Judy Madsen Johnson, author
   Judy Madsen Johnson, author

Joy Cometh In The Morning: The Joy Postle Blackstone Story

Published by  iUniverse .

Click the cover to read a sample

Joy Postle Blackstone was best known for her vivid murals, often depicting the jubilant wading birds of Florida. When she died in 1989, the world lost a wonderful artist … but Joy was much more than a painter. Joy’s father died when she was only three; her childhood was spent nurtured by her mother and brother, until she began her career at the Chicago Art Institute.


After graduation, her life changed, as she and her family moved to rural Idaho to live on the family homestead. There, she met her husband, Bob, and so began their three-year honeymoon, in the midst of the Great Depression. Joy painted and Bob promoted. They lived a vagabond life. They eventually settled in Florida, where Joy made friends with the birds who would make her murals legend.


Joy Cometh in the Morning traces an artist’s life from 1896 through to her death in 1989. Joy Postle Blackstone harbored the psychological scars of abortion, infidelity, childlessness, death, and the eventual limitations of advanced age; yet, as the Bible says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Through feast or famine, hope or despair, Joy persevered, and she did it with a smile.




Introduction, the night of Joy’s birth, January 20, 1896: "It seemed a bittersweet fate that Mary would cradle a new life in her arms while mourning her other babies. All were concerned for her state of mind. How many more tears could she shed and still hang on to her sanity? Until the final push, Mary was still in turmoil, and then suddenly amidst her prayers, the emotional struggle dispelled. Mary bravely set her face to the future and accepted the present with hope. She remembered a special Scripture, memorized many years before. When the happy tears of childbirth subsided, she recited the Old Testament promise, 'Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning,' (Psalm 30:5, KJV)."


The first chapter begins: "Lying here in this hospital bed at West Orange Manor with a triple hip fracture, I've been organizing in my mind all the projects I still have ahead of me...painting murals on the stark white walls of the courtyard for one. It would liven things up hereabouts. These residents of which I am temporarily one, could feast their eyes on images of Florida's exotic water fowl and not feel so penned in. I’m over ninety years of age, and the staff has put me through all their incompetency tests. Who do they think they're fooling? They still haven't proved I'm senile. All my family has now passed, and I have no one to survive me except those who adopt me by holding onto my cherished memories. You will, won't you?"


Painted in 1982 when Joy was 86 years old.
Judy Madsen Johnson

The Author

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