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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Pull the Plug or Continue

These are dark and troubling times for the human heart…we are a hurting nation and world. 

Before the horrid events of Wednesday I was formulating what was going to be my last blog post. Why? With the creation of Zoom, Facebook Live and other platforms people now have other ways to learn and be inspired. I wasn’t sure if you needed what I was sharing anymore and thought my blog had run its course. Since most people receive my posts via email I’m not getting the same kind of feedback on my blog in comments section. When an anonymous person (troll) wrote a personal attack in the comments. I thought, that's enough. 

Wednesday morning I was painting on location when the alert came over my phone… attack on the Capitol. I absolutely lost it. I started crying and I couldn’t stop. After an hour I still couldn’t regain my composure. I couldn’t paint so I packed up and went home. Everything built up inside came flowing out in tears that wouldn’t stop. After a day I ended up posting something on Facebook in an attempt to find hope. I said, “Hope deferred makes a heart sick…I don't have any answers I just know 2020 was a disaster and 2021 is off to a lousy start. Looking for hope in a sick world and society”.  I’m not alone in how I feel nor am I comfortable showing my vulnerable side to the world (trolls attack the weak underbelly). The pandemic has amplified the feeling of being alone. I struggled to reach out to say I hurt and need help to see a brighter day will come. More than ever we need each other. On that dark day Facebook became my lifeline with words of comfort, encouragement and a pep talk. We each have a gift. Some are: comforters, cheerleaders, listeners, prayer partner, a bakers, a writers…? We can’t be all things to all people but we can be something. 

So many people came through for me on that day and I’m extremely grateful. I’d like to highlight one comment in particular (though all touched my heart). 
Here’s what he wrote: 
“Never, ever let this happen. To allow the acts of some to influence your ability to want to make art. Art is the beauty of the world and it (the beauty) still exists. You suck it up cupcake and get back to work and post more. I did both yesterday and today. There are people out here in this electronic land that we are conversing on right now that depend on you and I to help them deal with stupidity. You have been given a gift by the good Lord. Use it for what it was intended. I love ya buddy. Go to work, now”. ~Tom 

I took Tom’s advice and got back to work. I finished the painting began that dreadful Wednesday morning…
I’ve also come to the understanding that my lessons (art and life lessons) on my blog does matter. I can’t be all things to all people but I can do this. 

Be well and creative, 
Brenda

114 comments:

  1. Saw your post on Facebook. Love your artwork!

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  2. Brenda, you do brighten many peoples day. I too have been so sadden by what has happen to our country, but have hope that days ahead will be better and brighter. Your art is so lovely and sharing it with others gives inspiration, I know it does me. So thank you for hanging in there and don't let anyone bring you down.

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  3. Dear Brenda, wish I could be there for you as you have been for me and for so many others. Please know that you are one of the forces that help bring back light to these dark and depressing days and that hopefully soon things will be brighter. A big hug to you, Linda

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  4. Tears as I read this, for you, and for our country. Please don’t stop painting, drawing, or writing your blog. You are a bright spot in my life, and I am hoping some day to participate in one of your workshops. I know there are many others who smile when they see a post from you on FB, or an email. I am working to improve my drawing skills so I can participate in a workshop. Stay strong, stay well. We must believe that good will prevail over evil.

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  5. Brenda, don't ever stop doing your blog. Many of us look forward to reading each post, even if we do usually comment on Facebook. In fact, I have read through your entire blog several times. I always find something new to inspire me.

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  6. Your work and sharing it on your blog do matter. I prefer the slower pace of blogs and the opportunity for longer text postings, so I avoid Facebook and Instagram. I learn about virtual workshop opportunities through blog posts. I haven't commented before but I've been reading your blog for a couple of years.

    Hang in there and thank you for reminding me to get to work!

