Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

theartofpatriciaallinghamcarlson

Happy Mother’s Day! Some truthful quotes- to me as a mother-

“When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”― Erma Bombeck

“Think for a minute, darling: in fairy tales it’s always the children who have the fine adventures. The mothers have to stay at home and wait for the children to fly in the window.”
Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
David C. Gross, Dictionary of 1000 Jewish Proverbs

“There’s no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”
Stephen King
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Becoming a mother changes exactly everything. Being a mother means you become the world for a little one, even as you lose your own world. It is…

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The Old Bridge

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The stream meandered through woods and fields, came to a place with gently sloping hills and lush growing greens. Life was abundant there, and was drawn to the place. Animals played, had their young, and birds nested in the tree limbs and hollows.

Storms brought flooding brown waters and dropped their silt on the bottom as the ages passed; the silt layers deepened and became shale layered with the many colors of the storms.

People came and found the place good; food was plentiful and the hills rose above the waters when they rose in flood, fish idled in them when they gently flowed. Transient camps with quickly erected shelters were perched on the hillside, fires glowed at night. Children and hunters, women gathering food crossed the place on the rocks above the waters.

The place by the stream took in the life, the energy, the light of the sun and the rage of the rain, and slowly became imbued with power.

Years passed and war came to the people who had settled there and to a nearby village where hats were made and sold to provide a living for the villagers. A huge conflict between two nations had risen in the affairs of man, and soldiers marched by with their weapons, camped by the stream to rest at night and on their way to battles. The village was the unhappy host of a grand conflict, and lives were lost, perhaps the stream took their blood into its flow.

The war  ended, the victors had their own rule and time passed on. New families came and built homes by the stream. A small house was completed atop the hill, and others joined it. The people of the small community sought the place to build a bridge to join the sides together so that they could pass over the waters on their daily pursuits.

They found the place where the stream gave a rare charge; the energy of the years had concentrated there and it felt special. The bridge was built, fine and sturdy and many passed over it in its time.

When the rain times came and the waters rose, they gathered on the bridge, umbrellas in hand, to see the rise of the waters, feel the energy of the floods charge through. Laughter and excitement from witnessing the drama of nature rang through the roar of the waters. Those who built too near the stream found the waters inside their home; the bridge was strong though and withstood the flood times.

Time passed, new families came, some houses were taken down and bigger ones on divided land were built. And the bridge was taken down. The new people did not know  of the energy, the special history of the place, nor did they cross the waters on their daily paths. The waters were now crossed by car on the service bridge of the road.

But the bridge has its memories, its own power that it has gathered, and it stays by the stream and dreams in sun, shadow and falling rain.

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I am a wheel ; are you one too?

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I am a wheel; I like to make things turn.I spin ideas. I love to affect change and movement. Set ideas and actions into motion, spin life forward and dream backward through time.

I can be  the horse who pulls the cart; I will work hard and persist with all my strength to move the cart forward. If needed I will bear the weight of many and much upon my back. This is the way that I am built, the way that I am.

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I am the cart. I will load up the carrying place, help you load up your things you need to journey with, and ask for help to load up mine. But I will carry my needs and yours whether you help on not. And I must move them all forward to be right for myself.

I am the harness- but may be an uncomfortable one at that! I tug  hard, can bind too tightly, and sometimes , most unfortunately, jab those I try to hold together. But I am a tenacious one; will hold on, as hard as I can, to unite together what I am able to unite. To to move the whole rig forward, horse, wheels and all toward better places.To the places where I see dreams coming to fruition, and adventures waiting, dreams to be realized.

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I am a wheel. I keep turning and turning.

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Thoughts on Art, a Sketchbook for my BFF

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blg6My friend, you have said you would like to study drawing and art when you retire.

How wonderful for you!

Art is a a living, loving, evolving  auto biography. What you draw reflects your life, your loves, your irritations and your very unique perspective of life.

Art releases your deepest feelings, expresses and helps resolve your problems, reveals your dreams.

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It creates a statement, saying I am here- I was here- I imagine this and I see this sight just this way.

Just as a writer overflows with words, a composer fills with song, and a dancer moves to express, an artist creates and shows and meanders through her medium to the rhythm of her soul.

