Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us at Bugawumps!
Yes, the fun here is still going strong! 
Three little men and another little bundle on the way are making smiles everywhere we go.
How Blessed we feel. 
Wishing you and those you love, many wonderful memories of holidays past, present and to come!
Laura Anne and Bella the Boo, the Christmas puppy

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Beauty of "IT"

There is an inherent beauty in all that touches our lives which gives us the ability to create beautiful, interesting lives, black, mudslinging down in the dirt lives, or worse yet, grey, it doesn't matter anymore or I don't care anymore lives.

The strongest of these lives, is the first one.  It is the one I was born with.  Trust me, I did not come from a "beautiful" place and life has been anything but easy for me.  I was born with a soul that needs the light, the truth, and realistic simplicity.  No sugar coating here, just tell me like it is; let me see you for who you truly are and then my friend, let us go from there to see where we can find some common ground because I truly want you in my life.

I was born to dream.  I was born to create.  I was born to help, to nurture, to heal, to hug, to love, to laugh and to make this world a better place than the one I grew up in for the generations to follow.  I was born an old soul 60 years ago and now I finally fit into my wrinkled, freckled, grey haired body with such ease that I love it more than ever.  I am ready to move forward without worrying about what you think of me, my life or my art.

This has truly been a year of struggle for me.  I have felt like I have been living an out of body experience watching this year pass by as the people I have loved for so long and the world in general, lose their ability to be understanding, much less kind. 

I worry that the path I have chosen will be wide enough for my grandchildren to navigate through  and that the weeds of destruction so many others are sowing in order to create chaos out of the joy and beauty in an ordinary day will quickly cover up all the good seeds I am throwing down. So much jealousy, so many small hearts. 

Is there a hug much less a paintbrush out there that I can purchase that will be big enough to cover all the black mud that I fear is sucking us all into a dangerously apathetic society? 

This year, I have had to let go of those who have never been able to see my colors much less my worth as I pray that they find their way down their own paths without me cheering them on.  I realize they don't need me...

... and maybe, just maybe, I am their problem. 

Maybe I have held them so long and so tight, that they can't stand alone and see how strong they are....maybe I have loved them too much...hopefully someone else is waiting for them who can show them the light, the coIor, the beauty of their life and their own worth as they forge their path into the unknown as I let go and move forward. 

I recognize that I do not have the answers anymore. Or is it that I do not ask the right questions? 

I can only open my arms and my heart wider each and every morning as I hug my children, grandchildren, friends and family into my small world so they feel safe, secure and confident when they leave me to go out and create a world that they wish to live in and also leave behind. 

I wish that on this day and the days that follow both you and I, that we not only see the beauty before us, but also create a better day so that as the sun fades our colors become brighter, our words truer, our love stronger and our hearts bigger.

Open up and come on in for a hug!  There is one waiting for you to step into it!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo, the puppy with the biggest heart and a colorful personality

Friday, August 8, 2014

Teach Your Children...welll...

Art Classes have begun!

3 boys, lots of paint brushes, colors, and energy!

The only way to teach children is with an open mind and an open heart!

DO NOT expect perfection - well at least in the way you saw the project being completed.

Children are like little sponges.  They want to learn.  They want to create.  They want to have fun.  Most of all, they want to PLEASE!

Make sure you have everything ready, set and then GO with the flow.

What you had in mind, may never happen.  What they see, what they are capable of, where the student's ability is, where their maturity is, where they are socially and physically will all play a part in how the project pans out.  It is not up to you to finish it for them.  It is up to them to take part, create, enjoy and then take ownership of their artwork.  There is no right or wrong in art.

My three grandsons had a vision on this wonderfully sunny afternoon that I did not.  They painted their feet, their hands, one another, the dog (poor Bella), rocks, flowers, grass, the drop cloth and finally the paper on their easels.  They ran; they jumped; they hid in the flower beds all while I took photos.

Once I realized that children learn from us and how we perceive the world to be, I learned to giggle with them while I worked with them! I have always wanted any child or adult I have taught to ENJOY being creative regardless of the outcome.  If the student enjoys the process, they will keep working on the product or the projects until they master the concept.

Remember - their artwork is not a reflection of you - it is a reflection of them and what they are learning from you.

Have fun!  Teach your children well and your children will thrive!

Laura Anne and a very colorful Bella Boo

Monday, August 4, 2014

Colorful Wheelies!

Colors, colors everywhere...

