because they evoke something for me in my experience--something that just feels simply a little bit more alive--tiny sparks of wonder that make me feel curious about this human existence, and our desire to create--something wordless. Sometimes I think it is the closest way that I get to brush up to my personal experience as a human. Because it is me interacting with me, perhaps there is less reading and interpreting my experience through my interactions and projections of others or the world. It is just me and my art, and we know our process. We know what we've been through. We know the ritual behind the making--the walking into the unknown unprepared, and going anyway. Of course, perhaps I feel this inimacy with regard to making art, because I don't feel attached to it being good. I do not feel this free with creative writing or piano. There is more perfect needed--but what if the process of even those could just be way more fun in the getting to 'perfect.'? This is the possibility that I wish to explore!!

It has been very freeing to get to feel this sweet tenderness toward my art. As a classical pianist, I was so hyper aware of my imperfections, I didn't let myself just fall in love with pieces I was playing, or have fun making my way toward a pretty perfect rendering. It was very different.

Art is very much changing me as a person and a pianist. I desire that my students take note of NOW, and enjoy the music they are learning now, embrace themselves as the musicians the are now, even in book 1, and worry less about perfection, and more about showing up and learning what is next, and experimenting, creating, challenging themselves to get better and to put the time in, and of course, to share their experience and to receive the sharing of others.

I guess that is why this 29-day art sharing has been so important for me not to shirk. I am not a great artist, and I see that, but I don't need to be. I am practicing what I preach to my students, that we are here to share these great experiments in learning and performing, right where we are in our process of learning and growing.

It feels so wonderfully silly that I made up this show'n'tell, but it has been a blessed event for me to be coming here every day, and sharing imperfect works, that feel pretty perfect to me, just as they are. It makes me excited to travel down the road to what wants to be next.

What another world that would be, if we just all felt this way about our creations and each others'. If we just allowed for this. And this wouldn't mean that very fine and high art wouldn't still exist. It would all just be more fun! And I believe there would be more awe, because if I've noticed anything, it is that being in the creative process changes how I experience the art of others. I have much more respect for the time it takes, the focus, the decisiveness to begin, the follow through, and the perseverance to finish, and something very important: the courage to let go at a certain point when something is finished and to let it fly out of the nest.

These 29 days have been easy--perhaps the test flight--my next step will be to share where I am more vulnerable--perhaps places where I still think it has to be perfect, which keeps me from setting sail to new horizons!

Thank you again for reading.

Elizabeth Cunningham, you deserve a special shout out for a comment every. single. day.

I feel so humbled at my favorite author doing this for me!! (go here if you want interviews I did with her about her amazing book series, The Maeve Chronicles. Also, look for her next book coming out in August! I know I will!


  1. I am loving this journey with you, Brooke. Love the excitement, mystery, and just plain fun of Big Red Bow Woman and Boat. The message you have articulated here and on other days is one I need and love to remember and discover anew again--and again. Thank you!

    1. Thank you! I have loved journeying with you! It has been so sweet. It makes me wish I could visit sacred sights with you as guide--are you still doing this? That would be a dream come true! I am glad I could remind you of something vibrant for the spirit. So thankful our paths crossed in my favorite way, a book jumping off the shelf at the library!

  2. Oh Brooke...where to begin? I have the day to myself today and I'm here marveling at the magic you've been creating. This drawing is full of - so much. I just love it. I love that this process has been so incredibly enriching/energizing/enlightening for you. You stuck with it! You did it! You've made such magic. You've let yourself play. You've showed up for your amazing self...what a loving gift you've given to yourself and those of us on the receiving end of this beauty. I am inspired to go make some art...thank you. I love you dearly, my friend.


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