I find that making art offers the same challenges as writing…if there is such thing as “artists’ block,” then I’ve had it for the past few weeks. Sometimes ideas just need to percolate and grow, whether they are visual or written. Or, in this case, both.

Inspiration comes at the strangest times, and yesterday it happened at lunch when the only writing material I had nearby was a paper napkin. I sketched (badly, I might add…I’m not very adept with a pen) my ideas across the bumpy, textured surface, creating feverishly as the mental impasse of this past month finally gave way. I drew five new pieces in the span of three minutes, a time during which my four-year-old was happily occupied with his peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. We finished at the same time, he with rosy cheeks full of jelly, and I with a satisfied smile of relief.

Usually I need to remind him that I need to wipe his face before he can be excused from the table, but THIS day, he decided to remember that rule and, in fact, take care of the chore himself. With my napkin. The same napkin on which I’d completed all my sketches.

Luckily the jelly was apricot and therefore fairly transparent and the ideas were still fresh in my mind. The text for this piece above? Well, that was inspired by the two of us, giggling at the site of mommy frantically trying to straighten and clean the napkin. Next time inspiration comes my way, I’ll remember to grab my notebook instead.

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