Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Artistry of a Gentle Soul

Myself and sister Kelly, with Mom; taken on the occasion of Kelly's birthday in March 2010

Drawing has been very difficult for me over the past several weeks, and thus, non-existent.  Actually it has been a struggle to engage in anything art-related.  So I decided earlier this evening to get back to my blog by starting at the beginning..........starting at what feels like the recalibration of my life following recent events.

As is true for any of us, I've had periods of time in my life that were tremendously difficult to navigate; times when the challenges seemed overwhelming.  But nothing could have prepared me for the loss of my Mom in early November, several days after a heart surgery that, by all accounts, was expected to be successful.  For many days afterwards I felt as if the wind had literally been knocked out of me.  

As one of my cousins so aptly put it, "Your Mom was the gentlest soul I've ever known."  She was a tremendously sweet and kind woman, and possessed an unpretentious and quiet classiness that drew others to her.  Her giggle was infectious.  My Mom loved her children and grandchildren absolutely unconditionally, and though a couple of us gave her plenty to worry about in our youth (I won't mention any, she always knew that one day we would be the fine adults that she and my Dad had spite of ourselves.

My mom was also my earliest art inspiration.  When I was a very young child she made paper dolls for me out of cardboard, and taught me how to trace around them to make their clothing.  The possibilities were endless!  I recall my preference for her paper dolls over store-bought ones, and can vaguely remember pestering her relentlessly to draw more paper dolls.  Many years later my Mom would accompany me on a road-trip to Bethesda, Maryland, to attend my first CPSA International Exhibition.  It was the first time I had shown work in a venue of that size, so I was appropriately petrified........and her presence and nature helped calm me.  We rode the subway, both for the first time in our lives -- and laughed at our own cluelessness pertaining to making our way around a big city. 

Both my sister and I were very close to our Mom; we talked to her daily, sometimes several times a day.  Occasionally when I would be very focused on a particular part of a drawing I would allow the phone to roll over to the recorder, and then I would hear from the direction of the kitchen..........."Lynda??  This is your Mother.  Are you screening your calls?????"    : ) I begin to get my land legs under me again, this felt like the best place to start -- the only place to start.  Thanks for reading.

".......all endings are also beginnings.  We just don't know it at the time."
        Mitch Albom,  The Five People You Meet in Heaven


  1. My heart just aches for you...I had such trouble after my Dad passed away. I couldn't bring myself to add any color to any of my artwork (after weeks of not drawing),so I drew on black paper with white colored pencil. Funny thing, I learned so much from drawing that out of the pain came something wonderful. Hugs to sweet person, you.

  2. A lovely post Linda, your Mum will always be at your shoulder. Having lost both my parents I can understand some of what your feeling. I know it's a cliche to say it will get better but it does. The ache I think stays forever but it does soften. Sending hugs.

  3. So nice to see you back at your blog Lynda, and read your always heart-felt and inspiring writing. You express yourself so well.

  4. Cindy....there is something comforting about knowing that others have been impacted in similar ways.....nearly unable to put pencil to paper. It seems that there was something almost a little frightening about being with paper, pencils, thoughts! But I am getting closer, and the desire is back. Thanks so much.

    I came to realize something, Elizabeth, in the first days after my Mom's death......I've had many friends and acquaintances over the years who have lost a parent, but I really didn't understand it.....I didn't get the depth of that kind of loss......until it happened in my own family. It IS getting better.....albeit slowly. Thanks for your words.

    Thank you, Debbi; and thanks for your kind words and constant support. I had been struggling so, that I just came to the point of, "Okay YOU.....then just blog from where you are at!".....and it helped......I have felt a little closer to being able to move forward.

  5. Hi Lynda,
    You were blessed to have such a great relationship with your mother. There is no "right way" to grieve, but she surely is with you in spirit and wants you to get back to enjoying your life.
    Take care!

  6. Lynda, I always enjoy reading your posts as much as I admire your splendid artworks. You have such a way with words...Thank you for sharing a bit about your mother and how she influenced and help shape the person you are today. I share a similar story with my immediate and extended family so I understand what you are going through. My thoughts are with you. Hugs, Colette.

  7. True enough, Barb.....and though I had told myself similar sentiments many times prior to writing this post,that awareness was not compelling me to start back at the drawing table. I think I just needed some time......And I WAS so fortunate to have had, for many years, such a great relationship with her. Thanks for your comment.

    Colette.....thanks for your kind words and for sharing that you have had a 'similar story'. Loss is a funny thing.......despite my mom and I having a good relationship for many years, there are ways in which I did not realize some of the complexities of how she has shaped me.....until her death caused me to REALLY give conscious attention to that. I'm sure this is something I will be learning about for a long time to come.
    Prior to blogging, it had been many years.... my grad school days....since I had written anything. And you know what I have come to realize through blogging?.....that I REALLY ENJOY writing. I appreciate your feedback concerning this......'cause of course sometimes I wonder if I sound like a 'wing-nut'. hahahaha

  8. Lynda, I think you are off to a great start by writing and posting what you have done. I as others admire your work and my heart goes out to you with your mothers passing. It is a hard thing to go through. As said by others I look forward to seeing what you will be doing in the coming year even as I marvel at your work posted in the past. I seriously look forward to your great talent. God bless you,

  9. Gary, thank you for such kind words. What can I say?......your kindness and warmth always buoys my spirits. : )

  10. i'm so sorry to hear of your loss Lynda... that is a beautiful inspirational quote. hope to see your art when you can post. best wishes r.

  11. Thankyou, Rahina. It has certainly been a process, but since the holidays are past I have been able to get back to work. It feels good to be making art again. : )