Painting pink tulips in February has been a good use of time.

Listening to a biography of Charles Dickens while I paint has also been a good use of time, especially for one who read more Cliffs Notes than Dickens’ originals. 

Dickens was like the nineteenth century’s social commentator or blogger. 

 “He saw the world more vividly than other people, and reacted to what he saw with laughter, horror, indignation, and sometimes sobs.” ― Claire Tomalin, Charles Dickens

Into the third year of COVID and craziness, painting and Libby have been the boundaries of my reaction to what I have seen since March of 2020. 

Compared to how I spent last two Februarys, I have slowed down: not so many paintings or books. 


More of a life means a tidier workspace

But for good reasons: We are out and about a bit more! (Still masking in crowds, though) 


Listening to how Dickens lived his life through times as dark and challenging as our own, I learned how his novels, mostly serialized, became mirrors of what he saw. 

Alas, even as a recovering English major, I became impatient with his canvases of characters, intricate backgrounds, and sermonizing. Hence the Cliffs Notes. 🙁

Becoming impatient  because his stories (and other things) aren’t moving fast enough, though, has its down side — it may short-circuit some worthwhile tutorials. 

Claire Tomalin  muses that impatience may have hamstrung Mr. Dickens:

“He could take on anything and everything, it seemed, rather than leave himself time to reflect on his dissatisfaction with his life and what he might do about it.”

Painting and listening are giving me time for reflection.


and grant me the ears to hear and eyes to see Your answer, Lord

Back to Painting

The inspiration for the most recent paintings were from photos of pink tulips. The first of a friend’s hopeful pot, and the second captures a happy memory of tulips we enjoyed in Dallas.

Painting those pink tulips took longer than I first reckoned. 

Now  enjoying  better vision didn’t mean I had suddenly received better skills. 

 I even looked up a Youtube teaching on how to paint pink and white tulips. 

Looked easy — It wasn’t. 

So, I just kept on with my way — painting and painting over while listening to Dickens’ life and outlines of his best known novels and other adventures. 

 Thus far

At this point in the biography, he has survived a train wreck.  (The Staplehurst Railway Accident) No, I haven’t finished the bio. LoL

The irony was that Dickens’ life was a personal train wreck when the real train jumped the tracks. He had made very bad decisions; most impatiently . . . I’ll leave it at that. 

My take away when listening to the vivid description of that wreck is that God is always busy; creatively offering paths to us return to sanity — even, and especially, in all kinds of train wrecks!   

He also offers delicate, extraordinary beauty — like pink tulips. (Luke 12:27)

Take time to look, reflect and learn . . . be wary of short cuts. Beverly Sills said there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Have patience will all things, but first of all with yourself. (Saint Francis of Sales)

Patience is not just self-restraint, but the overflow of kindness, understanding and acceptance. (A New Day. page 50)

Here are the Tulips . . . 


Inspiration — Memories –Imagination

I am making greeting cards out of these, btw. 


painting and listening

Artwork: Maud Tousey Fangel, Garden of Bright Images

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