Archive for August 9th, 2018


Junco’s Nest

August 9, 2018

Influenced by Maine artists

While growing up Anya Tuton spent every summer in Maine with her grandparents. This week she returns to read and sign her first children’s book, Junco’s Nest, at Owl and Turtle bookstore in Camden, Sunday, August 12, 2:00 p.m.

Anya has volunteered extensively in schools and the story came to her while talking to children about teasing. The teasing had resulted in one boy concluding that “I can’t draw”.  This broke Anya’s heart as drawing has always been such an important practice for her, and further because the uninhibited art of children (and art brut!) is some of her most favorite.

back cover

Anya says: “We lose so much when we disrespect another’s creative process and creative view. I made this story with the intention of touching the hearts of those who doubt their creative selves, helping them to know that staying true to their work while respecting others is a path worth taking.”

Anya has a special place in her heart for Maine and much of her inspiration comes from our state – the sea, and the air, and the land itself. Also the artists that she grew up with including Dennie Deitz, Stell and Shevis, Blackie Langly, Siri Beckman, Bill Thon and more. “They were like lampposts for me before I even knew it.”
In Anya’s words
“It has been such a pleasure, and an out breath to bring this work from inside of my head and studio, into the world of people!
I’ve had SO MANY INCREDIBLE teachers, both in the classroom setting and outside of it. I have been very very fortunate in this way. They have taught me to not be afraid of messes and mistakes, to try, and work hard, to be disciplined but to allow the work to evolve as it wants to. They have taught me that there is tremendous value in seeing from another’s perspective and that this is truly one of the greatest gifts of art and art making. They have taught me that art making is a journey and a practice and can be a beautiful social act. We are human! Art is in us!
I have always loved books and am loving making them. I enjoy the layers of meaning that
illustration can add to text and vice versa.
I chose birds as my protagonists because the children were drawing birds, but also because birds are like ideas- hard to grasp, elusive, beautiful and squawking at the same time. They inhabit a space that we can’t always access. The act of making the nest- of bringing the idea to the ground, actually materializing it, that is the work of the creative.  it is a diligent process and calls for support not unkind criticism.
This story is dedicated to teachers. I am so thankful to them for their work, for nurturing and guiding generations of individuals into a healthy future. Their heartfelt, thoughtful work is really a gift to all of us. As said, initially the story was written for that kindergarden class, but really it is for everyone. We all have to come to terms with how our
creative selves meet the world at one point and/or another.”
Thanks Anya for contributing to the Maine Arts Education blog.
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