I encourage you to daydream and doodle with a pencil in your hand. Practice and seek and learn to show what you alone want to show. Draw and draw and sketch as much as you can, and when you hit a wall in your need to express, do research from teachers and from all the beautiful creations you can find to see.

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Develop an aspiration and practice toward it.

Challenge yourself to try new things.

Add some colors, a marker pen, a watercolor brush to your expressions.

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Surely you will find some things you enjoy in art that you will feel good about, and are good at.

And know that you have a lifetime of free lessons and information from me, your twin sister from different mothers, waiting for you to utilize when you wish.

Take your sketchbook camping, take it to work. Leave it by the phone call center, take it to a place where you have to wait.And draw, draw, draw-

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Once you have taken off, the more you will seek this fine form of self expression; may it lead you to a journey of enhanced self discovery, and personal celebration of your beautiful self!

How to Encourage a Teen aged Artist

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I heard a tale from a 16 year old art student recently, and it disturbed me. He said he’d brought an artwork of his to class to show his art teacher at school. The teacher gave him very little reaction; nothing negative nor positive. Just the barest acknowledgement that he’d shown her his work.

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I asked how this made him feel, and he said ,causally, not so great.

What he did not say- it hurt him badly. He had created a work that he was proud enough to expose himself to an adult opinion. This made him extremely vulnerable; a turtle out of his shell. The teacher’s lack of response was like a harsh wakening. It said you are not a good artist. You stink. And many other things the teen made up to himself.

This is not what you want to do when a child shows you his creations. Absolutely wrong.

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This age of a person generally holds a secret self, one guarded carefully to not appear unacceptable and “normal” to others his age. Talents and intelligence are sometimes covered up just so as not to stand out. But the secret self dreams of being successful and fitting into an adult world someday because of those talents and dreams.

Teachers, parents, trusted adult friends all have a duty, an obligation to support those dreams. To uphold the hidden secret talents and support the talents as they emerge. If the adult is too busy at that moment, he should say so to the teen. And to state that he is very interested, could he see later? After class or other time? And follow through.

If the trusted adult is indifferent to the very vulnerable teen, it can have devastating consequences to the child. A more confident child can fall back on his own core; while the most fragile can just give up on a dream as a result.

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But what if the presented work of the teen, is apparently of poor quality? Find something in it good. A thought, a line, a color combination. An original aspect, an interesting point- find it and tell the teen.Then give him some ideas to improve the work. And thank him for showing you.

I believe this is a more general position as well. A talented dancer, an invention presented with some thought and planning, a technical skill or handcrafted item, a story or poem; all deserve the attention of the trusted adult they are divulged to.

Across the ages as well- a young adult or an older one learning a new skill both deserve attention for their aspirations when presented to an instructor. Opening yourself up to scrutiny for an other is always a difficult position to place yourself in, and consideration is a kindness that is much needed.

 

Putting yourself in the position of a teacher or mentor brings this responsibility. And that is that.

 

Art Experiments with Watercolor and Sand.

Watercolor and …Sand!

theartofpatriciaallinghamcarlson

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Sometimes I am brimming with ideas for artworks I want to paint. Often I am not. In our busy lives we don’t even have the time to create, express the ideas swimming around in our heads when we have them; how frustrating to have the time to create and no ideas to work with!

On such days I just haul out a variety of materials and experiment.

On this day I decided to try sand, water and paint. I don’t know where that idea came from, but I enjoy creating new textures to paint on, and wondered what these materials could do.

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Outside I dumped sand onto paper, wet it, drew in it with my finger, then dropped concentrated watercolor paint onto it. Then I let it dry, and brushed off the sand.

(By the way, I kept the colored sand for another future experiment!)

That was really…

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I Paint

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I paint.

I paint for hope, I paint for fear.

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I paint to seek my truth.

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I hope I paint when very old, I started in my youth.

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I paint to mourn, I paint to play

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to celebrate good news.

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I paint in rainbows colorful, I paint in mainly blues.

 


I paint to see, I paint to feel,

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I paint to comprehend

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When I get some time to paint I don’t want it to end.

