Storyspinning in Art and Words

Molly-St. Patricks

I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!”

~ Dr. Seuss

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”

~ Sue Monk Kidd

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

~ Philip Pullman


“Molly cooks up green marshmallows for the fam”

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I know.  We’re waaaay past March 17th.  But that’s the power of story, whether painted in words or pen and ink… what I love most about it.  One glance transports you right back to the moment no matter what time of year it is.

It’s what I hope my word pictures here to do —

Taking you to what D.E. Stevenson (and Blake) called a “Listening valley…”  – a place inside the spirit, where we listen

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“There were trees below her, so that she looked out over the tops of them, and…above,, the little quarry was a dimple on the hill, bathed in sunshine, redolent with the scent of sun-warmed pines… In the midst of the town a road ran, curving away into the distance.  The valley itself stretched southward, shallow and sunlit, bounded by rolling hills with green grass and patches of brilliant purple heather and dark pine woods, and above the hills was the pale blue sky with fat white clouds floating in it.  Along the floor of the valley wound a river, sparkling in the sunshine; it wound among fields and yellow cornfields and bright green meadows full of cattle that looked like toys, and over it all was a faint haze, an almost imperceptible opal-tinted haze that softened the brightness of the colors.  Green it was, green and peaceful, an oasis of peace in a land of war…  Tonia knew it well.  Listening valley… ” ~ D. E.  *

When I come across a passage like that, I just have to linger and savor…let the background of the story picture steep…

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“I’m loving drawing toddlers right now,” I told my friend, asking if she’d mind sending me some photos of her young Molly that I might sketch.  Because life’s real stories are what I want to illustrate and capture in words, and in art… the way the artists I talked about here did…

The photo that inspired this one lit into my spirit like a butterfly, taking me into a lovely, everyday (but holiday-ish) story moment of their little family that I would not otherwise have witnessed…

And…because this portrait makes me smile as I finish it today, I just wanted to share with you.

I wonder, just for fun… does this one evoke a story in you ?


© Pam Depoyan

P.S.   I also saved it in classic pen and ink style… and once again the simple black and white just flows a  mood over me.  Transports me like a favorite old English novel to a place where I love to envision the color of heather on the hills…    Or a beloved black and white film, like Wonderful Life

Molly-St. Patricks-No ColorI can’t decide which I like best.  Color splash or not?

What do you think?  🙂






Pen and Ink portraits – Mine, from my Picture It In Pen and Ink blog (   Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

*  D.E. quote – from her novel, Listening Valley

Interested in a print, or a custom portrait that tells one of your stories?  Visit to see more…  Ideas or questions?  Contact me at

About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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14 Responses to Storyspinning in Art and Words

  1. lynndmorrissey says:

    Yes, it does! Reminds me of how my grandmother would always make me a green jumper for St. Paddy’s Day and give me shamrock jewelry to wear. And I thnk of how I loved baking cookies (rolled ones like this at Christmas) w/ my mother. She always let me eat the raw dough! You are so right that stories are important and we need to tell them before they are lost. Thank you for your Irish-smiling eyes, beautiful artwork, and this always timely reminder!

  2. Wise Hearted says:

    Lovely picture, reminds me of my daughter as she loved to bake anything sweet. I told her husband she thinks she can cook but what she is really go at is baking. She later learned the skill of cooking too.

  3. Hazel Moon says:

    I like both the color and etching in black and white. What a darling child and learning to “cook.’ As a young girl I was assigned to bake cookies or cupcakes for the weeks, school lunches. I loved to use the food coloring and make green cupcakes. It was just fun to do. Green marshmallows is fun too. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    • Thanks, Hazel! I think I’m leaning to the one with color and then I see the black and white and like that too… She is a darling. I remember always enjoying baking and cooking, especially when I was old enough to become a girl scout. The badge I wanted to earn the most was for cooking! I recall cooking and baking up a storm for weeks on that one! Yes, food coloring is so fun too… I used to love swirling red into a white batter valentine heart cake, marbling it with color. Like you said, just fun to do. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your memories on this!

  4. Pam, I loved this post! I liked the quotes you shared which made me reflect upon how much stories really do add value to our lives.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful drawings! I loved how you captured the essence of the words you shared from the “Listening Valley. Absolutely beautiful!

    And of course, that precious little girl. What a sweet scene!

    As always, it is a breath of fresh air to come and visit you! 🙂

    • Thank you, Karen! Sometimes I wonder about whether a post like this one resonates and I’m so glad to know that it does!! I love finding quotes like these too… That book is one of my absolute favorites of D.E. Stevenson’s. She wrote so simply but picturesquely, even incorporating bits of faith very naturally and easily and beautifully — and like the book jacket comments say, her books are like settling in with a warm cup. I just did a second one of this little girl that I may share soon (yes, she and her brothers and cousins are so dear)… so many stories in a simple photo and I just love those toddler sweet faces. So happy to know this was a breath of fresh air to you! 🙂

  5. I also love this post – thank you for sharing and as for your evocative drawing, more than half of me wants to say B&W but I suspect it does depend on context because BOTH versions are highly effective.

  6. Michelle says:

    Delightful! Reminds me of afternoons baking with my daughters and sharing at Sunday dinner. They always wanted to be mommy’s helper.

  7. Your picture is of my daughter 10 years ago! How the time flies… Your art is lovely. Thank you for linking this week at the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!

    • Aww… I love that, Jes. That’s exactly what I hope these drawings will be – in the way of Norman Rockwell, portraits that illustrate so many of our stories, not only for the specific person portrayed.

      I feel the same about time and all the children of my heart. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for sharing here…hope you’ll come back as I continue to include child portraits here… 🙂

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