My Muse


Some of you may know that I’m a scratchboard artist. But, even if you know me and of my craft, you might not know that illustrating this book was what actually caused me to fall in love with scratch art. I was first introduced to this medium back in high school and although I liked my finished product, my seventeen-year-old self didn’t have enough patience to endure any more tedious scratching. I was all too ready to move on to a faster paced artistic expression.

Then 15 years later, I read Tristen’s lovely words and I loved them. At the time I was mostly working in watercolor but I felt like I needed to try a new medium to illustrate the story she was trying to tell. It wasn’t until one night when I was driving my daughter home from ballet under a starry sky that I remembered scratch art even existed. I went on to amazon and ordered the paper and tools and within two days the supplies arrived on my door-step. And I gave it a go.

It’s so cool; having been an artist all my life, how different experiences in life draw you to different mediums. For most of my life I had always begun my artwork on a white canvas/surface, looking to add shadows and depth to create my subjects. But with this medium, it was the opposite. I was starting on a black surface and seeking out the light. Only focusing on the light. The shift of perspective was meditative and marvelous for me! Now being a mother of four, my patience for this medium had grown significantly. And with the new focus of looking for light, I saw my subjects, and really the whole world around me, in a whole new light as well. Last week as I was working, I was reflecting on how cool it was that Tris’s words were my muse for this scratch art medium. And how both seek to focus on brilliance and light. Every day is uncertain, and I think everyone is feeling the weight of this even more with the current events. But we always have a choice on what we seek to focus on. What we seek to bring out. To shift from darkness, to light. Marvelous perspectives await. Danielle McDowell Art, LLC www.daniellemcdowellart.com

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