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I paint.

That Sucks.

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Vulgar! When this expression first became mainstream in our area I was appalled. A little boy was over our home on a play date with my son, and had just exclaimed that he sucked at basketball. I prissily told him we do NOT use that expression at our house. Ok, he said cheerfully, I stink at basketball.

The term did become very commonly used over the years, and my prudish nature gradually became enured to it.

Recently I began to use it myself. Because sometimes it is so appropriate.

 

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I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

Life deals some harsh blows sometimes. Frightening things, bad things, depressing events, losses, failures. We have no say, no control over many such events; our only recourse is prayer and positive attitudes. And maintaining a positive attitude is hard too. So sometimes you just want to say- That sucks!

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You can’t run away from trouble. There ain’t no place that far. ~Uncle Remus

We all turn to pressure release outlets at such times; exercise, meditation, faith, or for artists, art expression. If you are an artist you probably drew some mighty sad and angry weirdo doodles as a high school student, right? Because the turbulence of adolescence often made life suck.

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As an adult I have often felt the need to express my negative or sad emotions and thoughts in my paintings. Even as I paint out the sorrow, I process my feelings and resolve my future actions. It helps.

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A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown.

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A problem is a chance for you to do your best. ~Duke Ellington

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So if something happens to you that sucks- I am sorry. I offer my support; we have all been there. If something happens to your friend/loved one that sucks- give them your love, your help, and be there to listen. Even when they aren’t talking. If you pray, do so for them, for yourself to have the strength to get through. Pray for the world- it needs it.

And have faith that it will Get Better.

This too shall pass.

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Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden

 

 

A Red Rose for Mother’s Day

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Long time ago I was a new mother to a wonderful baby girl. It had taken me some time, but I was finally getting the hang of it, starting to feel like I was getting pretty good at the mother thing. Mother’s Day came along for the first time for me as a mother- and no one acknowledged my great feat.

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Hubby was working hard just to keep us in our home; he did not even think of helping baby to give me a token gift. His thinking- you’re not my mother. Other family members were far too busy with their own young children. My own mother was busy taking in her own motherly accolades. So I went off to the grocery store to make my weekly food purchases feeling very sad and sorry for myself. At the exit with my full shopping cart stood the store manager. He had a big bouquet of red roses in his arms, and was stopping each woman as she left the store.

Are you a mother?,he asked. My nod gained me a beautiful red rose and a Happy Mother’s Day. Tears poured down my face. And I smiled the whole way to my car.

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Mothers greatest reward is the intense love they are granted for their child. This love is of a unique nature- it is passionate and fierce. It aches and fills your heart to bursting. It gives and forgives, and hopes forever.

Mothers work very hard to care for their children. To provide for them and give them opportunities for success. To introduce them to the world of wonder, even as they try to shield them from it, protect them from all harm. They sacrifice their time, their sleep, their down time, their careers, their all for their children. And this goes on for years and years.

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Do we mess up? You bet we do. Mothers are human beings, capable of making every mistake there is to make. My mom made mistakes, I did too. But you can count on one thing for sure- the lady is trying her best to be the best mother she can be. So if the love is there, the child will just have to work it out as we all must as adults. So it goes.

This year I bought three bouquets of roses at the local store, and gave them out to all the mothers who came my way. Happy Mother’s day I told each lady, and they all said it back to me.

And if you are a mother too- I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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Why be an Artist?

My Truths as an Artist~

theartofpatriciaallinghamcarlson

Why does someone become an artist/writer/musician/actor/dancer, etc…?

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1. It is easy

Yes, indeed, it is sometimes the easiest work of all! At such times the art flows almost without thought from the mind and spirit outward to the paper, canvas, piano, keyboard. But this is after years of training, years of practice and work.

Those years can be full of joy, but will almost certainly hold fear and insecurity, self doubt or even self loathing. Because the standard for the artist is set by himself.

Viewers may tell him his work is awesome or poor, but he is the one who knows when it is right. And we can be our own harshest critics.

2. It is fun

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Yes, it is fun! Sometimes. As a visual artist my senses delight in the color and texture I work with. It is such fun to use my imagination to think up new…

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