Art And Empathy On The Younger Generations


I’ve used a lot of art mediums throughout my life’s journey. Honestly, I’ve scribbled…painted…glued…carved…molded…well, basically I’ve done it all. And I’ve come to the realization that my obsession isn’t with art, but more the freedom that it grants.

In any other avenue of life, there are rules and parameters.

How dull is that?

Rules and parameters mean…it’s been done before. Someone has claimed it. It’s theirs. They have shaped it to their liking, slapped a patent on it and now if you wish to re-create it…you are ‘borrowing’ an idea.

But with art there are no rules, regulations, parameters. Instead of a process void of thought and critical thinking, it’s the exact opposite.

People talk of the vanishing art programs. Education is slowly becoming strictly math, science, language arts and social studies. Such a strict focus on the ideas of others. Sadly, this is a mistake that will one day create a pit of regret.

The assumption is made that math creates a critical thinker. I propose that art creates critical thinking, enabling to use of math. It’s the reason why often time music=math minded individuals. It’s the ability the see the beauty in the numbers. Minus emotion, void of desire…who the hell actually wants to do all of those repetitive assignments created by minds past. If you love math…that’s an emotion. It’s a desire. Desire drives the art process. As well as the ability to calculate. These things take a sharpness. An ability to figure it out. As an artist can look at a blank sheet and envision a vast multitude of ways to give the paper a life of it’s own…So can too a mathematician, who views a series of random numbers and attempts to make sense of them.

Language arts, while teaching the works of others,  goes on the inclination that this will teach you how to create your own. True…Language arts does teach the necessary tools of the trade. But your creation comes from emotion. To grab the entire spectrum of emotion, you need to find the emotions first. You need empathy.

You need a trigger.

Triggers can be visual, heard, tasted, touched and smelled. And some people seem to feel an entirely new sense. A 6th sense. And in order to utilize these crucial senses, you must have an ‘artistic vision’. You need to become skilled at exploring your own mind. Unbutton the top button, so to speak. Basically…broaden your horizons. Be OF the world, don’t sit on the sidelines.

One of my most…if not the most, important lessons I’ve tried to instill in my kids is to keep an open mind. Experience the issue at hand, prior to casting judgement. And in some instances, it may not be possible to experience an event. Some events we truly wish to avoid! But we can relate out of empathy. Empathy can be awoken with art. It can bring tears and an understanding, as in these works by Bansky. His attempt to cast a light on the darkness that war brings to children, was sadly and  completely accomplished.




While some argue that the photos are too graphic for children, I would argue that closing their eyes to history creates a path to repetition. Social Studies classes of today, are watered down ‘incomplete sentences’.  How about throw in some Bansky?  

Throw in truth…

Allow the future generation to visualize the consequences of their future actions. Allow them to empathize. It’s like the child who asks “Is the stove hot?” You say “Yes. Don’t touch it.” And of course, just to see if you’re jerking their chain, they touch it <—Insert screaming child here. 

They need to personally experience the sensation. Verbal or physical…they need a trigger.



You know… if I were a government hell bent on creating a generation of  loyal, non-empathetic and  unquestioning followers….I’d remove the art….



Interior Design 2017 Color Trends

It’s that time of year. The New Year is upon us! For some of us, this means we’re buried neck deep in darkness, freezing temps and a strong need to create a positive atmosphere. The holidays are over (although we still have Valentines Day for all Pinterest lovers everywhere), and it’s time to settle in for the winter doom and gloom….or not.

Drawing on the Pantone Report, 2017 is guaranteed to be bright and vibrant. I sincerely hope that you  LOVE color!

*Links and credit included

Without further delay, here are the top picks for 2017 interior design and decor.











interior design colors for 2017


It doesn’t take a trained eye to notice the clean, eclectic, bright and yet classic pattern of 2017’s design trends.

I don’t know about you, my lovely reader, but I can craft and Pin with the best of them! Dollar stores, craft stores and thrift-stores can make this years interior design projects much less expensive. And when you create the design, it holds a much deeper meaning.  When you’re relaxing on the sofa enjoying your splendid handy-work, give yourself a pat on the back and stare in awe at your incredible artistic vision.

Currently I’m working on some Valentine’s goodies…that should keep me occupied for a while. Happy Bargain Hunting!

iPhone: Photography

My job took me on a walk-about today. Spring days like today,  are the reason my phone is glued to my hip. While I have had an android, I prefer the iPhone for photos. Yes. I’m an Apple gal. For a while we had an ongoing battle in this house, pertaining to cell phones. Sort of like the Twilight thing….Team Jacob vs. Team Edward. Eventually, I persuaded them all over to my side.

