The Flower Song

The Flower Song 6-30-15
“The Flower Song
A Poem in response to Isaiah 61:3b
Written by Adele Bower © 2005

“A planting of the Lord, to display HIS glory?
O Lord, could it really be?
Could I be planted in your flowerbed
or in a pot on your windowsill?

If I could be planted there, Lord
as part of your divine plan;
I’d be showered with love, fed by your Word
and sheltered by your hand.

If I could be planted there, Lord
would you place me where I could see
your beautiful face, your endless grace
and you smiling at me?

If I could be planted there, Lord
I know then I could be
A blessing to all who pass my way
on their path to eternity.

If I should win a prize at the flower show,
I will tell everyone the story;
The best that I am, and will ever be
is a reflection of YOUR glory.”

Poem and Painting by Adele Bower

Click Here For More Information About The Painting

‘Til He Shouts!

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My Feet Hurt

20-Cooling His Heels“Cooling His Heels”

Yes. After church Sunday….my feet hurt…in fact, my knees hurt, too. I wonder if the long-legged bird in my painting above had sore feet, too. But, I’ll bet I’m older.

I had been standing in front of a large class of ladies teaching a Bible lesson. When I have an audience I get excited and tend to talk too long. No one in the class let on or complained that I should stop and sit down. Bless ’em! They are way too kind and the best group of ladies anywhere…so patient, friendly, and welcoming.

To recognize the special day, Father’s Day, our children, their spouses and one Grandchild came to visit and have lunch at a local restaurant. Since each of them have teaching/leading responsibilities at their church (miles from our home), we planned to “wait until the crowds” thinned and eat later. We sat down to eat at about 2:30. Ha! The crowds probably didn’t thin until around 5 or 6 PM that evening.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at our house chatting away, catching up on the lives and activities of our family. A wonderful blessing. Of course, I occupied one of the three recliners in our den; yes, we have three recliners in a home with only two residents, not counting Abby Cat and Tomboy Cat.  Oh yes, there is another recliner in our bedroom where I lounge and watch the Houston Texans football games. Can’t wait until the fall, by the way.

I suspect other young people are busy, too, but our children and Grandchildren exhaust us just telling their upcoming schedules and commitments . They are very exciting young people. Were we like that?

Well, it took most of Monday to recover from Sunday. By that evening I was once again stretched out in my recliner, feet up, head back, watching an old Agatha Christie mystery….for the third of fourth time. We can never remember who dunnit and calmly wait for Hercule Poirot to solve it for us.

Right in the middle of all this relaxation I realized that Tuesday would be another busy day and told David about it. “Tomorrow will be very busy for me, David”. “Why”, he asked, what do you have planned?” I answered, “I have to wash my hair”. Pause here. “And what else?”, he said. “Nothing”, that’s it” I said.  Another pause. David replied, “That’s nothing. I have to mail a letter tomorrow.” He won. At least I don’t have to leave the house to wash my hair.

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Free to Be Me!

Would I paint....6-19-15

This morning I read the blog of one of my favorite artists. She’s a marvelous painter, a talented writer and clear thinker. Her words and art have meant much to me for the past few years I have been following her.

Today she asked a question I’ve asked myself over and over again; “Would I create (paint or draw in my case)….. if I knew no one else would ever see it?”

Before the coming of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and personal websites, the only way an artist could show their work was with gallery representation which was close to impossible to get then and especially now. An artist could enter an art show or competition, or drag reluctant friends into the art studio for their very own, (unwanted) art show. Of course, you could always buy very expensive space in a prestigious art magazine, if you had the budget.

As an illustrator, in a commercial studio or freelancing I had a lot of my work published. But I never got feedback, just a paycheck. Not bad. At least that was a form of recognition. In college and art school we had shows and critiques. At the end of the day, we would receive a grade which was a recognition or payment of a sort.

Over the years, I have been in many, many art shows local and out of state; won many, many awards at those shows. But after a few years of showing my work on several social media platforms, fewer and fewer people have come out to see my work in real life. In fact, no one came to my last show. No one. Poor little me! ~Sniff~. But I understand…..they had already seen the paintings on Facebook or on my website.

