I am an artist. Many of you know me as the founder of The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs, perhaps you know too I am an author of now my first book is in its third printing, “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life” by Kathy L. Murphy. The third printing has a NEW cover, my artwork, and a New foreward explaining that I am now back to my maiden name since my divorce nearly five years ago. All my life I have wanted to be an artist, writing and reading all the way as if I said it once, I have said it a kazillion times, “Books Saved Me”! So I wrote the story of my journey and why promoting authors, books, literacy, and reading is so important to me. Reading books can change your life for the better. I would never have found myself if I had not been a reader and why now I am working on a new book, “The Pulpwood Queen Goes Back to School” which I did at 59, can you imagine? And graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Texas in Tyler, Texas this past December with a degree in Fine Arts, a minor in Art History at 61. I am far from done. In fact, being a lifelong learner is something I have practiced every day of my life. So now besides being a founder of The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation, and being an author, I am have now added artist to my resume in life. This was my dream.
After I graduated I decided I would take one year to see if I could truly make it. Being an artist, an author, and a book club founder is my livelihood. I take it very seriously but at the same time coming from being a shy introverted child every once in a while I succumb to despair. I have disappointed someone. I always take to my bed when I fall into this black hole because once I get rested, I can see the world more clearing. I just slept for twelve hours so I can see clearly now. I will not give up on my dream and yesterday was one of those defining moments. What if you cannot please everybody? What if no matter how hard you try, some people become disappointed in you. My answer to these questions? Please yourself. I know what I am capable of and that I have for my mission in life with my gifts and talents. Let me explain.
I always wanted to be an artist but a writer and a reader are what I have always done daily too. That road in life led me on my journey and it just so happens people fell in love with my painting of a person, one made up in my mind, in my imagination of a “Warrior Goddess”, This woman is who I want to be fierce, so fierce she could brave and navigate this new world we live in. I had never painted really many people before then I was requested by an author friend to paint her, as a “Queen” like the “Warrior Goddess” I painted below.
I was up to the task and it was a process. Below you will see from start to finish my process.
The end result was after hours of painting, talking to River, figuring out just how to tell her story in my painting of her. She cried when I presented it to her as did all the other authors who had a luncheon for me on my Pop-Up Art, Fashion, and Book Tour this summer in Nashville as I then traveled to Westport, Connecticut and back. You see I was delivering paintings and visiting my author, book clubs, book club leaders, and artist friends all the way. I took a big risk doing that as it is hand to mouth as a full-time author and artist. I do not take my work lightly, my work is of the utmost importance to me. But it’s a process, one that deserves big faith in me and what I am presenting to my client out into the world.
So yesterday I faltered, I doubted my own ability and education. I was overtired, overworked and stressed as I truly do not get paid until a painting is accepted. A deposit is taken but usually that all goes into my art materials and supplies. Nobody can ever pay an artist enough for the hours and hours of work put into a project unless you are a superstar status, much like being an author. It took me six years to get my first book from to start to finish and yet in the published world, your book has only a six-week shelf life. I think that is wrong because a good book is a good book no matter when you read it period. Take my favorite book, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee one of the biggest continuing bestsellers of all time. But I also believe that is because back when it was published, publishers invested in their authors for the long haul. Today everything is so disposable which brings me back to my painting.
I am asking people now to invest in me. To have enough faith in me to not give up when in their mind’s eye I am not creating exactly what they perceived as the end result. You see I think all people deserve to wear the crown. So I created the now “Queen and King” series. Do not think of what you traditionally see as a queen, like Miss America or Queen Elizabeth per se. I want you to see that everyone has value. They have a story that is worth hearing. They are important enough to have a painting done of them showing the world just how wonderful they are. Each of my paintings is created to tell that story. Some of my paintings are on my own imaginations of “Queens” some are real people, but all are important in this world that seems to think that the more money and power you have the more important and powerful you are. I do not think this is the case. I think what gives us great success in life is that we are sharing our stories with each other as we are truly a community of people trying to find our way. We all have the same wants and needs, regardless of your economic standing, your culture, your race, your personal political and religious beliefs. We are all people who want to be loved as for me that is all I have ever wanted in life, was to be truly loved. Here are some of my “Queen” series of paintings.
So I am on a mission now to besides promote authors, books, literacy, and reading to promote the beauty in this world. This is my calling. All I ask for you if t keep the faith in me that I am doing my very best in all I do to bring true beauty and love into the world. There are two ways of viewing the world, for yourself or for others. I choose others so that is why I get down sometimes as I feel I have not communicated as well as I should that my life is really all about YOU!
With big love,
Kathy L. Murphy
Artist/Author/Founder of The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation
Official website, www.thepulpwoodqueens.com
Official email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official site for my art inspired fashions: www.shopvida.com/collection/thepulpwood
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