Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Artist of the Week: Ruth Lewis

My sister, Ruth Lewis, surprised me last week with this amazing image:

It's from a collaborative art project she's creating with a friend. Each page of the book they pass back and forth is a collage of images, created in response to a book or story that the artist chooses. One rule (maybe the only rule?) is that the receiving artist must use one item from the previous page in her creation. This is what my sister wrote to her fellow artist upon finishing her piece of art:

"I was waiting for the right item around which to build a page about my sister's book, and you gave it to me when you passed the Ace of Hearts. One of my favorite parts of "Letters from Rapunzel" is the theme introduced when Cadence finds a note written by her father: "You must be willing to have your heart broken in order to live."

"The Ruby Apple" tale ends happily ever after when a daughter saves her father's heart—not by protecting it, but by planting it in the Royal Orchard. In "The True Story of Rapunzel", a farmer boy offers to plant one of his apples so that it will sprout a tree tall enough for the in-towered princess to pick fruit.

Finally, her father urges Cadence "Promise me you'll always listen to your own heart." Wise advice."

I can't tell you how much I love this. Be sure to click on the image, so you can see all the details. Ruth made those authentic-looking fortune cookie sayings, so she could put words from my book on them. There's writing on the bridge, too: armed with only poetry and tears. (If you've read LFR, you'll know where those words come from.) And the broken-open heart at the bottom: I keep seeing it as one of my red pencils, split in two, a reminder of how writing and art---and the response to them---breaks open everyone who's willing to live.

Thank you, Ruth.


  1. What a wonderful gift! Something to cherish, for sure...

  2. Breathtaking! What a talented family . . .

  3. WOW.
    I hope some day I have a fan who will remake a cover for one of MY books. Ruth rocks.

  4. This is stunning! I hope you get to hang this up on your wall!

  5. A very stunning and well-thought out piece!

  6. Oh, lord. Bestill my heart. Seriously, Sara!!! The art itself, plus the visual retelling of Rapunzel. Plus the collaboration.

    OK, also. They HAVE to submit this project to the backandforthproject.blogspot.com (the one I've told you about)! Right????? Please please please...

  7. I can't imagine a more wonderful gift from your sister. How awesome. As a mother of two girls, I can't think of anything that would make me prouder than one of my girls honoring her sister in this way. What a blessing. Thanks for sharing.


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