Single Pensive in Crayola Crayon

I read Shakespeare’s plays to my children when they were three and six. I read while  they ate lunch because it was the only time those two could sit still. Great literature was new to me so I stumbled over Mr. Shakespeare’s words and rhythms.

Even so, Paul and Anna named our independent, terrier puppy Cardinal Wolsey. One day ‘pensive’ was our new word, and Paul flopped his chin down on top of his fist and called out, “I’m pensive!” Then he slipped his second fist under his chin and announced, “I’m double pensive!!”


Double Pensive

Quarks Scribble Into Anna

It amazes me how many tiny quarks spin around, like scribbles, and work together to make parts of atoms. Some atoms spin around and decide to work together as cells of Anna.  Inside Anna, tiny wiggling animals and plants becoming essential parts of my daughter’s digestion, brain, and sparling eyes.

Anna as a child, wearing a red hat.

A Red Barn Is Like Marrying A Person Who NEVER Surprises You

One essential in Outsider Art is surprise. When we frame a picture we’re labeling it as important. When we hang the picture up, the giant wall frames it again and the picture becomes even more important.

If you live with a surprising picture- your life will change, not so much with a traditional, no surprise, picture of red barn on a hill. Some times we live with a picture all the years of childhood or for many adult years so let me ask you something; would you chose to live with or marry a person who is totally predictable who never surprises you? You’ve framed your picture twice it should move you differently every as you grow year by year.

Last Sunday John and I spent four days and nights in a new resort- the VA hospital. John had pneumonia and I had John. I took one side trip and got an ultrasound and surprise I have breast cancer. Life is full of surprises and art can be too.  nancymauerman.




A Portrait Of A Child And A Life Lived Not Carefully

When I was three I discovered scribbling was more FUN than coloring carefully inside the lines. Staying in those the lines was boring and tedious although it communicated an image-idea better than chaos.  Everyone around me considered coloring in the lines desirable. Scribbling did not look good but it felt fine!  And I decided someday I would make scribbles tell a story too.

I was close to thirty in art school and working on a tight rendering of, I think it was, a spoon. After a hundred hours or so I couldn’t take the tedious cross hatching anymore and finished the picture by making several layers of tiny scribbles. I expected to get an F and I didn’t care. I liked it. I’ve been scribbling ever sense.

Understanding the rules and the structure of truths then using self-discipline to live the truths are essential to a joyful life. The same is true in making good pictures that not only communicate an idea but have a spark of surprise and life. Hollywood would have us believe we are all flaky, undisciplined, immoral but happy. They say break rules and the structure of God’s plan and societal truths because its fun. I hear many writers and directors say they were surprised to see they could get the audience to approve of badness so then they decide to go further to see they can make us approve of and embrace evil.

On the other side of the spectrum we could live CAREFULLY down to hell meaning stay buried in TV and video games. Never take the risk of doing it wrong or getting hurt feelings. Never make friends or following through on ideas like an, “I was thinking of you,” phone call or helping a neighbor rake his lawn.

Hildegard of Bingen studied the rules, the reasons for them, then lived with great joy and exuberance. The picture below, of Anna, obeys many art rules and is scribbled in Crayola Crayon as are most of my children’s books. Several of the stories are about Anna and her brother Paul. They and samples of them can all be found at Amazon.


Big Hat

Big Hat

Head Talk

I’m in the habit of thinking of myself first when I speak. I’m the most interesting person I know and everyone else should know all about me too.

When others talk, the things they say remind me of ME so I only half listen. The mantra, “Hurry up and stop talking so I can tell you about me,” runs through my head.

You would think with all this interest in myself I’d be terribly fascinated in applying all my efforts to self improvement and I’d be extremely anxious to repent.

But if only half of an idea along those lines comes to mind I THINK OF OTHERS. “It’s his fault.” or “They had a devastating effect on my life. I should be excused.”

But luckily two men have had a good influence on me. Jesus Christ would have me reverse order of the interests and my husband, John, who also loves me, He gives me the strength to try to live up to Godly goals.


Head Talk

Head Talk

Daddy Needs A Pacifier

Thirty had been the ideal.  All children wanted to be that age. Not long ago fashion models might have been thirteen but they were made up to look older and everyone over thirty two wished downwards. Mid-life crises caused old men to buy fast cars to try to relive thirty, to hang on, and to extend thirty.

Now the commercials for cars advertise to four to seven year- olds!  Five years old is the new ideal!

Fathers drive then turn in their seats to get the toddler’s approval, or the five year old drives the new car. Toys made for four to eight year olds are featured inside the new cars. In car commercials the camera focuses on a beaming new car owner who is five year old!

Plus the federal government considers everyone under twenty seven to be a child and to be taken care of by Mommy and Daddy.  If I were you I’d buy stocks in


Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Grandpa Is An Obnoxious Mirror

‘Gracie’s Grandfather Makes Trouble’ is based loosely on my husband. But Grandfather’s major problem is mine. Some things bothering me, often things I see in others and which drive me up the wall, are the exact things I need to fix in myself.  And the more I’m bothered- the more I need them!

For this process of self enlightenment to work we need to impose changes on ourselves. We generally will not improve if the improvement is INFLICTED ON US no matter how hard a spouse or the government tries. Yes, parents do some of this inflicting when we are young and some of it sticks because we are so loved by them. We’re loved by our parents almost as much as we are loved by ourselves.

But out in the world we say ,”You’re not the boss of me! So leave me alone.” The world can ONLY be our mirror. But still we must LOOK on our accord. But Gracie’s Grandfather tries to be the an obnoxious mirror! He LOVES to surprise people by illuminating their problems for them. But he does not like to be surprised himself until Gracie gets a hold of him.

Very funny. Get it at Amazon, I find it’s a great gift for particularly kids AND Grandpas.  By the way the lady below just got scrambled, like eggs, inside by Gracie’s Grandfather.



Black Dress 2

The Black Dress 2