I am so fortunate that in my current life I create art at my leisure. This past year, my path encountered a new twist. As if rediscovering the music I loved as a teenager wasn’t enough, I have rediscovered something else that I also loved doing when I was young.

I am drawing mazes again!

My story can best be told with the many images I’ll be sharing.

It all began with reconnecting.

The theme of reconnecting with old friends has been part of my rebirth after I turned 50. Those renewed friendships have been incredibly meaningful.

Earlier this year, I visited with two former Junior High classmates. One friend I hadn’t seen in decades. Our reunion was lovely, and this new classmate warmly invited me to visit her beach house as a houseguest. Her husband knew me, because we had been in the same math class where I had drawn mazes when I was 14 years old.

A month later, I had a lovely overnight visit with this couple and I couldn’t believe what it led to.

The husband hired me to draw a maze, even though I hadn’t drawn one in over 40 years. He suggested that I create a maze in his company’s logo. I was paid generously, which was very much appreciated.

This new pathway was definitely a learning experience. I purchased new pens and ink to experiment with, and utilized my computer to design my maze. I created an outline template and then printed it onto different types of paper to experiment with. Drawing the maze was mindless and actually the easy part.

Now I’ll backtrack to describe the maze book I published at the age of 14. I wrote a post about it on this blog, back in 2011:  #2 MY AMAZING JOURNEY, PART 1

I am proud of my unique style of maze drawing. My mazes are actually pictures and incorporate tone. One of the last mazes I drew (before a hiatus of 4 decades) was of Richard Nixon.

I used to pass my mazes around in my classes. I would draw a maze inside outlines of hearts and even my friends’ names. (Someone told me that he saved one of my mazes after all these years.)

One day, my geometry teacher caught me drawing in his class and admonished me. But then he suggested I try to get my mazes published. When I did indeed publish a book, I dedicated it to him.

Because an educational company published my book, it was required to be instructive. Below is a page from my book with examples of creating maze tones by using wider and narrower paths.Once I finished drawing mazes for my former middle school classmates, I was ready to draw new mazes for myself!

No surprise that I chose a butterfly for my first new maze. This is my template.

Drawing a smooth line drawing with a digital stylus requires skill and a steady hand. With practice, I quickly improved. There were many advantages to using my computer, such as being able to flip my butterfly wing to make it symmetrical. But mostly, I wanted many opportunities to start over with the outline ready for me.

I drew my butterfly maze twice, because initially I wasn’t satisfied with the first version. I ended up finding charm with both of them. The second maze was slightly more realistic, with more pronounced lines on the wings and less parallel spot separation lines.

It seemed like it would be worth exploring adding color, so I played around with it. Not sure it’s that solvable with the color distraction, but it looked pretty!

After finishing two butterfly mazes, I wasn’t sure what maze I’d draw next. But then I received a letter in the mail that inspired me. Six months earlier, I had sent a promotion package to Barbra Streisand. In it were some prints of my artwork with a letter offering her one of my paintings. I also wrote about my passion for music and the healing songs I loved to share.

When I received a letter back from the Streisand foundation, I was floored! It was such an unbelievably beautiful letter that I wanted to frame it. Here is a paragraph that took my breath away:

“Your dedication to sharing your paintings and music with the world is a profound gift. We admire your courage and your everlasting love for your dear son Jason, and we are inspired by your goal of sharing your healing artistic gifts with the world. Certainly, the world is a decidedly more beautiful and empathetic place with you in it!”

A CD was included with the letter. The cover art was very graphic and reminiscent of a maze.

Well, if Barbra couldn’t accept one of my paintings, perhaps a maze would be more personal and welcomed. I would draw Barbara a maze!

Although the CD cover inspired me, I looked for a more flattering image on the Internet. I found one and converted the photo into a black and white study. I diligently spent a lot of time on the preliminary work. There were many choices for the shadows on her face. I tried many types of Photoshop filters to get my desired result.

It was fun creating a maze for Barbra Streisand. I sent it to my new contact at her foundation and I share my letter that went along with it.

Every day, I check my mailbox. My new pathway is definitely thrilling!

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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2 Responses to #68 MY AMAZING JOURNEY, PART 2

  1. Pat says:

    These are amazing, Judy. I admire your talent.

    Liked by 1 person

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