Author notes

SIX HANDS AND THE ART OF FOLLOWING YOUR BRUSH

 

When I paint
I put a blob of raw umber on my palette
and start drawing on the canvas.
I don’t stop to think about what I’m doing
I go wherever my paintbrush takes me.
Often it leads me into difficult territory..
Not away from it.
Hands are hard,
yet the creature that ended up on my canvas
has six of them.
So I struggle.
I fight.
I am committed to the end.
Dedicated to the direction of my gift
and the heart that guides me..
I will never give up.
Don’t avoid the hard stuff.
That’s how you grow.

Excerpt from Painting, Passion and the Art of Life by Michele Bledsoe

PENCIL DRAWINGS AND THE ART OF PERSONAL MAIL (PART 2)

 

Another piece of illustrated personal mail

I sent to Richard while we were dating.

It has been a long time

since I’ve seen these drawings..

I was pleasantly surprised

to find my dog’s missing leg

under the sea

with the fish sticks

and goldfish crackers.

 

ATROPHY, PAINTING AND THE ART OF BEING UNLEASHED

I didn’t paint much

while I was working on my book.

But now..

I am unleashed.

I painted and painted

and painted.

 

That night..

my hand hurt like crazy.

Muscles aching from disuse;

I smiled to myself

in the dark.

 

All I could think about

was more painting.

 

 

 

 

Self-Quarantine and the Art of Being Productive

Being an introvert,

I am no stranger to social distancing.

That is an understatement.

Nevertheless,

Time is a gift..

and I have embraced this unexpected period of self-quarantine

with wild enthusiasm.

After years of false starts

self-sabotage

doubt, distraction

and failure..

my new book is about to be published.

Now, onto the next project..

 

 

Enthusiasm and the Art of Losing Your Mind

Work in progress, by Michele Bledsoe

 

It is rare when I introduce something new

to my beloved palette of colors…

That is an understatement.

 

But when I returned to my easel

after finally finishing my new book..

it appears that I have wondrously

and joyfully

lost my mind.

 

Without hesitation

I started gathering strange tubes of paint

one after another..

 

And as I fearlessly applied these alien pigments

to my work in progress,

I understood the true meaning of enthusiasm:

To be possessed by God.

 

Cerulean Blue, Sap Green, Yellow Oxide… I had to write them down so I wouldn’t forget.

The Resurrection of Gilly Bagoon and the Art of Keeping Promises

Gilly and Church relaxing at home.. circa 1986

Many years ago, my sister Patricia fell in love with a feral cat and named him Gilly Bagoon. She desperately wanted Gilly to come live in the house with us, but we already had a cat.

Ironically, his name was Church – after the resurrected cat from Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Church was a handful. Crazy… and a biter. He used to climb my youngest sister like a tree – leaving gouges and scratches all over her legs and arms. She was covered in band-aids for most of her childhood.

Suffice it to say, my father did not want to bring another cat into the house. But Patricia was relentless. She was certain Gilly would get hit by a car and die.. and she fearfully explained this to my father every single night when he came home from work. This went on for some time.

My sisters were visiting their grandparents when the prophecy was fulfilled. Gilly Bagoon had been hit by a car and died. My father was beside himself.

He explained how he heard a car screech outside and KNEW immediately what had occurred. The poor young lady driving was horrified.. crying as she and my father examined Gilly’s limp body lying in the road. Too miserable and stunned to react, my father said nothing as the girl scooped Gilly up and drove off.

He readied himself for the wrath of my sister and the inevitable “I told you so!” he deserved and was prepared to endure for the rest of his life.

It was so sad. Poor Gilly. Patricia was heartbroken, inconsolable. Over and over she asked my father a single obsessive question.. demanding his response again and again:

“If Gilly was alive, could he live in the house?!?”

“Yes! Yes!” My father replied. “Of course he could!”

And life went on.

MANY MONTHS LATER…

I was doing laundry in the garage with the door wide open when a car pulled into the driveway. A young lady stepped out carrying something wrapped in a green towel. Unaware of what was coming, I walked out to meet her… and stopped dead in my tracks.

The girl was speaking.. I saw her mouth moving but I didn’t hear a word she said. Sure enough, the thing in the towel was Gilly Bagoon. I stared in shock as the girl set him down on the floor of the garage. I noticed that Gilly’s head had an odd tilt to the left as he limped slowly toward me.

The girl kept speaking. Something about injuries and inner ear damage..? I think I managed to thank her before she left.

After the initial shock, my thoughts went immediately to Patricia. We brought Gilly with us when we picked her up from school. It was a magnificent reunion.. and when we got home Patricia scooped Gilly under her arm and marched into the house without hesitation.

And then I remembered my father! I had to warn him of what was waiting for him when he got home! This was long before the age of cellphones, so I desperately tried to reach him at work before he left.

It was too late.

When I heard my father pull up in the driveway I ran to the door to intercept him, but Patricia was faster.

My father opened the door to my sister standing triumphantly in front of him with Gilly in her arms.

“GILLY’S ALIVE NOW!” she declared, “YOU SAID HE COULD LIVE IN THE HOUSE!”

My poor father.

Somehow, he managed to say the words:

“Yes. Yes, of course he can.”

Promises kept.

 

 

 

 

Negative Space and the Art of Being Yourself

 

The Church of Instinct, As Above So Below and From the Old House by Michele Bledsoe

Just as the negative space

around an object

will define its shape..

You can tell a lot about a person

by what they like.

These things reveal something about us..

 

But art is different.

 

More than just a human-shaped outline

formed by the things we respond to..

When you create art

it IS you.

 

 

Remodern America and the Art of Divine Intervention

 

My husband Richard’s book is now available on Amazon.

Remodern America is educational, entertaining and inspiring..

Almost equally inspiring is the story behind the book.

It is an epic tale of detached retinas,

aquariums

and divine intervention..

but most of all,

it is a love story.

 

Migraines and the Art of Pain

The Jail Tree by Michele Bledsoe

 

Excruciating headache

since 2:00 am

curled up

hand clamped over my eye

to keep it from

popping out of my skull

beneath the unyielding pressure.

It went on and on

for hours and hours

coming in terrible waves..

 

When relief came

I was bursting with gratitude..

how wonderful it is

when pain stops.

So I ran to my easel

and painted and painted

with such great joy..

 

The headache did not return..

banished like a demon

in the light of God’s gift.