Tag Archives: elizabeth gilbert

When Did You Stop Drawing?

Elizabeth Gilbert author of a new book on being creative called Big Magic,  just did a Facebook post about the fact that people stop drawing at the point where their artistic abilities were first shamed or ridiculed.  I’ve blogged before about how that happened to me in grade eight when a teacher made fun of my art in front of the whole class.

my-version-of-bill-browridgeElizabeth quotes Lynda Barry  who says when people who have been  “non-artists” for a long time start drawing again, their images  will look like they were made by a child the same age as the person was when they stopped drawing.  That means we can pick up where we left off and start moving forward in our process of learning and growing creatively.  

hockey-artworkIn her Facebook posts about her new book Elizabeth has been encouraging people to embrace their creativity and try dancing, or writing or singing or drawing even if they haven’t done it for decades. She encourages us to stop denying our creative inheritance as human beings and not be scared or embarrassed about nurturing our creative instincts. 

esthers-drawingWith the help of my friend Esther I’ve been trying to do that over the last year. She gave me the courage to take a drawing class and since then she and I have been getting together every month to sketch.  I’ve illustrated this post with the results of our October drawing outing at the Mayberry Gallery where I tried to re-create a portion of the work of Bill Brownridge.   With Esther’s help I’m going back to my younger art self and have started drawing again.  By showing my work here I am trying to get over the embarrassment of my  13-year-old self and celebrate the chance to be creative in a way I thought was closed to me. 

Other posts…..

Using the Other Side of My Brain

Finding my Inner Artist

Finding Wayan of Eat Pray Love


Filed under Art, Childhood, Education, Retirement

Meeting Wayan From Eat, Pray, Love

Eat,_Pray,_Love_–_Elizabeth_Gilbert,_2007The memoir Eat, Pray, Love , topped the New York Times best seller list for a year. Author Elizabeth Gilbert writes about her quest to ‘find herself’ after a devastating divorce. She spends four months in Italy eating fabulous food, four months in India meditating in an ashram and four months in Bali finding love and contentment. I read Eat, Pray, Love just before my  trip to Bali

Wayan from the book Eat Pray Love prepares food in her restaurant

Wayan from the book Eat Pray Love prepares food in her restaurant

Wayan was my favorite character in the book. She’s the proprietor of a small healing shop and restaurant in the city of Ubud. Elizabeth Gilbert is riding her bicycle in Ubud and falls injuring her knee. She goes to the shop for some ointment and ends up making friends with Wayan and her daughter, Tutti. Wayan has left an abusive husband and is having difficulty surviving, since in Balinese culture divorce carries such a stigma. Wayan is often forced to move her business from one site to another and so has trouble holding onto enough established clients to be financially solvent.

Wayan's shop in Ubud, Bali

Wayan’s shop in Ubud, Bali

Elizabeth Gilbert puts out an appeal to American friends to donate money to buy Wayan her own shop. It doesn’t take Gilbert long to collect $18,000. Before she leaves Bali, Gilbert sees Wayan established in a mortgage free two-storey building.

Inside Wayan's shop in Ubud

Inside Wayan’s shop in Ubud

It isn’t hard to find Wayan’s shop. Gilbert’s book says it is a few doors up the road from the Ubud post office and that is exactly where my friend Kathy and I found it.

Having a massage at Wayan's shop in Ubud

Having a massage at Wayan’s shop in Ubud

The hand painted sign out front invited us in to have a massage, learn Balinese dance, buy medicinal plants, eat a healthy Vitamin Lunch or be healed of whatever ailed us. Huge pots on the shop’s front patio contained various herbs like ginseng, jasmine and aloe vera. Each pot had a sign that told you what illnesses that particular plant could help to cure.

Wayan's assistant serves us

Wayan’s assistant serves us

        We wandered inside. The restaurant had three tables. Wayan met us and after escorting us to the one table available asked if we had come to eat or be healed. We told her we were hungry after a morning of wandering the shops of Ubud and so she and her assistant began bringing food to our table. They grated tumeric and mixed it with ginger, honey and water to make a delicious juice.

Food at Wayan's restaurant

Food at Wayan’s restaurant

They brought us three different kinds of seaweed, each flavored in a different way. We ate uniquely spiced melon and tomato served on banana leaves. We had rice and salad.

Wayan describes the different things she is serving us

Wayan describes the different things she is serving us and how it will help us to be healthy

As each dish came to the table Wayan told us whether it was good for our stomach, kidneys, hearts or love lives. Wayan said for only a small, added cost we could have a healthy body check at the end of the meal, but she was very busy when we finished eating doing body checks for a group of French women sitting at another table. I noted one of them had a French copy of Eat, Pray, Love tucked into her bag. The book has been translated into more than thirty languages.

Wayan chatting with a guest from France

Wayan chatting with a guest from France


         One of the things I like to do whenever I travel is read a book set in the country I’m visiting. It makes the place come alive for me. I don’t always get a chance to actually step into the pages of the books and meet one of the characters I’ve read about. Happily I was able to do that in Bali.

Other posts about Bali……

A Bike Ride in Bali

Other posts about visiting a book’s setting……

 A Great House Haunts Me

Walden Pond

Michener’s Hawaii



Filed under Bali, Books, Food, People, Restaurants, Travel