act of kindness

Lost Dolls and the Art of Perserverance

“Lost and Found Again” by Michele Bledsoe

 

The floppy yellow doll in the lower left corner of this painting is Beth..

my sister’s beloved childhood doll.

Many years ago,

in a moment of carelessness

Beth was lost

and my sister was filled with regret.

It broke my heart.

 

For over 20 years, I have relentlessly searched for Beth.

Antique stores, yard sales

and endless, insomnia-fueled internet searches.

A noble quest

to reunite my sister with her beloved doll.

 

Recently, my doll-hunting obsession

came up in conversation.

My sister remembered me telling her about it

10 years ago.

She was touched that after all this time

I had not given up.

 

I told her I would look for Beth

for the rest of my life

if that’s what it took to find her…

 

The next day, Beth was found.

As my husband held me in his arms..

I wept tears of joy.

My quest is over.

I am at peace.

 

Advertisements

Cat Portraits and the Art of Being Selfless

“Portrait of Munchkin Giggle-Sprinkles” by Michele Bledsoe

 

Recently, I put aside my work in progress..

and ignored a looming deadline

to pour myself into a special request –

A portrait of my sister’s beloved cat

who passed away last year.

This is what art is all about.

Not the galleries and the exhibits.

Not the personal attention

and public exposure…

it’s about the gift

and what you choose to do with it.

 

Snowmen, Ice Cream Cones and the Art of Doing the Best You Can

Me and Anna under the rainbow..

 

My husband and I volunteer as art teachers

for a group of inner city kids in downtown Phoenix.

One evening, we were joined by a particularly shy little girl.

Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper,

she whispered that she couldn’t think of anything to draw.

I asked her if there was something she wanted me to draw.

“A snowman!” she said, touching the picture of Olaf on her t-shirt.

“Okay,” I said – rising to the challenge..

“I never drew him before, but I am going to do the best I can.”

The girl watched me intently.

A few minutes later, I showed the little girl my drawing.

Smiling, she looked down at her blank piece of paper

and announced with great conviction,

“I am going to draw an ice cream cone. I never drew one before

but I am going to do the best I can.”

She drew a wonderful ice cream cone, covered in sprinkles with a cherry on top..

and after that, she drew the picture you see above.

I thanked her

and then I got something in my eye.

Painted Presents and the Art of Christmas

dscf1152

It’s hard to paint with a cat in your lap.

Many years ago I painted a portrait of my sister

for her Christmas present.

I am a slow painter.

If I remember correctly…

I started that painting

many months before Christmas

giving myself time

to linger over my work.

“Portrait of Sherry” by Michele Bledsoe

This Christmas

my sister asked for another portrait.

Not of herself,

but one of her beloved cat, Munchkin

who passed away this year..

leaving me 6 days to finish the painting.

6 days.

As of today, it is 5.

Did I decline her request?

Did I make excuses?

Did I explain that I simply had too many other things to do before Christmas?

No.

I just grabbed a blank canvas and started painting.

Opportunity, Wealth and the Art of Service

No One Has Ever Become Poor by Giving.- Anne Frank

image: Detail from “The Bridge” by Michele Bledsoe

 

There was a period of time

where my paintings were on display every month..

but now I feel myself pulled in a different direction.

I still participate in exhibits occasionally

but my focus has been more on

what good can I do through sharing my talents

rather than how much money can I make

by selling them.

 

Though service I’ve found that

the opportunities are endless..

and the results make you rich beyond measure.

Sowing Seeds and the Art of Sharing Knowledge

collage1

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

 

First and foremost, I am a painter..

but I am other things as well.

 

I have learned a lot

throughout the course of my life..

cultivating valuable skills

that I have worked hard to accumulate.

Through trial and error

I have gained experience..

And with years of practice

I’ve learned to do things

that I used to think were

miles beyond my capabilities.

 

I suppose I could hold a series of costly workshops

on a number of  topics..

everything from social media marketing

to formatting and publishing ebooks.

 

Or maybe I could hoard my knowledge

and use these skills for myself alone.

 

Instead,

I went in a different direction..

choosing to focus more on

what good can I do through sharing my various gifts

rather than how much money I can make

selling them.

 

So now I spend my days

working with young adults within the autism spectrum..

teaching them

everything I’ve learned.

 

Maybe that’s not the path

to making myself a ton of money..

but by sowing these seeds

and watching my students grow

I am already rich beyond measure.