Article: Spotlight: Words: Bravery

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Image Spotlight: Words
By Sharon Brown on January 10, 2016

Words to remind you

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Imagequilter5
Jan 10, 2016 8:57 AM CST
Name: Barb Jenkins
Hillsborough, NH
Bravery comes in so many different circumstances. One example is my Norm who is going through a cleansing diet right now. He is one who loved his beef, potatoes, chips, ice cream, etc. For the past four weeks he has had NO beef, NO pork, NO dairy, NO grains, NO sugars. He has lived on chicken, fish, veggies and very limited fruit. AND he stuck to it through the holidays when everyone else was having prime rib!!! That's one example of brave. And I think I'll take credit for bravery too because I lived through it too! LOL
ImageZanymuse
Jan 10, 2016 9:13 AM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
I agree, Barb. That is bravery with determination and true grit. Thumbs up
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Imagevic
Jan 10, 2016 11:47 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Brave indeed! - for both of you Big Grin Thumbs up
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Imagenap
Jan 10, 2016 11:51 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
I think this was written for me. The part where it says there is always someone there to tell you you made the wrong decision. If no one is there to tell me that, I sometimes tell myself!

But ultimately, I have to trust that my steps are the ones God has designed me to follow.

Have faith in yourself and faith in God.
Imagequilter5
Jan 10, 2016 12:16 PM CST
Name: Barb Jenkins
Hillsborough, NH
That's always the best way Nap.... I agree I agree
Imagepajonica
Jan 10, 2016 5:43 PM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
I think most people have the capacity for bravery but lack the opportunity to demonstrate
it.
Fortune favors the brave.
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Imagezuzu
Jan 11, 2016 2:33 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Emerson has always bothered me, and this quotation is a perfect example of the reason he does. I have to say that I disagree with part of his thesis: "Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right." Although Emerson always spoke against dogmatism, I think these two sentences are too dogmatic. He's generalizing from the specific, which is always a logical folly.

I might agree if he had worded it differently, if he had said "...there may be someone to tell you you are wrong, and there may be difficulties arising...." I object to his overly assertive use of the word "always." I agree with Barb that her husband's decision is an example of bravery, but is it really inevitable that someone will tell Norm that his decision to follow the diet was wrong, for example, and will any difficulty inevitably tempt him to believe his critics? Probably not.

Aside from that, I have to say something about the painting. You know, Sharon, that it (or perhaps another one just like it) has always been one of my favorite works of yours. It inspires so much thought because it's so enigmatic. (To me, at least, it's enigmatic, though others may see absolute clarity in it.)
Imagenap
Jan 11, 2016 6:31 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
No, Zuzu. I agree with you that enigmatic is a good way to describe this painting. It's been a favorite of mine too.

And I have probably said this elsewhere, but my first glance at this always sees a chorus line. Like the Rockettes.
ImageSharon
Jan 11, 2016 8:41 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
That's interesting, Zuzu, and could very well be the reason I rarely use an Emerson quote. I've never really liked his work and you very likely just told me why.

Thank you both about the painting.
Imagequilter5
Jan 11, 2016 12:10 PM CST
Name: Barb Jenkins
Hillsborough, NH
NEWS FLASH --- Norm just came from his primary care doctor and she too him OFF ALL INJECTABLE INSULIN!!!! And he has lost over 20 pounds!!!! He still has to take the Metformin tablets but NO MORE NEEDLES!!!!!!
Needless to say, we are thrilled.....

ImageSharon
Jan 11, 2016 1:09 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Amazing, Barb! That's just amazing!
Hugs to Norm, it couldn't have been easy.
Imagevic
Jan 11, 2016 1:43 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Looks like that very brave diet worked for him - Praise God Barb Hurray! Thumbs up So happy for both of you Big Grin Thumbs up Group hug Group hug
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Imagequilter5
Jan 11, 2016 2:37 PM CST
Name: Barb Jenkins
Hillsborough, NH
Thanks dear friends. It has been quite a struggle but he is so thrilled with no more needles. This program lasts six months and now the doctor has all test results and will start to add in foods very slowly. There are some he will always need to be extremely careful with such as dairy and red meat but now he feels the past five weeks have been worth it and is encouraged to continue. I'm so very proud of him... Thumbs up Thumbs up I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you. Hurray! Hurray!
Imagevic
Jan 11, 2016 2:53 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Lovey dubby Group hug
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Imagezuzu
Jan 11, 2016 3:12 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Barb, that's such good news, and he's a remarkable man to have done it. The doctor must have been surprised. A friend of mine who's a doctor told me that many patients are urged to follow a special diet, but they never do. Norm's doctor must be so pleased that he is the exception to the rule.

The chorus line is a good interpretation of the painting, Nap, but I'm not sure that all of the figures are having the same experience. I always wonder whether some figures are trapped while others are free. There's a sense of liberty, to the point of unrestrained abandonment, in some, but others seem quite constrained. My interpretation of the painting varies according to my mood. Sometimes I see it as a microcosm illustrating the presence or absence of inhibition.
ImageSharon
Jan 11, 2016 4:00 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
This was the first painting I sold after my retirement 10 years ago and probably my most favorite of all my paintings. It's not very big, maybe 16"x20" and it's only on heavy water color paper, not on canvas. I had sold several over the years but never took time to take it any further than maybe one or two a year. I hated to sell this one because it's the first painting I had ever done in this style, which is more Abstract Expressionism than anything else.

