I’m Maureen Wartski, writer, artist, wife, mother, grandmother; you can see that I have many of the bases covered.
I was born in Ashiya, Japan, a (then) small town which lay cradled between sea and mountains. In the evenings, we would walk along the road that ran past Osaka Bay, and a great moon would rise out of the water to turn the world to silver.
I’m told that my first words were, “Big moon!”
All my life I have felt the tug to write something, draw something, put together something with fabric, string and color, and the urge to create has grown through the years. I suppose, then, that it’s a natural thing that this blog be full of the things that so many of you enjoy doing…drawing, making something with fabric, and writing.
I was very young when I fell in love with words. My Uncle Harry is to blame for this… he who taught me to read out of a well-worn book of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (with illustrations!) and who read aloud from Stevenson and Poe and Tennyson and Mallory in a lovely, mellifluous voice that kept me spellbound even before I understood everything he said.
Words. They are magic, you know? You can take a handful of them… common words that hang about the hedges like weeds… and toss them onto paper and create a universe far, far away. Pull a few of them out and the universe falls, but then great castles rise with knights and fair ladies and dragons. Brush them aside and the scene is clear for a story about a boy and girl who have a mother who’s very sick, and an aunt with whom they have to spend the summer, an aunt that they hate. My latest book, Yuri’s Brush With Magic is about such a brother and sister and about a magic brush and the magic of words and the incredible magic of the natural world.
I know that you have felt the pull of this magic, too, especially in dogwood season. This morning when I was taking my morning walk I realized that the woods around our house were full of dogwood, cultivated and wild. It was almost—but not quite—beyond words to describe:
A froth of white lace
Embroiders gardens, pathways…
Dogwoods are awake.