Quote of The Day

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Paint Party Friday Silent Victims

Digital Color Edits

Frida  Kahlo
Loads of online  discussion this week about Mental illness.  A conversation long overdue. However, I'd hoped for a  more balanced discussion, instead it's been confession overload. Not included are the silent victims! Friends, family and co-workers contending with an affected person. The ramification and dark side of the illness has been evaded!

Wip...quite suitable for this post though
When a   high profile tragedy occurs, or a Movie star is exposed, the illness is headlined!  Yet we rarely hear from parents, spouses or siblings about  preceding behavior.  They're silent with fear of reprisal. No one wants to be on the "naughty list" of a mentally unstable person! 
" Is this what normal feels like?" a friend once said after a stint of medication during a short bout of depression. I was oblivious to the severity of my friends depression.  Not everyone goes off the rails with mental illness, some manage very well without affecting others!

  Whether it's a mood, Psychotic disorder, impulse control, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, eating or personality disorder at times it can be so debilitating with a trickle down affect on families!  Not all disorders make people unstable, but when they do it can have devastating affects on  friends and family! As we all saw last week when a revered man sadly decided to exit the world without warning.

We often hear about the derelict with mental illness, not the functioning family member or quiet coworker with off beat behavior humour. Many amazing fun people draw you into their world with no indication they suffer any disorders. They shine with wonderful creative gifts, able to accomplish the extraordinary. However the downside  can equal the upside. Those dips can be so scary and unpredictable to the observer.  Much like addiction there can be multiple facets of mood. Be wary if you tick them off, I assure you there WILL be consequences! Not  the " Let me buy you an ice-cream and we'll  talk calmly about this!" either. It's more likely to be, "Get in my car and watch me drive really fast and scary as I persuade you to see things my way!"
  Many people function unaware they're ill. A family member can go years without  suspecting  their partner has a mental illness, even though  something feels strangely off!!  I've seen families constantly appease a member who terrorizes the family if they don't get their own way. Much like addiction you can't predict when bad behavior will arise or who will be affected.
Original done in Acrylic!
The  Manic side of a bipolar person can be so incredibly attractive and alluring. You can't help but adore them, their grandiose ideas, sense of adventure and bravado! How does a child, a parent, or a sibling deal with the ugly down side of a loved ones disorder? I have been wondering this for years.
Years ago a highly medicated schizophrenic coworker fell in love with me. He was on  the maximum  medication you could take and still function!! We  worked intimately  during  late shifts. He'd say and do bazaar things that totally scared me. His wife left, but said he was  a  phenomenal man before his illness. One can only imagine how difficult it was for that family living with an almost complete stranger. It's not just about someone who's unwell, it's about loved ones living with them too!
Credit goes to Cupcake for this amazing flower. Taken at Coal Harbour in Vancouver B.C.
  How do we have a fair conversation about mental illness without offending anyone?  How do people cope with the one person who tends to wreak havoc in a family. Do they hold them accountable for their actions,  do they avoid them,  stand up to them, do they set strict boundaries or do they  continue to appease them?  How does one endure a loved one when they can't divorce them? Do you have special coping skills  for someone you love? What's a safe solution?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Intuition and Crazy Dresses Paint Party Friday!

Blotch Dress made of residual paint blotted off another painting!
By nature I'm generally even tempered and flexible.  In my fifty eight years I  remember only feeling the heat of my temper flare a few times. At fifteen when  mother and her sister attacked me with unjustified criticism while drinking wine. I verbally defended myself, then left the house. The frenetic thirty minute walk to my boyfriends place in the dark literally  felt like seconds! The ire felt unfamiliar and replaced my usual bruised feelings.  It wasn't  the first time they bullied me and wouldn't be the last. In retrospect it's understandable that I finally snapped!
Crazy "Head Dress"
Then at  forty when my daughters dad accused her of lying to cover up his own deceit. I became Infuriated knowing  he'd  tampered with her intuition.  Something I had carefully honed for years. I was privy to the truth and my insides burst into flames as I finally took a stand for myself and my daughters integrity! 
Crazy Dress " Eyes on you"
The intuition I nurtured in my daughter has kept her safe over the years. It enables her to read people well! To accurately  size up a new girl at eight who I  kept encouraging her to befriend who would later steal her pencil collection. To knowing the lady she smiled at the other day might be a bit off, long before she started screaming obscenities at her for no reason! As a teen her body would react to those instances that were unsafe. To this day her husband heeds her intuition immediately knowing she is rarely wrong. It's near impossible to keep a secret from her.   She guessed her pink boots one Birthday when we painstakingly attempted to dissuade her intuition by secretly facing a snow storm she knew I'd never attempt.   The only surprise that year,  was where they were hidden! 