When I was a little girl my artist father would always bring his latest painting out of his studio and have the family gather around to admire it. I understood that perfectly, even then. He liked our recognition and feedback, too, even though he always had a gallery or two representing him. He was a prolific painter and his work sold well.

When bemoaning the above thoughts to my husband…WAY too frequently…..he always asks me the same question, “Why don’t you just paint for the pleasure of it?” You know what? I can’t answer that question. Why don’t I? Why can’t I?

So I continue to ponder that question…..yet again. I may give it a try…for my eyes only…….from the easel straight to the back of the art closet. As the artist said in her blog this morning……..

“Because no one (in theory) would ever see it, we are free to be us in our art!”

____Dreama Tolle Perry

Yes. Thanks, Dreama.

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“The Old Lady…..”

What I Did in Art School for Fan page

Since we were barely out of high school when we got married, and I believed the man of the house should be able to support me (oops!)….us……he went to college. Not me! I worked; well, he did, too, doing a wide variety of “odd” jobs all during his 6, or was it 7, years of college, plus several years in the US Navy. But he made it through….always graduating with honors. Proud!

So when the children were teenagers, and David had a good job, I went to college and not just ANY college; The University of Texas at Austin and eventually The University of Houston, Main campus.

About a week into classes that fall  at UT, the Professor said she wanted to test us by reading out our first names one by one. We were to all point at that person showing we knew who the name belonged to. Believe me, I got the most points…after all I was “the old lady” in class..old enough to be their mother. I stood out. Well, that designation remained all through my higher education days.

Once at UH a young student came up to me in chemistry class and said, “When I first saw you walk into class, I said to myself….good for her!” Nice! I later dropped that very difficult class. What is an artist doing in a chemistry class anyway? I had other gifts they probably didn’t have! Also, I had once won our Country Club’s Tennis Tournament (Doubles, B-Flight) and had a trophy to prove it. So there. Who needs chemistry.

I clearly remember the first day I walked into the classroom in art school…a few years later. Silence…utter silence! I think all those 18-20 year old wanna-be artists felt betrayed. “There goes our fun”, I could almost hear them say. Poor little things! In this art school the students stay in the class they start in, for the entire time….every day…the same students. We got to know each other very well.

Their language and gossiping over their drawing boards tested my patience a great deal. One day I went to the instructor’s office and told him how challenging it was to keep quiet and not go into “Mother mode”. But I knew if I killed or injured one of them, it would not look good on my resume. So I persevered.

One time a fellow student came up to my drawing board to ask what I was working on so hard. I answered him truthfully, “The assignment for today!” He said, “What assignment?” I said “The one listed on the large, orange paper placed on each of our drawing boards this morning and every morning.” He shrugged and said, “Oh, I never read those papers!” He said I was an over-achiever! Giggle here!

I’m happy to say that after about 6 months together, their language and attitudes changed. Some say it was because of “the old lady” in class. I really began to like them and care about them. I had been a professional illustrator  for a long time before coming to art school, and had much of my artwork published, so I knew I had an advantage over them. However, I soon learned I had a lot to learn about art and the curriculum wasn’t easy…not a bit. I worked very hard. I was surrounded by young people with oodles of talent and hope…but very little self-discipline. So I began to help them WHEN THEY ASKED! Soon there was a line of students formed behind my back at my drawing board, waiting for my critique of their work before they turned it in. Our instructors were tough and the critiques were often brutal.

When graduation came near, I told my husband I would really miss all those kids. I didn’t. I got so busy with my art I had very little time to look back and remember. But it was all worth it. And I loved being “the old lady” in class.

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A Wonderful Day!

Bible, glasses, notes for 6-8-15 on wood

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing God’s Word with the Women of Grace Sunday morning Life Group at our church serving as a guest teacher. Our church is Humble Area’s First Baptist Church, in Humble, Texas, right outside Houston.

