The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

wah, wah, wha,

My husband and I often echo this back and forth jokingly. Life is full of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

Waking up every day, having your family around you, doing what you love for your job, is the Good! We all have something to be thankful for, blessings that make life bearable on even the worst of days. Some days seem overflowing and others can seem void of things to be happy about, but it is possible to find joy and happiness by looking hard and rejoicing in even the smallest blessing. I don’t talk about the truly hard times in my life because even in those times there were things to be thankful for and for me, focusing on them got me through. Sometimes in my journal I will list the good things, it helps me to really grab onto them and hold them tightly to my heart.

The Bad

When we hear of things, like the horrific devastation in Japan, our focus shifts and we realize that what we measure bad with is not adequate. It is unimaginable and we are left without words. Times like this make us appreciate what we have and our hearts go out to those in need. Many artists are now working on ways to reach out through our art. More will be posted about this soon. We all do what we can even when it is just the offering of a whispered prayer on the behalf of someone(s) we will never meet. We lift each other up because we realize it could so easily be us.

The Ugly

This is where the Golden Rule should come into play, but often, sadly, it does not. Out in the online world it can often feel like you are in a closed little community and what you say is not going to be overheard by anyone outside the group.  Once you hit ‘enter’ your words are out there for everyone to see. It’s so easy to tear down instead of build up, this is one side of human nature. Once a negative comment is out there it can rapidly go downhill as people lose the restraint that might be present in a face to face conversation. This happens to most of us and it is unfortunate, but the best way to keep it from happening is to ask yourself if you would say that to the persons face before you hit enter. There are ways to express you opinion that are respectful to the person and everyone has the right to do that, and to their opinion. Voicing our opinions is something we should do! It’s when things degrade to snarky comments that don’t do anything but tear down that things can get ugly.

One thing that I noticed this past week was that my creative muse was here for the Good, and the Bad. It identified with these emotions and artwork poured out in a response to them. Not so with the Ugly. Ugliness stifles the muse within no matter which end of it, giving or receiving, you are on. So I choose today to let Ugly go, it does no one any good and there are so many, much more important things to focus our hearts and creativity on.

23 responses

  1. So enjoyed the class – I’m starting through it again to remind myself of my favorite processes – and jump start my art again as I’ve been lax.

    SO – I’ve just set up a blog – yay, I guess….but I’m trying to figure out how to load the pretty “button” from your blog on to my blog in WordPress – seems that you provided a helpful tip in comments in 365, but I can’t find them. If it’s quick and easy a gentle reminder is REALLY appreciated!!! Thanks – Kristin


  2. Your post exemplifies your compassion and understanding but I am still sorry you had to experience the negativity. You are a continued inspiration to me.


  3. Somewhere today I read “it’s not far from brave to bravo…” I wish I could remember the artist who said this today to me as it really helped. I think you’ve done just that. Bravo! Great post! Thanks for sharing all of your art with us in your Strathmore Workshop! I was blown away by your generous time and energy! I was given a gift and just came by to thank you when I read this post. Remember you reap what you sow and so therefore one must do battle with the ugly by being brave and ending the cycle. Good for you to have posted such a postitive post in light of being faced with the ugliness out there! Bravo indeed!

  4. Thank you for sharing such an emotional and heart tugging post. It is wonderful that there are so many “Earth Angels” on the planet, trying to live angelically.
    I love your creations and use them as inspiration to teach myself how to draw faces

  5. Such a beautifully written post, Pam. The creative message boards and blogs are generally full of kind and generous people. I try to stay away from the general or off-topic discussion sections of most message boards. Those places can get real ugly real fast. And really, who needs that?

  6. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I’ve been thinking along those lines myself lately too. I need to rid myself of “ugly” in all of the areas in my life, and be careful not to let ugly things in, and especially not to release ugly onto someone else.

    Hugs and goodness to you!

  7. Thank you for this inspiring post. I agree with “letting it go” and I always say “let go, let God” to turn it over to God. I’ve seen lots of threads lately where snarky posts and attacks seem to be the style of communication. I post as the peacemaker and am ignored. Sometimes I just have to let it go. I turn to my art and find peace there. I appreciate you, your art and these reminders. Linda

  8. Bravo Pam and beautifully written! I have a mantra in my classroom of ‘Say nice things or say nothing at all!’ and yes it was the same mantra in my home when I was growing up.

    The ‘ugly’ must be going around at the moment. I had to give my daughter a pep talk yesterday morning about it belonging to someone else. I reminded her that she had a choice to let it in and cripple her or to merely say ‘no, I will not take that on board and I will leave those thoughts and comments belonging to that person as their issue to deal with!’ Sending lots of love to you and yours. Ali

    • You are so right! Leave it with them, don’t own it. Easier said than done at times because I think the insecure ‘high schooler’ is in all of us no matter our age:-)
      Lots of love back Ali, it was so fun to meet you in Paris!

    • Thank you, sharing art is worth making yourself vulnerable. The great thing is there is something out there for everyone and if there isn’t then the truly creative will go and make it themselves!

  9. I agree totally! My mother always told me …”If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I taught my children the same thing! Love your art, your drawings stir such emotion. Have a wonderful SPRING day, it’s finally here!

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