Friday, February 24, 2012

worth a thousand words

Write what you know is the mantra for any wannabe writer, but in art, we are encouraged to draw and paint what we see, not what we know. My brain has been at odds over these seemingly opposing ideas, but I am realizing they are not so different after all. To do either requires an examination of the subject, and then the representation of it can be in words or pictures. Today's watercolor class had us practicing the various ways we could use painting techniques to portray moving water. The photograph of a tiered stone fountain whose top spire spewed forth foamy white stuff that sprayed onto the larger tiers beneath then splash landed in the pool surrounding the base was harder for me to paint than to tell about. However it was art class, so I had to attempt to describe it visually using the tools of color, shape, angle, value and shadowing, not only the intricate, lacy water but also the the fountain and pool. Furthermore I had to place it against a background that would artistically complement it. It would take a long time to read about the boring details of the scene, but a painting could be quickly observed and the idea transmitted. Either way requires a deeper look.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

God is Love

"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

I John 4: 10-11

Monday, February 13, 2012


A quote by Ruth Graham:

"You look at me and see my flaws; I look at you and see flaws, too. Those who love know love deserves a second glance; each failure serves another chance.
Love looks to see beyond the scars and flaws, the cause; and scars become an honorable badge of battles fought and won - or lost - but fought! The product, not the cost, is what love sought.
God help us see beyond the now to the before, and note with tenderness what lies between - and love the more!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Freud's Work

I have been slowly reading a book I have wanted to read for many years, Passions of the Mind, by Irving Stone, a biographical novel about Sigmund Freud. Stone researched Freud, his meticulous notes and correspondences for five years, and it reads quite true. I am not yet halfway through, but I am where Freud has determined that the cause of some physical problems is neurosis, i.e. coming from the mind, and is successfully treating patients with talk as well as hypnosis. 

Life experiences can be neutral, good or bad, but they all affect us. Freud seems to be among the first to have linked emotions caused by negative experiences with abnormalities in the body. “Hysterics suffer mainly from reminiscences,” his friend Breuer agreed. To treat these patients he often used hypnosis. In essence, he talked the patient to a place of mental ease so the patient could tell what repressed fearful or conflicting thing happened. Then Freud would tell them they were no longer having that experience and they could let go of the memory. Within a few visits most were cured. When I was a new nurse, we used hypnosis, and it is remarkable. Today is a different story, and because hypnosis was and still often is maligned, misused and misunderstood, I don't know who would dare to use it therapeutically. And unfortunately psychiatry seems to have declined to the point that it is all about pharmaceuticals. Freud's bio reminds me that some wisely used hypnosis could be beneficial to many people.

Friday, February 10, 2012


On Tuesday this week, I got into a car accident. Nothing major really. I barely felt the impact, am not injured at all, and neither is my car. The little bit of rubber on my VW’s rear panel from the bumper of the car that hit me must have easily come off in the car wash today.  But the other driver called a policeman, and after his evaluation, he charged me with the accident. I am not arguing it, but I am letting it make me feel pretty stupid. Yesterday the insurance man called and said the young man who was driving the other car is trying to claim some sort of injury. Impossible! Then I moved from feeling foolish to feeling mad. Frustrations and irritations that I get are almost always short-lived, almost gone as soon as they come. I really trust my God, the One who perceives my thoughts from afar and is intimately acquainted with all my ways, the One who sees my past, present, and future and knows what is best for me. I believe that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I also think it is just fine, and necessary, to take time to process emotional events (as this was to me), get the lesson from it, and then let it go.  After all, most things are beyond our control. I think I am ready to move on. Now all that is left is a court date! 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How much is enough?

The prez and his family rankled many Americans in December when we learned they were having a four million dollar holiday vacation. Now the presidential candidates are continuing to spend unbelievable sums to get votes just to be the party nominee. Congrats to the New York Giants, but what huge amounts of money go not only into the event but also those over the top commercials. Enormous spending, and for what? All this in a time when many Americans are deeply in debt, work hard and watch every penny, or live a paycheck away from homelessness. There is such a divide between those who have an extreme amount of money at their disposal and the working class.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quotations for President's Month

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
Abraham Lincoln

That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.
Abraham Lincoln

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we will be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington

To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.
George Washington

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.
George Washington

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Subject is Lily

Watercolor class is tomorrow, and it is Georgia O'Keefe day. How fun is that! We are to bring in a flower and try to emulate her style. In my mind, she was a sensual painter, and I didn't think that buttercups, the only thing flowering in my yard right now, would do. And though I love the pom and daisy like flowers, I wanted something more voluptuous, like a lily. I knew they were at Whole Foods. They caught my eye as soon as I walked in. So pretty! But I didn't need an entire thirteen dollar bunch, just one for an up close subject. I asked. Bless her heart, the salesgirl would let me pick out the one I wanted for just two dollars. I looked them over trying to choose, but something important was missing on all of them! Though the pistils looked healthy, the stamens were unnaturally pointed at the end. Barren. "The flower girl pinches them off because they are messy." Oh my...The lilies had all been castrated! Georgia would never have approved of that. Because of my artistic dilemma, she also threw in a stem of unopened and intact white lilies. I don't know what I will come up with in class tomorrow, but they made a pretty photograph today.