1001 Questions of Mamaing

Happy Saturday, Fringelings!

It’s been an exhausting week for me, lots of ups and downs, how about you?  Two highlights.  One, Nerd Child is home for the summer, hooray!  It was a seventeen hour day yesterday, much of it spent driving in torrential rains that seemed to call for an ark, but he’s home.

What’s the other highlight?  SnapinTime, from The Voice from the Backseat very generously donated her limited time to watermarking some of my photos of Flower Child’s artwork, so I could share it here.  Thank you, Snapin!

I love looking at art, and so does Flower Child.  We’ve spent quite a bit of time in museums together.  My sweetie has a real talent.  It’s newly discovered, or perhaps it would be better stated to say newly unlocked.  I can’t say why, for sure, but it emerged after receiving an iPad to use for schoolwork.  Is it the preservation of energy (a precious and finite resource)?  Excessive fatigue is one of the most, if not the most, debilitating features of her struggles.  I don’t know, but as a mama who watches her struggle with so much–yet she always holds on to the positive–and as a person who is hard pressed to draw a stick figure, this work makes me weep, literally.

Flower Child is indeed, special.  Her thoughts take twists and turns that can be difficult to follow, and clarity is connected to how she’s feeling physically.  The drawing of the dog and bird looks like it was done by a different person, no?  This was a work she produced last weekend, when she was unwell and “crashing,” as we call it, for lack of a better word.  Not completely crashed, because then she’s hard pressed to hold a pencil.  After several hours of rest, sleep, and her evening meds, she produced “woman with dreds.”

I’m hoping to figure out a way to get her art lessons this summer.  We need someone who will be flexible and ok with these inconsistencies, and sympathetic to the &*$#% budget.


  1. What a wonderful talent has been revealed! I’m so glad she was able to get the ipad, so she can save her energies for creativity. I understand fatigue, but I know that Flower Child’s is a force to be reckoned with, and I love seeing her express herself through art.


  2. I think Flower Child need a beautiful thick colorful art book as an art lesson – it really works, especially if she is tired and has little energy (and let’s not forget the budget…). 😉 Also, tons of pastels and other mediums to work with. I think that would do it. I love the way she uses color – the “branch and the moon” is definitely one of my favorites!

    My daughter has a bamboo drawing pad and she does amazing stuff with her – most of all, I know it doesn’t hurt her fingers, so that’s a big plus!

    It’s a very touching post. I would love to learn more about Flower Child. Is there a specific post I can read? I mean I tried… 😉 You have tons of interesting stuff on here!


    1. Thank you!

      I’m going to have to look up what a bamboo drawing pad is, and an art book is a great idea!

      The branch and the moon is one of my favorites too, because it showcases her. The branch is so sophisticated, but the moon, added later, is the man on the moon.

      I don’t think I have any posts that detail FC, some focus more than others. Mrs Fringe was created as a way for me to feel like a whole person, so I touch on all the people/aspects that make up this fringey life. 🙂


        1. Wow, that is super cool! I’ll take a closer look, but I’m guessing she could use it with her iPad. 🙂

          *If I look at your typos, I’ll have to look at my own–it’s been waaaay too long a week for that. 😉


  3. Diggin’ that ______ budget…. &*$#%….and, disclaimer, money, number of, percentage of. My, you have a complicated mind. Let’s arrange for a little open-head exhibition so Flower Child can draw a picture of what’s in mum’s head. Is there an iPad process for that, or are we going to have to do this the old-fashioned way, with razor and saw? Boiling water and ripping up sheets in preparation.


      1. Sorry that took so long. I just got a weird e-mail, and had to write a post about it. You don’t want any part of my damaged temporal lobe, so we’ll have to go parts shopping in the bowels of Manhattan some night if you want a replacement. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go. The moon is full, and the wolf is at the door, so to speak.


          1. I’m off. My lawyer is not pleased, and will probably be less pleased I aired my difficulties on WordPress. I just can’t shut up.


