Swimming in Words

I have always loved words.  As a kid, I loved to just flip the dictionary open to a random page and read all of the words, their definitions, and the etymology.  I was fascinated about why each word was chosen to represent what it did, why some words had so many different meanings, and just the sound of different words.  I used to enjoy the challenge of trying to deploy more obscure or at least unusual words into conversations.  In doing so, I increased my vocabulary.  Years later, as a High School English teacher, I used to encourage my students to do the same thing when they had idle time.  I have never lost my love for words and my enjoyment of the richness of the English language with all its mongrel origins.

Therefore, I knew I was in a tricky spot when this week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to incorporate a word and its definition in an art journal page.  Impossible!  How on earth could I ever choose a single, solitary word?  By the time I actually had some free time for art, I had arrived at my solution: I was not going to visually represent one word; I was going to visually represent my love of all words.  I, therefore, covered an art journal page in dictionary pages (from a discarded, library reject dictionary, worry ye not) and then drew my doodle version of me swimming among the words, an endless sea of vocabulary for me to explore, float through and enjoy.

12 - Swimming in Words - Art Journal Page

15 thoughts on “Swimming in Words

  1. Laura – this is so much fun, the character of yourself is fabulous. And, I’m glad you used B&W as your color choice, just the right amount of fanfare for our words. I too, enjoy reading the dictionary!

  2. I can relate! As a child I discovered the Readers Digest ‘Word of the Day’ and would copy them out onto a piece of paper and practise using the word wherever I could. I read voraciously and consulted the dictionary
    for meanings as required. As a result, I often mispronounced words for years as I never heard them spoken by any one else – but my vocabulary grew. Swimming happily amongst words is a fabulous way of picturing that love!

  3. Great idea! I loved learning new words as a child too, and then writing stories to include them. I remember using “equipment” that way when I was about 7, not sure why I found it such a fascinating word!

  4. What a delight!! And I share your fascination with words too!! I remember learning the word “vacuum” – and loving the double-u’s in the spelling and that if you described verbally the spelling “vee aay double-u mmm” it ended up being “vawm”. Okay, so that doesn’t make much sense now – but to my 8 year old self it was delightfully funny. Lol!

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