January 31 is National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

The artist strategically placed the shells on the branches of the bush skeleton above. A piece of the exoskeleton of a horseshoe crab was also used.

January 31 is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day.  Art should evoke emotions, hopefully, pleasurable ones.  There are many kinds of art.  My book illustrators are all great visual and/or digital artists. The editor/manager of my websites, Pamela Bickell, is a creative collage artist, as well.

Other artists create sculptures and three-dimensional works. Every once in a while, I stumble across something fantastic in nature.

Today I want to feature and very unusual piece of art I came across on Bunche Beach in Fort Myers, FL. Most people appreciate a beautiful intact seashell. Most people also appreciate healthy green vegetation. Yet, few of us would see the art in a dead bush and bleached broken shells that this artist did.  Most of the shells had holes in them, the result of the predators who ended the mollusks’ lives.

close up of shell art on dried branches
This did inspire my heart!

While not everyone would see the beauty here, I appreciate it as an unusual but lovely work of art. It did bring joy to my heart.

I hope you make or find some art this weekend that brings joy to your heart, too.

Book Note: I truly appreciate my book illustrators, who have added so much to the words I write.

Arthur F. Winstanley

a pink book cover with an illustration of a green curly-tail iguana riding in the ocean in a red sneaker

Anderson Atlas

book cover illustration with two lizards

Nicholas Thorpe

a book cover about Tabby the five finger fairy and Cleo a bahamian boa

Jessica Minns

a blue and white children's book cover with curly-tail lizards illustrated

Simone Scott

image of book cover of a brown booby bird in cayman brac

Monique Carroll

book cover about seeds finding a place to sprout

Haley Gray

book cover of catfish

Jacqueline Klene

image of book cover with catfish and museum

Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away is Now Available! by Curtis Curly-tail Lizard

illustration of curtis curly-tail lizard
It’s me, Curtis Curly-tail Lizard! Don’t you just love my perfectly curled tail?

Hello, everyone! I recently mentioned my latest book would soon be out—well, it’s here! The next Curtis Curly-tail adventure has been released: Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away is written by, of course, my good friend and author, Elaine A. Powers. The gorgeous illustrations are by artist Monique Carroll, who also illustrated Grow Home, Little Seeds.

In this story, I join Allison Andros Iguana to warn the iguanas of Beach Cay about the impending hurricane. Low lying areas are particularly vulnerable to the storm surges, high rainfall and powerful winds of hurricanes. Small islands or cays here in the Bahamas can be completely washed over. Beach Cay, the setting of Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away, has entire populations of endemic animals, such as the iguanas like Allison. One powerful hurricane could wipe out her entire species.

It’s not only animals that need protecting during hurricane season; people are also in danger. In this story, as in real life, people come together to help not only each other, but animals and the environment, as well. Along with the destruction caused by hurricanes, Elaine also discusses the positive effects in the book. (Yes, there are benefits from hurricanes. I’ll bet you didn’t know that!)

The title kind of gives the story away, but I hope you will grab a copy so you can find out what happens to the iguanas and if I make my way back home to my perfect little den at Warderick Wells cay. It’s a great story for all the kids at home these days, and helps them to learn about weather science and ecosystems. Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away makes learning science fun and is for sale at Amazon.

‘Til next time, take care of yourselves and each other. Together, we will get through this, just like my friends and I, who help each other survive and recover from hurricanes. Friendship rules!