Tandem with Karyn

Karyn and I got to chatting about inventors and decided to do a tandem post (art and poetry) on George Washington Carver. Go to Karyn’s blog HERE to check out what Karyn put together!

GWC_04 (1)

George Washington Carver is well known for his discovery of 300 uses for the peanut. His work helped save the livelihoods of many farmers struggling to make use of soil depleted of nutrients from years and years of cotton-farming. And George was more: a botanist, a researcher, an inventor and teacher; he started his career studying art and music.

But first he was a boy, born into slavery, who yearned for an education. From his own account, as a young boy he traveled 10 miles to get to a school he was allowed to attend. A woman he met there, Mariah Watkins, told him something that would shape his life – “You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people.” And these are the words I imagined him listening to while drawing the silhouette above.

And I imagined what he might say, years later:

Those words fed me. They skimmed along the lobes and slipped into my ear, my brain, my heart. I hungered for knowledge and took what I got. I digested it. From those words, I fed all that I could.

This post is the perfect excuse to share a favorite song:

19 thoughts on “Tandem with Karyn

  1. Remarkable work, Julie. Everytime I think I know your style, you reinvent a technique, a point of view. This piece is haunting, yet hopeful. I mean his posture suggests a measure of curiosity for me. And your poem. Your use of language totally connected me. I mean, as the reader I really felt as if I was traveling with those words. I’ve said this before, You Rock!


    • Pamela, oh, Pamela! You find a different way to touch my heart every time! The people you work with , big and small, are so fortunate to have you striving to to improve their lives, not just from what you do, but how! Creativity at it’s finest! If I lived nearby I would take every opportunity to shadow you in what you probably regard as a day’s work and I would call magic!


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