• Portrait of Teddy

    My older son Teddy finally let me his portrait.  “Teddy” is my dad’s incredibly late Christmas present. Even though it is only 14" x 16", it took longer than I had hoped.  Teddy is different than most 4 year olds, he has autism with hyperlexia, precocious reading abilities.  Along with words and letters, he loves drawing.  Also, he doesn't particularly like being alone.  He usually wants me around even if it's just sitting next to him while he is in his own world.  Normally when I paint I can get him to do something else, at least for a couple hours.  However, He loves it when I paint people.  He hovers around trying to sneak a brush and dab it in the paint when i'm not looking.  He gets bossy too.  His bossiness earned him the nickname “Pope Julius” - the pope that was always telling Michelangelo what to do on the Sistine chapel. My “Little Pope Julius” was always demanding “more red” and “I want R” (the hyperlexia coming out). He even sneaked the blue from me and wrote “R” on his portrait’s mouth when I was looking the other way.  Thankfully most of the under layer was dry enough.  Some pulled off with the mineral spirits, but not too much.  Stay calm and carry on!  LOL

  • Painting until the popcorn runs out

    Above: Detail of current in progress painting I worked on today.  

    The stems and one tulip are blocked in and the silver bowl needs more work on the right side 

    I'm a mom of two boys.  We are together 24/7.  Henry is 3 years old and very exhuberant.  Teddy is 4 and has autism with hyperlexia.  Needless to say, when I leave the room for 5 minutes, catastrophy strikes.  Having to be always on, I make small mistakes.  Today I left the ketchup on the table while they were eating and came back to to find Henry dumped it all out on his plate.  The list for today goes on and on and the day isn't over.  Many days are like this.  Everyone is always screaming "You need to remember self-care" at you and there's almost no possible way to get any.

    I've found out that my self-care is painting.  I never realized how important painting was until every ounce of free time was taken from me (don't get me wrong, I do love every minute with my kids).  To carve out a space for self-care and hopefully make some money, I've resorted to popcorn.  Teddy's autism keeps him from being engaged with a lot of shows and Henry, who is neurotypical, has his attention needs too.  You can't leave Teddy alone or he does strange things, like climb stuff or just get into things in an odd way (and yes I have all the sensory things).  So, I plop them down in front of the Tv every afternoon for a couple of hours...... if I'm lucky.   They watch Daniel Tiger (a great social story that has helped Teddy a lot), Clifford the Red Dog, Give a mouse a cookie, etc.....with a bowl of popcorn.   Teddy will sit there and watch until the popcorn runs out.  He sits there and actually watchs the shows, as long as he has popcorn.  Later he draws about them or talks about them, so they are sinking in.                

     And I get to sit down for a short period of time that flys by and paint.   

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