Ever wonder how to make sure that you are coloring world perfectly?

Well, here's a simple primer that will ensure you keep those colors bright and vibrant!

First, get yourself a color wheel at the nearest craft and hobby store or go online and pull one up form some obscure sight!

Now - take a close look at those colors....the ones that are right next door to each other - those are "FRIENDLY" colors.  Put em together and you have another bright color!  Put them next to each other, and you have a pleasing piece of artwork. 

WHY???? Because they work together.  They share the load.  They mix and match beautifully.  You can even hop a color over and still have great results!

Choose the darker of the colors to shade and WA LA! A very pleasing effect indeed!

NOW....if you are seeing "mud" it means that you are jumping across the street and bringing with you your dirty feet. 

Colors that are across from one another on the color wheel, are considered complimentary colors. 

They look wonderful NEXT to one another. Used sparingly, they make the elements of the picture really POP!  Too much and you have caused major mental confusion.

Blend them together and most of the time, they make a dirty brownish grayish mess.  Sparingly, they can make beautiful deep shadowing on your images.

These are the rules of color that I live by when working on a project.  Nine out of ten times, knowing "Friendly" vs "Across the Street" makes all the difference.

Try thinking about these two simple rules when you go out there to create!  I think you will be amazed at how much better your end results will be!

Happy splashing through another colorful day!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Poppa!

There are father's and then there are "FATHER'S" and eventually, "POPPA'S"!

Two years ago we were on the brink of a baby explosion and now we are full force into the "two's" with the "3 Amigo's".  Who would have thought....

Our family motto is
 "You call it Chaos, we call it, 'family'". 

Life is good!  No, wait, Life is GREAT!


Thanks for being the kind of husband, dad and grandfather that takes it all in stride and changes diapers without a second thought!

Love to all on this special day designated to dads everywhere.

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Friday, March 21, 2014

Change is in the Air

Here is where I stand today...on the brink of the first day of spring on a path I did not choose.  

Life's reflections are always changing, just like the seasons, just like minds, just like children and grandchildren.

Life is change. 

Change is not always easy or easy to accept.  Still, that is what "IT" is all about.

Bend like the willow tree or break.

This winter was harsh in many ways.  I am hoping for a kinder, softer, more colorful spring with surprises that await me beneath the icy piles of snow that sit outside my front door.  Thank you 80" of snowfall in Chicago for gracing us with your beauty if not your ice damns on my roof!

I have begun to work on another piece of artwork for a gallery in Northbrook, IL.  It is almost ready to be turned in and I am excited to let my colors and my imagination take me on a journey that I haven't visited for quite a while. 

Pens, Pencils, Chalks, Paints and Masking Fluid fill my desk as paper and ideas tumble onto the floor in hopes that I will find myself.  As sunlight dances on the floor and the songs of Carrie Newcomer (check this lady out on YouTube) play in the background, it reminds me that 
ALL is good as long as I stay true to who I am and those I love and those who love me for me. 

Time to come home and enjoy who I am and those who love me.  Time to create.  Time to play.  Time....Time to grab what I can and leave behind what I can't change.

I want to see clear, crisp, vibrant colors in all that I see, do and those I love as well as those who love me.

I am thankful for the path I didn't choose but one that I obviously needed to go down.  It has taught me to be strong, forgiving and kind.

I hope the path you choose does the same for you and that your colors are true, honest and kind as well.

Welcome to Spring!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo (all of us are bit muddy and wet behind the ears and still here!)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunshine please!

A little sunshine please!  

The weather here in the outlying suburbs of Chicago has been cold, snowy, cloudy and windy.

My patience, my sanity and my creativity are slowly diminishing as the days drag on and there seems to be no end in sight.

How are you all doing?

Longest winter in decades!  Longest cold spell ever!  60 inches of snow and now water damns backing up into my house and leaking in the ceilings in my foyer and living room...

Creative measures need to be taken...pots, pans, boots, umbrellas...and most of all chocolate!

I am sure you know how I am feeling.  Even poor Bella has not had a good walk since Christmas!

Hang in there.  The sun will come out...if not today, maybe tomorrow.

Spring is around the corner.  Hugs are on the way.  

Stamping conventions are starting to show up in every state around the country for those of us who need  a fix of friendship, fun, and frivolous spending!

Hang in there....hang in there....hang in there, I keep telling myself.

Hang in there....

Laura Anne and the Bella Boo, hoping for better days and a long walk soon!