The Sun, a Monster and Spring Bikes in Bloom

Monster by JL Villarreal
“Look over your shoulder. It’s not there. We carry it all inside us.” –Natalie Goldberg, Writer

At thirteen years old, I transferred from a parochial Catholic school to an intense, academically challenging, amazing Quaker school. There was a teacher there who told me during a studio art class, “That’s not the sun, silly.” And from there, I did not stick with visual art for almost two decades. Though I did lots of creative things, in that moment, I let her shut down my vision of what I could draw and paint.

In my late twenties and early thirties, I just started buying paints and taking photos. I was always writing.  My first painting was an abstract of the sun called “That’s not the sun, silly.” It was my defiant step into the world of visual art.  Since then, I have participated in several visual art group shows and even had a solo photography show which also featured large installations of poetry.  

I share my story to invite you to step into your courage. 

Is there some area at any point in your life where someone told you that you were not good enough? Or perhaps you didn’t have the formal education so you don’t count your talents?  Did you stop trying? Do you still long for it? Take one step to try.  See what happens.

I’m happy to post my son’s painting titled “Monster” and to celebrate the public art installation I witnessed on the way to work. Art is everywhere!

Tonight at midnight, the contest closes for my blog followers.  Do you want to win a box of personalized inspirating gifts just for you?  Details are here:

Art Bikes on Franklin Street, Chicago, IL

Art Bikes on Franklin Street, Chicago, IL

10 thoughts on “The Sun, a Monster and Spring Bikes in Bloom

  1. i use to draw all the time. …It took me out of my world. I want to be more artistic but for some reason I only dream of how I use to create. I do have some pain problems which includes painful hands and more. I was abused by many teachers growing up. Happily I was always praised for any thing I ever created..I am glad you sun learned it could look like anything you want it to be. Its YOUR sun.!

  2. Wow – as a teacher, stories like this scare me, because I realize how much impact our words can have – even if unintentional. Thank you for the reminder. And I love that you were eventually able to use the teacher’s words to create a response piece.

  3. I think this (unfortunately) happens all too often! Words can definitely stick with us. It’s uplifting to hear your story, and how you are turning it into a positive… 🙂

  4. RV – love this post and the bikes on the way to work.  BTW, I keep meaning to tell you how much I love your short hair.  You look happy and wonderful and I love reading these posts.  Thanks for sharing. – P


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