Zuzu, you will remember this: the painting was done at a time when I first started writing articles at DG and in one of the chat threads, another writer made a couple of disparaging remarks about Kentuckians and their ignorance.

So I painted this picture and shared it on DG. My writing had been attacked and I thought I might as well let my painting be attacked too.

But two amazing things came from both; a great number of folks on the thread where the disparaging remarks were made jumped right into the middle of the fracas to Kentucky's (or my) defense. Then when I posted the painting within a few days, a lady on the NE coast asked me if I would sell; I wasn't sure I wanted to sell it so I quoted a rather high price. She accepted it with not even a blink. I sold the painting and I'm happy I did because it sort of loosened my public painting fingers again. I have an idea for another one in much the same style; if I don't run out of time, I'll get it done soon enough.

The one that has Zuzu's name on it . . . which I started about 2 or more years ago . . . is similar to this one but not the same colors; similar in style and slightly similar in subject but not in detail. Smiling

And it's just for Zuzu because I usually can tell what someone I know fairly well really wants.

I have paintings in various stages of development crawling from beneath furniture and out of closed doors. I need to finish those that I started for certain people before I start new ones, but I never do. I get a new idea and have to start it immediately just because it's a new idea.

I do appreciate your words. When I was so sick last year I felt that I would never get back to painting but that fright flew out the window when I committed to the Hibiscus painting for the ATP NARaffle Raffle. I think that might have been in October and I have painted 5 since then.

When it rains, it pours.
Imagenap
Jan 11, 2016 8:52 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
Yes, I'm sure you would like to finish some of those paintings, Sharon, but two things.

One, finishing can be a sad thing. Working on something you are doing for someone specific, makes you and that person connected. You are bound to him or her by a sense of obligation and expectation. Waiting for something good is as exciting as receiving it. You both own it. It's exciting for both of you. Once it is finished and gone, you have only the memory while the other person has the joy.

That's just an opinion, but I can say I speak from experience. I have crocheted many afghans for people, and while I worked on them the recipient was happily sneaking peeks and bringing others to see it. (on my lunch hours at work) We had a bond. Once I gave it away, she was happy but I was sad to lose it, and my coworker no longer sneaked into my lunch room to visit her afghan. Sort of an empty-nest feeling.

The other thing is, I think it's imperative to act on a new idea when it strikes you, rather than wait until you have time for it. Excitement fades and ideas grow old, and the project is either abandoned or never quite as important as it was when it first sparked.

So what if you have a few thousand projects going at once. Keep on following your instincts. They always seem to be right.
ImageSharon
Jan 11, 2016 9:29 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I don't agree with you, Nap, for me it isn't like that. Art isn't like a craft or something done from a pattern. When I start a painting, I don't have a plan where it will take me. I have no idea what the finished product will look like. I don't show the recipient the painting until it is finished. And I don't get very attached to my paintings. I like doing paintings for people and I love matching a specific subject to a certain person. I enjoy giving them the finished product but there's not really any of what you describe.

I do always ask about specific colors they might want emphasized and usually I'll know if they want a landscape or a still life or maybe a lake scene, things like that. Beyond that, no, that isn't the way I work. Often I can tell all these things by the clothing they wear or their personalities and rarely have to ask a thing. Sometimes I ask to visit the room where it will be hanging. Not always though.

I like having several paintings in various stages of completion. That way I don't get frustrated with any one of them. Those that I have now that are started but unfinished are those that I promised friends about 2+ years ago before I got sick. I started them then and now is the time to finish them. Of course my friends never put any pressure on me, particularly since I was the one who offered it to them initially. But don't worry. If I've done 5 since October, that's a good thing. It means I am enjoying jumping from one to the other and I am loving what I do. And if it's something I'm familiar with, then it doesn't take me long to do it. I guess we are all different when it comes to things like this.

So I might get 5 more done in the next couple of weeks. You just never know. Smiling

Imagenap
Jan 12, 2016 6:38 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
I see the difference. My crafting was done as a favor. I was asked to do it. By people I did not know well. So the comparison between you and me just isn't real. I was happy to do them though because I like to see people happy.

My creations did not require imagination, either. I followed a pattern and did not choose it. They did. Nor did I choose colors. Basically, I was an afghan making machine..... Hilarious!
ImageSharon
Jan 12, 2016 10:26 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Yes, but Nap, that's a talent too. I can't knit or crochet and to look at instructions to do so is to me much like looking at writing done in a foreign alphabet. I just don't comprehend. I do have one scarf I tried to crochet a few years ago. It's full of lumps and bumps and holes and I don't know why. Of course I kept it. It's a reminder to me of what NOT to do.

So your satisfaction of doing the afghan and of making people happy is the same as mine, the difference is in the creation of it, the process of its creation.

And I never let anybody see a painting I'm doing for him/her until it's done. As you can tell by looking my process for painting takes many layers and with each new layer sometimes it looks as if I've lost my creative mind. If I let you see your painting in progress, you might not recognize it at all.

Like this . . . here is the cow I'm working on right now . . .
Thumb of 2016-01-12/Sharon/d6ea1d

See the cow? Of course you don't. The cow won't really look much like a cow till I get to the last couple of layers and this is only the second layer for the cow. Your afghan pattern will begin to show very soon after the first few rows.

So there's a difference in the two things we do best, though there is no difference in the quality of our talent. And don't forget your ability with the camera. On the other hand, I can't take a good picture at all.

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