  4. Boy#1 has a Bamboo tablet. You hold the stylus like a pencil and his projects look just like pencil sketches- his preferred “medium.” He has a deviantart account, I’ll get his permission to share his username there. I had NO idea his talent till he started drawing on the tablet. I can see FC using one of those and perhaps with less hand fatigue than drawing. Interestingly enough the stylus-on-tablet surface actually feels much like paper, not at all like drawing on an iPad. The one I purchased him was about $120.

    I loved the closer look at her drawings when working with them. 🙂 She does have a real talent and “unlocked” is the best word for it indeed.


      1. I just asked him about it and he said hand fatigue would probably be greatly reduced… You can adjust sensitivity – so very light pressure on the surface would still give you the desired result and you don’t need a tight grip. You can adjust line thickness and set to pencil, paint or other color mediums, airbrush and so on. It comes with a free version of Photoshop with which to do this.


  5. Such a positive change! I think you’ve nailed the diagnosis. The reason I stopped being artistic at the start of college was solely due to the amount of writing I had to do in classes. Photography came as a secondary option since I needed the artistic release and couldn’t deal with the constant hand cramping. Add the extra difficulties she faces, and I can’t imagine I would ever want to require more effort from myself to be artistic. The iPad is surely helping that quite a bit.

    We’ve had several students make similar behavioral changes recently by moving them to computers and iPads during class. The 6th graders start behaving like 6th graders again (both a blessing and a curse with all that energy), and the work is so much more efficient that they feel like they have time and energy to do something extra.

    I will add another opinion to the Wacom tablet group – I use an Intuos 5 for extensive photography editing projects and find it works quite well for freehand/drawing applications. It takes some time to get used to it, and it doesn’t feel quite as fluid as a pencil on paper to me, but I have found it easier on the hand than pencil/paper. In my experience, you can choose a small tablet than the piece of paper you would normally use, but that depends on fine motor skills and comfort. For a dissenting opinion, you might talk to El Fab, I believe he has one for work that he hates.

    In any case, I love the stream of consciousness approach that the drawings exhibit, and I like the bit of Picasso styling in the figures. The moon and branch remind me a lot of Fabio Napoleoni’s work. I wish I could link the one that was posted recently on his FB fan page…so similar.


    1. Thanks so much d, for checking in, and your thoughtful response 🙂

      It’s pretty intense for me to see such a clear “illustration” of the ups and downs of her energy and abilities. In my non-artist opinion, there’s a real level of sophistication that’s there in ways she is unable to otherwise express.
      I will ask El Fab about the tablet, also. Not ready to invest right now, but you know how I like to research obsessively before buying anything 😉

      I’m also going to look up the Fabio Napoeoni page, thanks!


  6. You have talent……………………….unlike me who doesn’t………………….lol ok I liked your drawings at least you gave it a try, I gave it a try and cried over the result…………….lol


  7. wow her drawing are amazing, little details take my breath away, the sadness to the angel, the little color she added to the branch and the moon (i can see this one framed and hanging in my living room), the emotion on woman with dreads, These are not simple drawings. I am in awe, maybe she can give me some pointers for my stick figures 😉


  8. I love this post! I used to do art lessons right after I got through with college. I was thinking of going back to get a teaching credential – man if there is a way you need to get her lessons, maybe you can find someone who will barter for your writing skills. I noticed a few things – 1. She has a very strong sense of line value and she uses it to move your eye around the images – 2. She has a strong sense of space too – you can see her use of line or shading to give depth or place items in the background or foreground – 3. She is filling the page – this may sound trite but lots of children focus so much on what they draw that it never occurs to them to consider how the whole piece looks – it’s composition she seems to be way ahead of the curve there. The woman sleeping is amazing for a child, or for anyone. Wow!


    1. Thank you! I love that you took the time to really look at her work, I appreciate your perspective 🙂

      I’m checking around for different options re lessons, hoping to fall into someone who’s sympathetic, with enough flexibility that they don’t have to charge a gazillion dollars an hour.


      1. Yeah – it’s important to find a good fit too. Someone that encourages and opens up her eyes to see more. I was very lucky to have a great teacher in grade school who doted on me and pushed me to try things.


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