It seems more and more we are bombarded and constantly on overload with all the information via the internet and news media about global warming and climate change. If we listen to a lot of it, it is so alarming that it is hard to find hope in a sea of devastation. I don’t know if you experience this, but I do, and I know a lot of other people who do also. In todays’ crazy times it becomes increasingly difficult to feel like one person can make a difference.
How do you combat the fatigue and fear of what seems like impending doom?
You FIGHT with enthusiasm and passion.
You use your talents and intuition to show the world a better way.
You EDUCATE with JOY and WONDER
In 2010 I wrote and illustrated Mother Monarch. I created this book because I was concerned we were loosing natural habitats and species along with it. Most homeowners do not understand how to live in harmony with nature. Chemicals, herbicides and insectides flood the market and many homeowners run to their local stores to buy these harmful products to eradicate the “invaders” of their yards, thus creating a mono culture….the green lawn.
Butterfly gardening in part has become “fashionable” for some homeowners. They love to see beautiful butterflies in their yards but what they don’t understand is that the caterpillar or juvenile requires a very special plant to feed on in order to transform into a butterfly. For the Monarch Butterfly this plant, which is called a “host” plant is Milkweed. Without milkweed there will be NO Monarch Butterflies. You can plant all the flowers you want for the adult butterfly to nectar or feed on but without the chewed up leaves of the milkweed plant the yard will not have a single Monarch. This is true of many other butterflies and insects that require specific host plants for survival and this requires….DIVERSITY!
In 2010 I also had a studio in New Jersey where I offered classes to groups and private students. I had a few high school students and was really happy to help them hone their skills to create portfolios in preparation to apply to art school. One student was Julia Kron. Julia came to my studio and we worked together for about a year. She was dedicated and produced beautiful art. She was also fairly quiet and shy. After our time together I did not hear from her until just recently…………………..
Julia is now a grown woman and is teaching 2nd grade in a public school in Falls Church , Virginia. She reached out to me to show me a project she did with her second graders. Together they created a Monarch habitat mural project for their classroom. They read Mother Monarch in class and then each student choose to create artwork of a milkweed plant, a flower, an insect or help design the background habitat. They referred back to the book on what was needed for the habitat. As soon as each student finished an item for the habitat, they brought it over to the background and discussed where it looked best. Everyone played a part and pitched in! Here are some pictures of the final project.
OVER THE MOON!
I can not express how thrilled I am about this project. It is 9 years since I created Mother Monarch. I set my skills, passion and enthusiasm into the creation of the story hoping it would reach the general public. Imagine my surprise when this quiet shy young girl transformed into a beautiful young woman. She transformed my book into a project that created an educational and creative project for her students. This project will stay with them for years to come and who knows maybe it will spark more creative energies as we share our passion and enthusiasm for the BEAUTY of NATURE!
The next time you have an idea that sparks creativity, enthusiasm and passion…….. don’t let negativity or hopelessness stop you! You never know who will be inspired by or share in your vision. Today is here and NOW and we need YOU!
Do you have a project you want to do and need guidance? How do you share your ideas so others can benefit? Are you looking for an adventure, inspiration and a tribe of like-minded artists? Consider Journey to the Heart of Creativity in the Costa Rican Rainforest. We would LOVE to have you join us!
What a great story. I love when students touch base to let you know how much influence you have had on their lives, and in this case even the lives of others. As a teacher it is so rewarding. You send them off and in many cases never see them again, especially the younger ones. It is those special ones who remember to touch base and thank you that help to inspire us to keep plugging away. I have another workshop here at the studio today and just put the coffee on!
I cannot believe it is 9 years since you created the book. Can it really be that long since I have seen you?? Time sure does fly. I read your newsletters and you sound very happy down there. I have been doing a lot of traveling too and teaching on location around the globe. It sure opens your eyes as to what is happening around the world when you can see it first hand.
Great to hear from you Nancy. You are correct. So many people you teach and then younger hear from them again and it is so gratifying when they do get in touch. I recently had a show in NYC at the Salmagundi Club in October and 3 of my college professors came! I had not seen them in almost 35 years. It was so special and I got to tell them how much they impacted my life. It has been a long time since we saw one another. I am still traveling and teaching too. Hopefully our paths will cross again. Miss you too my friend! ~ Mindy
Nice uplifting story. As teachers we often do not know the effects of our teaching or the influence we are actually having on our students. How wonderful that you heard from a former student who is carrying on your mission!
HI Jane! I agree! I was so happy when she contacted me. It is hard to tell if you are making an impact….especially when someone is quiet and shy.