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  7. Thank you, Brenda. This is inspiring in such a dark period of our history.
    - Christopher

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  8. Brenda, that day, when I saw your FB post I was confused and with all that was happening I don't think I responded in any way. I so enjoy reading all you post and seeing all your paintings! I love studying your paintings. They are a bright spot in my day that are so helpful! I was thinking about you at the end of December knowing that's when you would usually start your work painting the parade floats. Please don't let the negative people get you down! I don't comment very often but I'm always enjoying your work! :)

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    1. Colleen, thank you for caring and the kind words.
      ~Hugs

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  9. I hope you will stay here as well as your other social media. I was also going to stop my blog, but I just posted again and my conclusion was: Healing will take time, but in the meantime, art is a healer in itself, and brings meaning to many of us. And it's a blessing, sharing, learning via the Internet. Love the painting for the fact that you finished it, and for the hopeful life affirming beauty & colors!!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words...art is the great healer but it's sure lonely until we can gather again. Love your blog too!
      ~Hugs

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  10. We must continue to create. Your art and life has value. We all have value.
    https://flic.kr/p/2kr1QVA
    Stay inspired!
    Michelle

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  11. Please keep it up Brenda, we are inspired by your work.

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  12. I don't really know you -- and yet, through your blogs, your videos, your joyous sketches and paintings, I know your gifts, and I feel your pain. Your gifts are many, and your friend Tom was spot on when he said, "We can’t be all things to all people but we can be something." You are something special and fill many a heart with possibilities and, yes, vulnerabilities. We all need one another. It's called life.
    Keep being Brenda! And we will continue to follow you for good and beauty, wherever you choose to communicate with us.

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  13. Thank you Brenda for your uplifting message. The title "Pull the plug or continue" captured exactly how I was feeling and reading your blog pulled me out of my dark thoughts. Your painting is so lovely! Makes me want to dig out my paint brushes and distract myself with some creative work.

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    1. Gayle,
      You words touch me. Hang in there. These are dark times and WE NEED EACH OTHER.
      ~Hugs

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  14. Brenda I follow your blog from a small country town in the South Island of New Zealand and love your approach to art. We are not experiencing the problems you are but you sharing has helped us understand the trouble you are going through. Please keep up your blog and reach out to the Lord for He has promised to help those that put their trust in Him.

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    1. Laird, Thank you for the kind words. For a while I lost my ability to pray...I felt abandoned and lost with all that's going on. I'm talking with God again and my heart is more peaceful.
      ~Hugs

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  15. Wow O Wow!!! This painting is Better than the photo - by MILES!!!
    Someday - to create a bit more like YOU - that would be wonderful.
    yep . . one of your students from SBS . . . One of your fans from you being kind enough to share. - I'm sure grateful for TOM - knowing the right words -
    Thank you for always sharing from your heat . . . love & love, -georgy-

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  16. Hi Brenda, Please don't stop your blog! It has been a great source of inspiration and learning for me over the years and especially now we all need inspiration more than ever! I admit I do other classes on Zoom, and have followed some on YouTube but your blog is the best! You are a gifted teacher as well as a magnificent water colorist. And I agree with Georgy that your painting of the oranges is better than the photo! I would love a step by step negative painting lesson on your blog of the oranges should you feel so inspired! This year will get better... but much healing will be required. Healing through art is the way. Much love, Helena

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    1. Helena,
      Thank you. Nice to know I’ve inspired you.
      Hugs

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  18. Your honesty and insights have helped more than you know. I've always been uplifted by your artwork, but I'm pretty sure you're even more beautiful as a person!
    Pam

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    1. Pam,
      Oh my gosh❤️Thank you. I absolutely love your work.
      Hugs

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  19. Hi Brenda,
    Don't stop what you are doing here in your blog. I don't usually comment on anyone's blog, its just me, nothing personal. I have to say I enjoy reading your stuff and your art is damn challenging to follow, for me, but these kind of challenges are good. Don't take the stupid personal attacks to heart, those people are not worth the effort. I personally know its hard not to but you shake it off. Thanks for been an inspiration.