From the time she was little I asked lots of questions. Often surprised at her blunt truthful answers. Telling me which dads were mean when moms weren't around to which ones were kinder than they appeared! Her answers  were telling and somewhat of a precursor to dramas that  manifested later. She's always made good choices and I like to think her intuition is an impeccable  predictor!  

If she  surmises somethings off when meeting someone new, it's not long before it's proven correct! Innately she knows and has always drawn good people to her side!  For generation the woman on my maternal side have had amazing intuition, yet Cupcake trumps us all! It's her guide and has been her whole life! Has she been hurt by people?  Absolutely devastated by a few.. her intuition warns her not to let it happen again! 

As a shy child I never forced her out of her comfort zone by making her hug people just because they visited our home. From early childhood I constantly asked her how she felt about many issues. Often surprised by her mature and candid answers. I was open and honest with her and told her I'd never lie to her except on special occasions when I needed to keep presents secret! Eventually she came out of her shell. As an adult she's very friendly yet a great listener!

Over the years I've observed people  totally ignore their intuition when it came to partners and children. How about you, have you let your intuition guide you in the right direction? Or do you prefer to ignore it?

Friday, August 08, 2014

Paint Party Friday " Creative Ideas"

Where wonderful artists gather weekly to share their progress!

Mixed Media Crazy Dress for Mix it monthly I always forget to use the right colors!

How many people do you know who can compose two posts, a birthday card, bathe, AND dye their hair all at the same time? In twenty minutes no less! I amazed myself! However I have to thank  and  credit  my darling muse who I'm sure resides in that tub of purpley water!

Digital color edit
I love bathing, and since I was seeing the hairdresser the next day I figured I needed to cover up a few nasty roots. Who knew my muse would decided to splish splash while I was having a bath!! Glad she did! To think I had two books at arms length, ready to stave off boredom in the twenty five minutes it takes to process my hair.  I may just be a  legend in my own mind with all these wonderful thoughts  flooding in like a gusher!! Thankfully my brain can still hold it all. Luckily I was able to quickly get it down too.
Digital color edit
I hate those middle of the night creative moments when you're too tired to amble to a computer to get those new ideas down, and by morning they've flitted away! I heard a musician say  creative ideas fly by,  if you don't catch them right away and put them to good use they find another soul to attach too! So many of my creative ideas have vanished before they had a chance to manifest! 
Digital color edit

Once in the eighties I stopped by the roadside to quickly jot down a  poem that came flooding in. Not long after that  I got a  small hand held tape recorder as a gift to verbally save my ideas. Now  smart phones are ever so useful for capturing quick thoughts although I've yet to use mine for that!

I try to write most of my creative thoughts down, however it's rare that I reference them. It's really best if I  build on them immediately or  soon after they appear! I've heard people say the pounding of the water  in the shower is a great conduit to their creative ideas!
This was the first layer of my  wip canvas...
How about you, when  and how do your creative ideas flood in?
What do you do with them?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Paint Party Friday "A good trade off"

Thank you so much for all your 
generous comments last week!
Eighteen years ago today, after a twenty three year marriage, in a pivotal  moment, a switch went off and my union was over!  It was an ugly ending, lasting almost two years, but I've never looked back, or had a desire to be married again! 
 Wip. First layer of a new canvas.
I gave up a fiscal security for the unknown. I won't lie, it was scary! It was  a struggle being a single mom but I was fortunate to have a child that never gave me a lick of trouble. Best of all I was a good example of peace in my child's life which she's  carried into her own loving marriage!
Color edits before the second layer! Wip
There was envy of my solo life. But everything is a trade off!! My dream home was sold, and I moved to a place of my own that I love, where I could put holes in the walls without a partners scrutiny. I could use color without judgement, and the remote control was mine, all mine!! Of course I shared with Cupcake!

Digital color edit wip   
 Things broke down, we did without, but there was always peace, something I really missed as a child! Instead of arguments, there was negotiation. I often felt the world on my shoulders, nothing a dinner with girlfriends couldn't resolve. Friends were incredibly supportive and generous in my most difficult days! To this day I feel so grateful for their love!  
 As time passed and Cupcake grew up, the joy of being single could not be matched. It's become a way of life I treasure! I discovered sides of myself I never knew existed!!  I fell in love with freedom and creativity!
Before.... jewelry box revamp!
 After ...Revamped Jewelry Box
Today Cupcake brought me home my first  toasted coconut frappe of the season from Starbucks!   A rare treat to celebrate eighteen revered years of freedom!
Have you ever done anything you were terrified
 to do but eventually realized it was so worth it?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Paint Party Friday " Rise Up!"

