Sunday 10 July 2011


I used to read a lot of poetry. I like it. Some poems move me before I understand why, in the same way that some art does. 

This week's IAE challenge was based on poetry. I wanted to make a canvas with beautiful words, like an unformed poem. It's not quite finished but this is what I've done so far -
 And although my canvas is unrelated to it, I also wanted to share one of my favourite poems. It's quite long, but worth it! 

Wear Sunscreen
Mary Schmich

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen
would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved
by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more
reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this
advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You
will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until
they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at
photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much
possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You
are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying
is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you
at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with
people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead,
sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's
only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you
succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with
your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22
what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most
interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them
when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children,
maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the
funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do,
don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it
or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument
you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone
for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your
past and the people most likely to stick with you in the

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people
who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you
soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians
will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll
fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable,
politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust
fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when
either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it
will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over
the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


  1. Love the words on your art piece, especially serendipity and whisper.
    The poem and it's advice is stellar
    I'm going to print it out. Don't know if I will use it,except for the sunscreen. I need that here in the hot desert for sure!
    Great post.

  2. Every word is so...delicate. Whisper is one of my most favorite words...just a beautiful work of art all around. And the poem is kick-ass too☺

  3. The canvas is a wonderful idea, love all those little and yet so significant words you used.

  4. Fantastic post!! Beautiful art..super gorgeous...and awesome words..!!

  5. That poem is so wise and wonderful. If only we had all heeded a little of it earlier:)
    Your art is beautiful

  6. This piece is both beautiful and interesting. The poem is great as well.


  7. i always love your art pieces, and this is no exception :) wonderful words of advice, too... i so wished i'd known how beautiful i was at 20... but sadly had no inner confidence... *sigh*

  8. The poem is quite moving, and at times, had me singing and chanting along with it. As always your hearts have captured my heart. I love the repetition that fits you so well.

  9. I love your art piece - great idea! The poem is priceless, I think I'll print it out... ah, still living in Northern California, probably getting soft...

  10. Beautiful, just BEAUTIFUL! I think this might be my new favorite of your work- I love how each word can stand alone or with the rest of the group- so PERFECT for the challenge! And the poem made me smile (a LOT)and also managed to touch my heart- thanks for sharing it!

  11. thank you.
    i heard this poem read on npr years and years ago.
    i loved it and could never find it again.

    thank you.


  12. Love this poetry canvas - beautiful & inspirational. It would make perfect inspiration for anyones wall but especially for a writer or artist. Great witty poem too - thanks for sharing :-)
    Kat Xx

  13. I've always loved Wear Sunscreen ~ fabulous! I get so excited when I see you've been working with little tags ~ those are some of my favs that you create!

  14. It's always lovely reading everyone's comments - thank you :)

    Amy I'm glad I helped you find the poem again :)