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  20. Wednesday was tough. I'm so glad you finished your painting of oranges--I read that they've been used as a symbol for a happy new year, something we all need. It's lovely, and I hope you do more of them, for yourself and to share. Now, I'm inspired to go out and paint my lemon tree!

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    1. Corinne,
      Oranges and lemons are a challenge. It’s easy for these colors to go flat or dull. A little purple or blue in the background adds a nice complimentary sparkle. Hugs❤️

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  21. Please know that I am not American but Canadian, I live in British Columbia and have been a huge fan of yours for quite a few years now. What happened on that Wednesday, to witness how your capitol was battered and abused was heartbreaking and please know that the world greaves with the good people of the United States and you are not alone. We who follow you faithfully love the way you paint the light and how you make us look closer into the shadows filled with depth and color. Keep painting and telling your stories of travel, teachings and family. You are loved by many. Keep painting, blogging and smiling. Stay Safe.

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    1. Debra,
      Your comment warmed my heart.
      Big hug❤️

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  22. Thank you Brenda for your inspiring message and beautiful art work - it is uplifting in these unsettled times. Looking forward to better days ahead and in the meantime, create beauty with your art. Barbara

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  23. I am an Australian/American living in Australia. I was horrified to wake up at the very moment everything was happening. Everything seems to pull us down. I fight that pull by burying myself in art. It is my life line. I walked away from my blog in 2017 and only just recently started posting again. Blogs allow you to express more and seem safer than social media. Although I read all. I hope you reconsider staying with you blog. You inspire people ...my wish is to inspire you. Hugs.

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  24. Brenda, I was thinking about you today and was wondering when I would receive an email about your blog posting. While reading, I had tears in my eyes. The thought of you ending your blog really hit me. All I can say is Amen to Tom and if you know who he is thank him for his words of wisdom. I am grateful that his words inspired you to create more. (life is in the power of the tongue) Yes there is darkness in this world and there is destructive people who are impacting the rest of us with fear, terror and whatever else. But what Tom said, use the gifts YOU have been given by the Lord and use it for what it was intended for. You are inspired by beauty and light and what you do reminds us how beautiful our world truly is. Remember your art has and still is making a difference in people's lives whether we connect with you by reading your blog, facebook( wish I still had access) videos, your workshops, your books/articles-you inspire us. Do not allow someone else's darkness, actions, words, extinguish the light that is within. The world needs you. This is a battle (an emotional one, spiritual, psychological and physical). As you know the Kingdom is within and not outside. Being true to who you are shines brighter and impacts people you are not even are aware of. Your shield may have been dented by the worldly blows but your brush makes a difference. Every day put on that armor Brenda and paint. The painting is beautiful! Looking forward to seeing more and reading future blog posts. Happy creating.

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    1. Susanne,
      You write beautifully❤️ Your words of wisdom and encouragement have touched me. Thank you dear lady. ~Hugs

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  25. The world so desperately needs beauty and creativity and encouragement...God bless Tom and all who spoke out! It DOES matter, your blog and your gift matter, and who will do it if we don't? We light our own little candle, and someone lights theirs from our light, and passes it along again and again. It matters, and more than that, it's essential.

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    1. Kate,
      Thank you dear friend. I love the visual of lighting our candle and passing it on. Love you❤️

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  26. Thank you for sharing a deep part of yourself as well as your wonderful art. It is truly dismaying to watch our sensibilities as a nation spin in so many negative directions. I think those of us that find it disturbing have to truly take it to heart that we cannot afford to just be bystanders. However each of us can figure out how to be a positive influence in our society, we must act, because those motivated by greed, selfishness, hatred, and destruction seem to be highly motivated to act out now in horrific ways. We must not let that become the societal norm. Thank you again for sharing your talent with us.