What a BIG group of beautiful ladies. The room was full, with almost every seat taken.  What fun to see old friends, and meet so many new ones.

The class participation was wonderful; many questions and comments, explanations and shared experiences. These ladies have been well-taught by their regular teacher, Joyce Aylor. They are blessed to have her.

Along with serious studying of the Bible we had a lot of laughs. I was “forced”  (Ha Ha!) to reveal my age. Actually, I love to tell my age; it gives me an excuse for a long list of physical complaints and limitations. ~Grin~.

I don’t mind telling you that after lunch of a take-out Strawberry Fields salad from Wendy’s, I crashed; what a perfect word to describe how I felt. Maybe it was the excitement or that age thing. I’m fine this morning; it only took an afternoon nap and 8 hours sleep last night to revive me.

It was a wonderful day and I was blessed beyond words. I truly look forward to the next three Sundays with them.

I love the Scripture found in 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV),

“It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken. With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.’ “

‘Til He Shouts!

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Adele, U.S. Marshal……

US Marshal (final art)

 A few years back, I spoke  to a Christian women’s event at a large church on the subject, “Dare to Dream”.   It was a success; the ladies seemed to relate and understand the importance of dreaming.

I’m a dreamer and have always been a dreamer. My earliest dream that I can remember was to be a:

1.  Lovely Indian Maiden. Dressing the part was very important in all my dreaming. I put together an outfit most closely matching what I saw  the lovely Indian maidens wear  in the cowboy movie at the Saturday morning Fun Club. I made a teepee by throwing a blanket over a ladder. For fun (short-lived) I would sit on the edge of the little pond in our backyard and make Indian pottery out of the mud. I slept alone in that teepee….at night……once. With every dream comes a Problem. I would wake up with very damp blankets and frizzy hair. I no longer looked like an Indian, especially a lovely one. NO fun. the closest I ever came to fulfilling this dream was in junior high. Back in the day, we were called Indians and had an annual Pow Wow out on the baseball field. I had the honor of being voted the “Indian Princess” by my class. My Mother made my outfit; I was truly lovely….at least I thought so.

2. U.S. Marshal. I wore my cowboy hat ( a perfect Christmas gift for a little Texas girl), a toy gun and holster, and a badge. I  looked tough and cast fear into all my little friends. I would create play scenarios, eventually arrest each and every one, and lock them into a make-shift jail my parents let me put together. Problem: Soon there was no one left to play with or arrest. My playmates got tired of being arrested and went home.

3.  Housewife and Mother. My Father and Grandfather built a playhouse in our backyard for my sister and me. It was wonderful; it had a  main room, a loft with a ladder, and a kitchen with a wood-burning fire stove. It even had “running water”. Daddy hung a bucket outside the kitchen and ran a rubber tube through to the kitchen sink. All I had to do was siphon the water from the bucket into my kitchen….until one day an awful looking bug came through the tube along with the water.

I caught minnows from our little pond and fried them over that slow fire…too soggy or gross to eat. I had girlfriends over for sleepovers in my playhouse. I remember one night being awakened by a very strange noise and discovered it was coming from some kind of BIG bird walking right past the door to my playhouse, making a scary noise. I never knew what it was but the sound of the playhouse door slamming scared it away. Now I realize it was probably the hoot owl that lived in our woods.

Problem: Scary noise and critters at night and too much work keeping the playhouse clean.

4.  Famous Broadway Star. When the musical “South Pacific” came to my attention, I became convinced I was a natural for the part of Nellie Forbush. My parents let me take dance lessons and took me to see touring musicals. Problem: I was told I would have to move to New York to pursue this dream.

5.  Artist. My Father was a professional illustrator and a fine art painter. He gave me private lessons and helped me get my first job in an art studio as a teenager. I thought this would stick and it has for many years….but I’m still dreaming.

Langston Hughes wrote:

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field, frozen with snow.” ____from Dreams

Paul, the great Apostle of Jesus Christ wrote:

  Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us,

he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

____________Ephesians 3:20 The Holy Bible

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