PinkglassescallieToday, my mailbox exploded–with color, texture, amazing creativity, brilliant hues, mindfulness, incredible thoughtfulness–art from readers of 37days who were assigned random essays to illustrate.

Oh, my, what an incredibly generous group of people–and what artists! I am simply overwhelmed and so touched and amazed by the generosity of all of them. The diversity of the approaches and images is just thrilling.

Thirty-seven of them will be chosen by the publisher to illustrate the 37 essays that will be in my upcoming book–and I’ll be creating a poster using all of the pieces submitted. Right after I sleep for 13 or 17 or 43 days after this manuscript is turned in.

One of the artists, Jennifer Krentz, wrote earlier today to say that while she had signed up to illustrate four essays, she would be sending five pieces of art: "My 11-year-old daughter, Callie, was so intrigued with the project that she did one on her own." Callie’s interpretation of my essay, Wear pink glasses, illustrates this post. What a wonderful treat–I just love that she did this. And I love her interpretation of the essay! Fantastic! (Click on the image to enlarge it so you can see the great detail)

Her artwork reminds me of a statement by Picasso: "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." We get self-conscious and worried and stunted and unsure as we age, don’t we, right out of our art. Which is all the more reason that I’m thrilled by the art that exploded into my mailbox today, and for the past ten days–people who created that art pondered the meaning they took from a story, rolled it around in their heads, and watched as that pondering translated right down their arms into their hands, onto computer screens, and in collages, and crochet, and oil paintings, and sewing, and beyond. Some of those participating have posted their cards on Flickr, in case you’d like to take a peek. Others have written about their contributions on their own blogs… the back-story of the cards is so fascinating–what was the artist responding to? what was their process?

So, dear Callie. Yours is a reminder that we are all artists. My thanks to you for that. And all the artists who participated in this 37days Challenge Cards project are a reminder of the power of generosity and love and mindfulness. I am simply in awe of each one of you.