In the artist doldrums……

Orville on swing with copy

(This is Orville, Emmie’s big brother. He is supposed to be mowing the lawn.)

Doldrums: n…a spell of listlessness, inactivity, or stagnation.

Yikes! That sounds awful….but actually it accurately describes me pretty well over the last week or two; at least when it applies to my artistic endeavors. During that time I have produced two paintings…….two! When I was a commercial illustrator, I would do two art projects before lunch. Of course, I had to answer to the art director at the end of the day.

But I have:

  • cleaned my worktable,
  • scrubbed my palette of all old dried paint,
  • washed the brushes,
  • dusted the tubes of paint,
  • rearranged the book shelf,
  • read blogs from my favorite artists,
  • taken photos and filed them in my “Photos for Art” file,
  • vacuumed out the cat hair underneath every surface in my studio, (I’m saving the cat hair and plan to make a really big comforter stuffed with it),
  • read two books (Oops! Both unrelated to art),
  • considered switching mediums, (Not now! Too expensive!)
  •  taken extra naps due to all the activity listed above.

And, worst of all, I have no excuses, none, not one, period. I’m not otherwise employed, have my own air conditioned studio space ( I don’t paint plein air),  lots of time, and have enough art supplies and paraphernalia to start my own art supply store. But one thing I don’t have… art director requiring me to turn in my work sheet all filled out with what I produced that day and how long did it take. He had to bill the client, after all.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Please…NO! I’m not advertising for an art director, just trying to understand myself. I don’t like rules and regulations or tight schedules, but they do make me produce art. Strange, isn’t it?

Honestly, I do understand myself. I’m a Certified Personality Trainer and have taught the subject to women’s groups many times with much success for several years. Yes, I do understand my own Personality….both my strengths and  weaknesses. But discipline must be applied when mere knowledge fails. Okay, I get it. Practice what I teach!

Therefore, after confessing my lack of excuses and looking at my shiny clean studio and worktable, I’m heading to the easel. At times it helps to just admit shortcomings. But not everything!

Please visit my website. I have actually done a lot of paintings. There you will find a few. Click on “Paintings”

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Gee, I’m Great….or at least I have potential!


Florence and Me-for blog 5-2-14Florence Littauer and Adele Bower – April 2005

One day I was in my lonely workroom….drawing….when the mail arrived. It contained a brochure about a seminar being held at Houston’s First Baptist Church, led by Florence and Marita Littauer. The event was presented by C.L.A.S.S. (Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers Seminar).  The brochure read: “It (the seminar) provides an opportunity for individuals to improve their communication skills and their ability to express themselves clearly, whether in conversation or before groups.” I had no idea how I’d gotten on their mailing list, but I knew at once that the seminar was for me.

As long as I can remember I have loved to talk, perform, teach, speak, sing, make people laugh, draw….let’s see…what else?  I’ll think of more as I go along. I registered and sent in my check. The year was 2001. The following year I took the Personality workshop and became certified as a Personality Trainer. Because of the teaching and encouragement at these C.L.A.S.S. seminars, the following decade was busy for me as I began to fulfill most of my dreams:

  • I spoke at numerous women’s events; banquets, retreats, parties, teas and MOPS groups.
  • I  finished writing and illustrating my two children’s books. From C.L.A.S.S. I learned how to get published and I succeeded.  They are available on and local book stores.
  • I wrote and taught four Bible studies for women, including “How to Make the Most of Your God-Given Personality”.
  • For the following 13 years, I taught women’s Bible classes at our church and in my home.
  • I learned about my own Personality, my strengths, and more than I ever wanted to know about my weaknesses. Now, I even understand my husband better. We have totally opposite Personalities.

While checking through my notes to write this blog, I came across part of a required statement I wrote for the last day of my Personality training seminar:

“Prior to my introduction to the study of the Personalities, I frequently wondered about my husband. Why is he so picky? Why does he have so many rules? Why do I always seem to break them? (Yes! He actually taught me how to eat grapes. No kidding? Florence isn’t the only one to receive such training.) How can such a darling sweetheart of a guy, think the way he does? Why is he so analytical? Why is it so hard for him to tell a joke so at least somebody present will laugh? How did he get to be so successful professionally, and be such an introvert? Why are we so happy? NOW I know. He’s a Perfect Melancholy, with a little Powerful Choleric thrown in, and I’m a Popular Sanguine/Powerful Choleric. What fun to know! How helpful to know!”

Yeah, okay…listing all my “accomplishments” sure sounds like I’m bragging and I guess I am. But I’m excited to tell you how much Florence Littauer has meant in my life. To celebrate her birthday this month, I’m re-reading a few of her books.

There have been many serious bumps along my way, terrible disappointments, and some confusion about what to do next, but Florence is  my best role model. We are close to the same age, which I think is wonderful. Along with all her success, she has suffered much and endured rejection, but always bounced back because she depended on the Lord and sought His help and guidance.

Thanks, Florence. I’ve learned so much from you….but I still don’t wear shoes to match my outfit.


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