Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • A blank page can be daunting especially to a writer who might be going through a rough patch. But a blank canvas can be just as daunting to someone who returns to painting after a long break. It's hard just to get started. But as soon as you start it's often hard to stop.

    Recently I went back to painting.

    But I found a sheet of paper or canvas just too 'blank', so I played around with preparing the surface I was planning to work on. After many attempts - using all kinds of different materials - I came up with the idea of using strong cardboard - like the cardboard boxes computers are shipped in - and glueing part of an old shirt to the surface.

    Soon - a stitched seam, a breast pocket or a line of buttons would not only tell me where to start but where to go. In time I found that it was the shirt you loved the most - but was too worn to wear - that made the best painting.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.