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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just Right

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Louise's "How to Paint a Donkey" project, based on Naomi Shihab Nye's poem by the same name.  For those of you who haven't already had the privilege of reading that poem, i will include it again below.  You can click here to read about my initial response to the poem.

Sometime between the lovely moment when i received Louise's initial email & a few weeks ago, i decided i needed to paint my very own donkey.  I just had to. 

And here he is. 

             **"Just Right" donkey is now available as prints in my Etsy shop

I have to say, i just adore him. 

Painting him taught me so much.  He taught me that creating really is about just expressing--could we possibly let it be just about that?  Not about good or bad, but about allowing something to move through us. 

It's amazing how many people i run into who describe themselves as "not being creative."  Really?  Doesn't that simply mean they are getting in the way of their own precious, unique expression, their own need to express?  I don't believe there is a single person out there who doesn't have something to tell, something to let out & set free. 

Imagine if we stopped caring about good or bad & simply picked up a pen or a paintbrush or a guitar or maybe just started singing out loud or shaking our booty?

This sweet donkey talked to me the whole time he was being created.  He told me to just show up & begin.  He told me to trust, that he was all mine, that he didn't need to look like anyone else's donkey.  He told me not to quit even when he looked like a big mess on the canvas.  He told me that he was just right, exactly as he is.  And that i am too. 

And i love him for that.

Thank you, Naomi Shihab Nye, for the beauty of this poem.  It has healed me in so many ways.  And thank you, Louise, for being sweet you & listening to your own whisperings. 

How to Paint A Donkey
by Naomi Shihab Nye

She said the head was too large,
the hooves too small.

I could clean my paintbrush
but I couldn’t get rid of that voice.

While they watched,
I crumpled him,

let his blue body
stain my hand,

I cried when he hit the can.
She smiled. I could try again.

Maybe this is what I unfold in the dark,
deciding for the rest of my life,

that donkey was just the right size.

P.S:  Stay tuned for a very special guest post for this Friday's fearLESS Friday!


  1. That has to be the sweetest little donkey I have every seen. Not only is he 'just right', but he is the essence of your very own playfulness, treasured imagination, and tender soul coming through on canvas to create this little friend. You have captured for us that there is so much more to creating than making an exact replica. You have reminded us where to find the whimsy, the freedom and the braveness of our souls! Thank you, friend.

  2. I am enchanted by donkey just right and everything he stands for which is exactly what my little book "How to Paint a Donkey" is about. Thank Julia for your own unique and magical expression of a donkey...and yourself. He stands for so much. I adore him.

  3. Sweetheart Julie your donkey is beyond cute. I just want to walk up to him and hug his head-(he is definitely alive) and tell him how adorable he is. He is sweeter than sweet. MQ and Lily must love him. You are magical!!!! Love you too much.
    Mom X0

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  5. I love that donkey and want to hang out with him right now. Luigi and Papino and Josie and Stripes and I want to spend our days with him. I would like to have a giant painting of him in my bedroom so I can be near him when I dream at night. I want him in my dreams. He deserves to be on the cover of a book and the subject of a story for children. What’s his name? He deserves a wonderful name. You have the gift!

    Love, Dad

  6. Oh Julia its me again. I want to say that what your mom and dad have said makes me want to are so loved. And it is have created a donkey so truly special he would warm any heart. Everyone should have him in their life! He is an all seeing, all knowing, wise and beautiful friend. You are amazing. xx

  7. I ADORE him! I love that you followed your heart and did this amazing piece. You amaze and inspire me so much.

  8. Julia, I so love this donkey! He speaks to me in so many ways. He enchants me and I want to look at him some more to try to see what he is all about. The more I look the more I think I see. You have created something magical which speaks to and touches hearts.


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia