"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Monday, July 23, 2012

Exploring your Inner Mermaid

Yesterday I continued my ventures by the sea. While I was wandering through a home store in downtown Mystic, Connecticut, I stumbled upon a brightly illustrated book. I often look at pictures in kid's books for I love color and whimsy. I could tell immediately that this book was different. I glanced at the book and headed right to the cash register.

A snappy 300 year old woman (ok, maybe not quite) behind the cash register said to me gruffly, "That's NOT a children's book!" I don't know why she assumed I was in the market for a children's book, me standing there with 2 daughters in their late teens but I said politely, "Yes, I know." She continued on as if not to hear me, "It's for women". I said "Yes, I know. It's for me". She said, "It's a great book to gift to a friend who is having a hard time. Bring the book and a bottle of wine with you. I can't keep this book in stock."

Of course, now I was REALLY excited because the book held potential to offer wisdom for my days AND very cool mermaid art for my spirit. My new find:"A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids" by Margot Datz, is drenched full of advice for women and how they can find their inner pearl and run with it. Each page contains her ornate and whimsical illustrations along with a short text to remind us as women to celebrate our days and not lose sight of who we are. Read a short review of her book here.

Margot, the author and illustrator of this delight, is best known as "island artist" because she resides on Martha's Vineyard in Edgartown (that's the location where they filmed Jaws.) She has completed many murals around the country and has illustrated four books for Carly Simon. She has been using her artistic gifts for over 30 years in a myriad of ways. Her home is gorgeous too! If you want to learn more about Margot and see pictures of her home click here.

Here is a excerpt from her book:

"Dare to Be Bare

The only way to be a mermaid is to be true to yourself, which means you've go to dare to be bare. That is, to bare your heart and soul.... It's not easy being yourself because it can invite envy and attention. But if you hide your authentic self from the rest of the world, a unique life will pass you by. There is a splendor in being true to yourself..... "


It's hard for any fisherman to resist angling for a mermaid. They'll do everything they can to land us.... But a lot of these seamen don't know about the care and feeding of mermaids. To be captured as a trophy and then have our emotions neglected is tragic.... a smart mermaid knows her needs...."

That's a small flavor of this delightful little discovery. To order the book, click here.

So why am I sharing this with you? Because this book is a perfect example of the combination of art and soul! The words are few, but they get the point across and the illustrations lead you to both a place of joy and poignantly take the message further.

If you are a creative, there are many opportunities to express that creativity. Murals, paintings, photography, prints, children's book illustrations, etc. As we are faithful to our gifts, new doors open that we can proceed through. Margot Datz is able to merge the wisdom that she has learned through the hard knocks of life, with her artistic ability to bless other people. That sounds like real living to me!

Is there a song burning in your spirit? If so, consider ways that you can use your creativity to share that message. Or maybe you are just feeling a little worn and beaten down and in need of a little pick me up. Spend some time with an inspirational book or some beautiful art... it's good for the soul!

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