Friday, May 14, 2010

An Example of How Social Media Fosters Connections

On Wednesday I published here my interview with Davilla Harding, which included a question about her influences, in particular the books that helped her. One of those books was Painting the Things You Love by Adele Earnshaw.

Somehow Adele learned of the mention here and left a comment here. What happened next is contained here in the email below which I received yesterday.

Ed - I did go on Adele's site and have passed along this email to her from me. I thought she might enjoy knowing how much her book has gone on to inspire others...artists and young students. It was such a long "story" behind (and beyond) the influence of her book just on me....there just wasn't enough room on the blog. Thank you again for taking the time to make connections between artists, through your blog, and "passing on" your enthusiasm and love for art and the artist!

Have a great week!


From: davilla Harding
To: adele earnshaw
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:49 AM
Subject: Thanks for comments to blog

Hi Adele - I wanted to thank you for your kind feedback to my blog interview with Ed Newman. As a career elementary school teacher, I always treasured the moments when I knew or found out how much something I said or taught had affected one of my students. And although I could not put all of the information in the blog, your book (and philosophy of Paint the Things You Love) basically changed the way I I mentioned in the blog. I would like to pass on a little more information to you as to how your book has further affected me and others - as I mentioned in the blog, I have tried to "pass it on"!

Personal Experience - The first thing I painted after reading your book was a portrait of a sepia photograph my father had taken of me when we lived in Athens, Greece. He had just passed away a few months earlier, and so the photo took on an even more signifigance. It has received a couple of recognitions/awards, and I do believe it is the because I began to paint the things I love!

"Passing It On" to Others - A lady came to our watercolor group about 1 1/2 years ago. She had a tremendous desire to paint, but often left, crying in frustration over what she "could not do." I had her read your introduction. She continued to come with her DESIRE, EFFORT, TENACITY, TIME and ATTITUDE. Because of her determination, today she paints happily away without the deep frustration of "I want to so badly, but just can't." In fact, our latest workshop was painting a very complex modern cityscape. Hers was very good...and we all applauded and marveled at her wonderful progress.

The World of Children - Although I have retired from the classroom, I still serve as an educational consultant for a local school district helping the 4th grade students with composition writing (which is tested by our state's standardized TAKS test). I used your book as one of the foundation points of effective writing. I showed them your book and told them about how profoundly it had changed my painting, and then showed them the painting Waiting. I suggested that whenever they write to the writing topic, they should be sure to write about something they love (or feel very strongly about) and make the reader of their composition "feel" what they feel/felt during that experience. I gently patted my heart, and had them do it also, and said, "You should feel your heart thumping with excitement/emotion over whatever it is you are trying to put on paper, just as I did when I painted this portrait of me. I included a photo above to show me at the class demonstration. I wore a red heart to symbolize, and remind students of, this writing strategy...sorry the quality of the photo is not that sharp. (I "tongue in cheek" told them on the day of the state TAKS test, I would be sitting at my lake home - 20 minutes away - and I wanted to hear all of their hearts beating with excitement to get every word on the paper). The scores have not come back from the TAKS test, yet, but I am positive they will do well!

I hope you don't mind my going into so much detail, but I think you might enjoy hearing how much, and in how many ways, your words have helped others! Thank you for sharing your inspiration with all of us and helping each of us to become better artists in our own way.

Davilla Harding

This remind me of a couple of my own experiences online involving books, Internet connections and affirmations. Thank you, Davilla, for sharing this....

If interested, here's where you can find your own copy of Adele's book Painting the Things You Love. Have a great day.

Top right: Waiting, by Davilla

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