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  27. I've never responded to your blog posts... but I read them and always find inspiration in your work. I've bought two of your books and read through them and attempt the ideas and concepts in my watercolor sketchbooks. I also watch your YouTube videos and give them "Likes". The events of this past week have been what I have feared for the past 4 years. My watercolors bring me peace and solace in the midst of this pandemic and the political climate that I personally find so distressing. Hope is on the horizon and it begins on January 20th at noon. In the meantime keep painting, keep sharing and in the future I'll let you know that I appreciate your blogs.

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  28. Actually Irene Klapoetke commenting. I love your emails. I love your heart. I send the emails on to my mom who loves your art. my heart and mind are hurting, too. You're not alone.

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  29. Thank you for the beautiful painting It lifts my heart.

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  30. I love your art, follow you on facebook, but check your blog every day. I don't post often, but I read everything you post! Thank you for your teaching, and the beauty you bring to the world. Patsy

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  31. I don’t use Facebook, but I do enjoy your blog. You are an inspiration both as an artist and a fine human being. Thank you!

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  32. Yes, as Aaron Blaise always says “go out and create some beauty in the world.” There are always yucking events and people, but its our job as creatives to do our part and put something good out for those that are looking for it. I may not have ever commented before but that doesn’t mean I am not reading and enjoying posts, I just can’t add anything thoughtful or meaningful to your post.
    Keep the beautiful work coming to inspire and uplift others, by doing so it will also inspire you.

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    1. Cassandra,
      Your words mean a lot to me❤️ Thank you!

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  33. Hang in there. Those who write the ugly comments have something missing in their lives, a void that none of us can fill for them. It hurts, but you have to just move past it and if you have to, literally dust them off your shoulders. You have such a gift and a kind and giving spirit to give so much of yourself to others. We need you. Keep on keeping on :)

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  34. I read your blog via an app, so can't comment unless I redirect to the actual blog. Doing so today to add another voice to this beautiful chorus of encouragement to you, Brenda. Your art, humor, encouragement and light has warmed many days for me in what was a heartbreaking year personally, as you know. I pinch myself that I have a bit of an online friendship with such a beautiful soul. Your gifts flow out far and wide to bless so many. Think of the masses you touch whom you may not even know. Thank you for how you've lifted all of us. I pray you are now being lifted up again by these testimonies of appreciation for you. Hugs!

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    1. Katie,
      You’re a dear woman. Thank you for your kind and uplifting words.
      Hugs❤️

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  35. It has been eons since I posted a reply, but I do read each and every one of your blog posts and emails. So glad you have not let the current events block you from your calling and talents, but instead become a catalyst to continue to reach out to those of us who are still stifled by the restrictions of today. Thank you!!!

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  36. Keep writing!
    We live in such a lost and broken time. An unknown artist (to me anyway) said, to make a piece of art is to take a piece of evil out of the world. That is our job as artists! Dim the chattering voices in your head and on-line, and keep your blog going. It is wonderful. Your words are inspiring. They are courageous. And your art is superb!

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  37. Please, do not stop posting. I depend on your guidance in my art journey and so appreciate what you do.

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  38. Goodness I loved what Tom wrote and everyone else for that matter...your Art always matters...you are gifted and many people including myself enjoy your beautiful craft...listen to us and never stop posting ...your Art and voice matters to us xx

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    1. Mary
      Thank you for letting me know my blog makes a difference ❤️

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  39. Hi! I want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. I really don't like FB & Instagram - So please know how much you're art work and instruction is appreciated and enjoyed! So thank you!

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  40. Hi Brenda. I don't comment often but I do read your posts, and enjoy each one. Please do keep posting. Your art and your posts are one of the bright spots in the day for many of us :-)

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  41. Hey Brenda, I know what you mean. After the attach in Washington, I could not bring myself to do anything -- it all seemed so pointless given the deep sadness of the situation. Democracy is a fragile thing and the only way to make it stronger is not to let the haters win. All of us need to be creative, be compassionate, be well informed, and be who we need to be. Rest assured that the world will be better when we are at our best! Consider doing a Youtube channel for more exposure, I watch more Youtube vlogs than read blogs these days.

