Painting Word Pictures


12/29/2009 - 1/1/2010 Art Journal: Body, Paint...Image by juliejordanscott via Flickr



Ever notice how kids have no problem painting word pictures?  They may not know what the word is they should use, but they come up with great synonyms, just the same.
 
Here are a few examples of word pictures from my past as a mother and teacher...
 
Thumb hat
Mom uses her thumb hat when she sews.
 
Foot mitties
I hope I get new foot mitties; my old ones don't fit.
 
Wing pits
That bird on the rocks looks like he is airing out his wing pits.
 
day-nighty
Can we stay out till it gets day-nighty?  It's still not dark.
 
(At the end, I will give you the synonyms to these words.)
 
I bet, even without looking at the end of the article, you will be able to tell what the words are, right? The word pictures that kids create usually are right on the money.

As a writer, I often find myself stumbling for alternative words that will create interesting text.  Often, I've felt that the limitations of English are great; however, when I think with my poetic mind, creating word pictures becomes as simple as blanket hugs on a cold day.

Cat in a blanketImage by dolescum via Flickr

During this past month, I have painted many word pictures as I participated in the Poem-a-day challenge.  What fun to wake early each morning, challenging myself to create a poem before doing anything else. In addition, I have been teaching an online writing course with opportunities to read the beautiful work of others accomplished in the art of painting word pictures.

But you don't have to be a poet or a writer to create word pictures.  

A few weeks ago, I got a note from my cousin relating that he was celebrating "fakesgiving" at my aunt's home.  One of my other cousins was coming the week before the traditional November holiday, so the family decided to have a thanksgiving feast while she was home.  Viola! "Fakesgiving Day!"
 
Then, today, as I visited my Facebook page, I found another word picture. This one was created by my daughter; it said it all - "addietude."  The word accompanied a picture of my oldest granddaughter giving her mother "a look" because she didn't want to have her picture taken before school.  Our dear Addie, at just 5 years old has a great deal of attitude!  

As the days tumble into winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, try creating your own word pictures of the winter season.  For those of you basking in the delights of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, try making word pictures that capture the glow and  warmth of the summer months.

As promised, here are the synonyms of the word pictures from the beginning of the article.


Thumb hat = Thimble
Mom uses her thumb hat when she sews.
 
Foot mitties = slippers
I hope I get new foot mitties; my old ones don't fit.
 
Wing pits = no synonym for this, but it is the area directly under the bird's wings
That bird on the rocks looks like he is airing out his wing pits.
 
day-nighty = dusk
Can we stay out till it gets day-nighty?  It's still not dark.

Enjoy the challenge of creating word pictures with abandon!

 
 Namast√©!


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