 Paint Party Friday
Thank you Kirstin and Eva for featuring me this week.
It was a thrilling surprise! 

 I was always a vigilant parent warning with a whispered "Weirdo alert!" Educating my child in a non scary way of impending dangers in our midst! I watched for predators and encouraged my cupcake  to heed her intuition too!! It  gave her the ability to travel alone for business all over the country and overseas! 

Being a large breasted child, and I say child, because I was fully developed at nine!! I was a target for male predators. A very old extended family member attempted to molest me at ten. Even though I told on him, his wife died not knowing!


A male teacher kept pestering me to join his cross country running team. He gave me the "no-no" feeling. Later I found out I was right to feel as I had!

 A dentist fiddled with his apparatus on my chest in an attempt to fondle my eleven year old blooms. It was not my imagination, he moved it around too many times.  My insides were screaming no! Next time I brought my little brother and he asked why. I told him my mom sent him! I can only imagine what he had in store for me that time! I still wonder why mom sent me back in the first place!
I was twelve when an eighteen year old brother of a  friend offered to introduce me to things beyond my ken! I queried my dad hoping to understand what the boy meant. Dad originally explained the facts of life, so I felt safe to ask him anything. Even my forthright father was too embarrassed to answer my question. He told me    to come back in a few years he would explain it then!
 My Aunts married neighbor, a person she often traveled and socialized with held me too close as we danced at a house party. What stood between us was not fit for a thirteen year old. I was pretty disgusted!  I later found out he was known to  hang poolside ogling all the young girls!

 It's not usually stranger danger! It's always weirdo alert...and they can be and mostly are, people we know! Most people are naive to the predators in their midst! 
My immediate family believed me, other relatives didn't understand my ire!
I've had a boss who hugged all the women, groped a few and watched our rears as we bent over! The women were afraid to say anything, knowing life would be miserable if they did. When it happened to me I was afraid to tell my bad tempered partner!
It happens everywhere...at work, in schools, at relatives, in churches, at home, during sleepovers, in camps, by people you would never imagine...  The one thing we rarely know about people are their bedroom habits!
  It's an expensive mistake to be naive when it comes to our children! Rise and educate children! Forewarned is forearmed! It kept my child safe and I hope Cupcake is vigilant with her children!

As I created this post I couldn't help but wonder 
why I was such a victim at such a young age!
Have you ever  had that No-No feeling about a person that people would never suspect?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Paint Party Friday " The Heat of the Night"

 We're  in a pretty sick heat wave here in British Columbia, with a total fire ban everywhere!   I am not a heat baby and haven't been one since I was a teen when days were spent at the beach swimming! Nights we slept outside on the veranda, where a large mattress  was fixed through the heat of summer. 
 Sleep overs were such fun, as was sneaking out in the middle of night to meet up with boys.  Such excitement ducking behind bushes as the sun came up. Hiding from adults we feared might see us and report back to our parents! How we figured out the hook up without cell phones is beyond me....but we always did!! Parents were none the wiser back then!
 Back to reality, old age, and leaving a tub full of water to dunk into at three AM the middle of the night....cooling down enough to fall back to sleep until nature again calls! Oh how times have changed!
 We are slower and quieter these days. Most of the  talking happens in my head or on the page. We sit in the dark lately, just to avoid the heat of the lights. No worries though, rain is around the corner. Then again.... heat.....ho hum....
  This is a wonderful video of legal graffiti in Brazil, done for a great cause!

 I have been playing with mixed media. Revamping hair, features and clothing on catalogue pages. It's been total bliss creating these pieces even in the heat! They are inspired by  "The Daily Painter" Katherine Jeanne Woods whom I deeply admire!

This week I  wonder if Beardo and Cupcake are enjoying the music festival they're  attending,  even though it's one of the hottest  places  in the province!

 I dream of a world without violence towards others! Especially this week, where spousal abuse has left one woman in critical condition  and the other  dead within days of each other.
Recently I worry about all the  forest fires in our province, especially with my kids being in a hot mountain village!
 I hope I eventually develop my style to a place where I actually love it!
 How about you? What's your naughty childhood memory? What do you #1 Wonder about, #2 Dream about #3 Worry about #4 Hope for at the moment!
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