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    1. Anna
      I know how you felt...we must keep hope alive!
      By the way I do have a YouTube channel. Hope you’ll check it out!

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  42. Dear Brenda, Today was my day for crying. I was so very upset after reading someone else's blog post that was surprisingly insensitive in regards to the treasonous attack on our Capitol on Wednesday. It was the last straw for me. I deleted every contact with this person, and decided I would seek out the blogs of my favorite artists that always inspire and uplift me. Yours is the first one I went to. On seeing the title of today's post, my first thought was a panicked, "OhNO!!!" I'm so glad Tom has convinced you to keep blogging!! I can see from your audience here that I am not the only one inspired and moved by your paintings and words held here in your posts. You have the gift of kindness combined with your talent....and it is the healing balm in the beauty you create and share with the world. This week has been horrible, but you and your work are more relevant than ever! I am so grateful for your post today! Thank you.

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    1. Roxanne,
      This week has shown the side of people that is unsettling. I also “unfriend” people who’s views are too far from mine.
      Glad to know I’ve brought you a little light in these dark times.
      ❤️

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  43. Your art is changing the world, it's helping people, it helps me. Please don't give up. Without art it is darkness. Thank you for creating and encouraging. Love. Irina as Nik Ira.

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    1. Thank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference ❤️

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  44. Brenda, I deeply understand that sense of “hope deferred” (one too many times) so am thrilled Tom’s words spoke to you! We are here to lavish our unique gifts of love on a world that is so in need. Your art and words are beautiful and tangible expressions of love that keep inspiring so many of us. I love the tree and luminous fruit you settled on to paint. The subject is Spirit-inspired and completes the verse you started: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” ~ Proverbs 13:12

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    1. Suzanne, hank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference ❤️

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  45. Brenda you are one of the lights in our world. Please do keep painting and writing. I have been finding comfort in another light, historian Heather Cox Richardson. Her nightly Letter to America does not make light of our current situation, but does show how we got here and encourages us to take our citizenship seriously and make sure our elected officials know what we care about. There is hard work ahead, but we do have a future. Take heart, those oranges are indeed good omens in this new year. 💕🙋🎨

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    1. Rachel, I was recently introduced to Heather Cox Richardson writing. She is a voice I'll listen too!
      ~Hugs

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  46. Brenda, I hear you and understand the hurt. You are a gentle soul and feel things deeply. Ignore the haters and continue to be a light in this troubled world. I and so many others love you and appreciate you. Sending big hugs.

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    1. Kfaille, Thank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference ❤️
      ~Hugs

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  47. Thou I am late in reading your Jan 10th blog page, I agree with Tom. I, too, am hurt and shocked at what happened to the Capital and its occupants on Wednesday. I am also worried for what might happen in the next 10 - 12 days in Washington. Please keep sharing your talent, works of art and wisdom with us. You bring light into a very dark world and we all need that for the days to come.

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    1. I worry what waits on the horizon. Thank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference ❤️
      ~Hugs

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  48. Brenda, especially right now, we need your art AND your words. That they can't always be only positive and uplifting, that you feel and reflect the ups and downs of what is around you, only makes both the words and the art more human. I am sure there are many in the same boat as me: that get so much from this blog,always, but don't say much. I hope you keep it going. Big hugs.

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    1. Suhita, Thank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference ❤️ I enjoy your blog too!
      ~Hugs

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  49. Just a big hug, Brenda. I felt exactly like you, I recognize the despair, and I'm so glad you reached out for comfort. Your art and your words (on your blog or wherever you will decide to continue to write) are important to me, they have taught me a lot, and I cherish them.

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    1. Antonella, A terrible day of despair! Thank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference ❤️
      ~Hugs

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  50. Hi Brenda, you and I sound so alike. I've been following you and perusing your blog for years. I'm an artist too, (JustAddWaterSilly.com) and have had real trouble doing any painting at all this last year. I gave up about 4 months ago when yet another health thing popped up, giving me an "EXCUSE" to stop. I'm crocheting my way back to paint now. It's a slow process, although I live in Canada, I'm following the US stuff closely, probably too closely. But watching, to me, is like also watching the truth about hate come to the surface (around the world) and to not acknowledge it makes me afraid too. Tom deserves both accolades and a big hug. I needed to read his words too. Please know that no matter what, I DO check your blog when you post, I get you through bloglovin and read you when you post but never comment. That's on me. I'll think more about what you (and the others I read) need when I feel insignificant and my comment would mean nothing. That's what I told myself up to now. I know better today, and will do better going forward. Thank you for your post and your beautiful art. I aspire to be you one day, Brenda. Just that darn good that no one would ever question my talent. You're one of my artists who always inspire me. You're so good. And above all that talent is such a good woman, I hear it in your words and your tears the other day. Hi, I'm Jenn, can we be friends? :o)

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    1. Jenn, Your words mean a lot...never doubt that! Thank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference to you. Hope we meet one day❤️
      ~Hugs

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  51. I just read your post in my inbox and had to comment. I don't do that much in this electronic world but I needed to tell you that when I am down in the dumps with everything that is happening in this world, I scroll through the blogs that matter most to me. That uplift me with beautiful words and beautiful pictures and thoughts. Yours is one of those. I just want you to know you are appreciated. Hugs

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    1. Ann, Thank you for letting me know my art and words make a difference to you. I was terribly low and the response has reminded how important it is to reach out across the internet... ❤️ My heart is lighter and prayer has come back to me.
      ~Big hug

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  52. I too was devastated, and still am, but we will do what we can, gaining strength from each other to carry on. Your beautiful art, wisdom, and inspiration reach so far. I don’t follow Facebook, but I read your blogs word for word, having even bookmarked some to read again. It’s in you to “be you” and do what you love.

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  53. Oh, Brenda how I felt your pain on that day. It was my birthday!! I woke up feeling wonderful. As we all know 2020 was a monster of a year. But this was a new year. I had a list of art projects as part of my New Years resolutions. I do this every year but this year was going to be different. And then..the day came crashing down and the coming of spring and the longer days of light didn't matter. I spent the day instead of organizing my studio glued to the television. What a day to celebrate my birthday. And then my husband surprised me with a zoom meeting with all my family far and near. I cried when I was able to see and speak with my 87 year old sister in Texas. This time they were tears of joy. Everyone complimented me on the beautiful Christmas card they had received from me. And after the joyous reunion was over. I realized that this was the best birthday present ever. My family not only sent me love but they reaffirmed my belief in my art. As Dickens said, It was the worst of times and it was the best of times. Brenda you fill me with inspiration every day and I have followed your blog a number of years. Please don't give it up. And I look forward to taking a class from you when this is pandemic is finally under control.

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    1. Your message is beautiful The joy you experienced sharing a zoom celebration with your family made me smile. Happy belated Birthday!

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  55. I hope you keep your blog. Your art is an inspiration and loved by so many! I was also moved by Toms post! Hugs!!

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  56. Karla, I’ve come to the understanding that my lessons (art and life lessons) on my blog does matter. I can’t be all things to all people but I can do this.
    ~Hugs

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  57. Your blogs and paintings are always an inspiration. I hope you continue to generously give your time to sending them out to all your fans. Liz

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    1. Liz, Thank you. The kind comments of the art community lifted my spirts.
      Brenda

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  58. Please ignore the foul trolls, absolute cowards! You've got an amazing talent which is also due to a lot of hard work, and the world is a better place for your beautiful paintings. Thank you so much for sharing your work and thoughts. I do hope 2021 will be a better year!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words❤️ Healing words for sure.
      Hugs,
      Brenda

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  59. Thanks for your post. I can relate! I look forward to seeing more and hearing more from you. It's tough to be vulnerable, I thank you for sharing that.

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