The first four photos are of our town cemetery. While many go to mourn, twice as many go for the beauty. My family is buried here as well. Often I have both visited family and sat down to read.


I think it goes without saying, that this particular cemetery is rather photogenic. Although I suppose for all of us, one is favored above all others.


As a child, this was a fascinating place. Not only because my mother brought me here to visit family, but because of the multitude of little hiding places. I suppose that is why I took the photos. The existance of this place, shows the human frailty that will one day keep me from visiting.


Park Ave……

I think I have stood on this street, more than any other. It’s the center…the little space that brings the town together. The buildings are magnificently kept up. And when I say everybody knows everybody…I mean it. Small town America is not just a phrase. It genuinely exists.


I’m not thrilled about the lines in the next one. Believe it or not, the left wall is actually bowed a bit. I hate it when that happens. It’s misery to line up.


The barber…actually, we have several. This one just happens to be very photogenic …and it was in my line of vision today.


That’s technically half car / half train, below. Don’t worry…it wasn’t a nut riding down the tracks…



Thanks for checking out my photos.

Follow my Instagram for a constant photo stream: @homefreekids

Buy the Damned Book

In this…the age of Kindles and iPads…the world wide net and smart phones, ones thoughts and opinions are instantly available to anyone with the desire to listen. It doesn’t seem to matter what the topic is. I’ve seen it all. Humans come in variety pack and we’ve all generally, got something…anything, to write about. I’ve seen stories of heartbreak, dispair and horror….followed by lighthearted sarcasm and smart comebacks….mixed in with the bazaar and ‘just plain wrong’. I’ve spent endless hours driving through YouTube, only to find myself in that ‘strange’ part of the internet again. If anyone cared to search my internet travels, I’d probably be commited.

My first computer was a Commodore 64. Basically, after writing an hour long program from scratch on one of these ‘state of the art’ computers…you could change the font color from white to cyan…oh yeah! It was cutting edge! And after a few years (ok…a lot of years), the internet was born. Chat Rooms were the place to be. With a custom avatar, you could be anyone in the world. Don’t like yourself? Be someone else. And the chats were…well…..usually pretty dumb. Mostly people asking for each others stats. Height, weight, hair color etc… If you got lucky, every now and then, you talked to a genuine person. There was no real way to be sure. There still isn’t. Unless you’re willing to meet Mr. Creepy in a nice dark alley…no thanks.

After a while, aspiring young authors began to fill the blank pages of the net, like wildfire. Homepages took off. Free of charge (unless you didn’t want ads), available to anyone with a keyboard. Sites like Angelfire and Yahoo Pages kicked off the era of free publishing. Everyone who was anyone, had a link. Suddenly, folks with or without and education, became the authority on everything from curing cancer, whitening teeth, child rearing, marriage, law, gardening, job interviews, money making from home, do it yourself electrical, fixing that blasted disposal, couponing *there are THOUSANDS of couponing sites*….if you can google it, there will be a self professed expert on the subject matter.

While many sites are legit….too many are not. It amazes me the amount of folks who decide whether or not to spank their kids, based on internet opinion polls. Gone are the days of Dr. Sears and Dr. Spock, or hell….even calling grandma. Why bother? Just a click away, you can have someone claiming to be ‘Sally’, wife and mother to three perfect angels. Nevermind the fact, that Sally may average 23 hours a day on the internet, may or may not even have children and while Sally is the latest internet rage in child rearing, no background check, credentials or even PROOF OF LIFE, have ever been verified.

What does this have to do with pennies you ask??? EVERYTHING! Just the sheer volume of readily available FREE material, who gives a shit who wrote it, always the number one authority on how to get rid of that unsightly pimple on your ass….why buy the book? Not only can you find out how to pop that unsightly pimple…you can WATCH it on YouTube! oh yeah….not for the faint of heart…there is actually an entire section on ‘pimple popping’ on YouTube, of which I discovered on one of my ‘weird key phrase’ trips.  Please…don’t go there.

While I’d like to blame the common core for…well….everything: fact is reading ‘Dumb’, creates ‘Dumb’.  Need to finish that term paper in a hurry? There’s a fellow named Fred somewhere in a tiny effiency, surrounded by hoards of cats, sporting the clothes he was born in, cooking up a grill cheese on his lamp shade, hates his mother and all women in general….and he’s this weeks foremost authority on protecting your cervix…free of charge, your paper on cervical cancer prevention will be chalk full of useful ‘facts’ from Fred. No need to head to the local libray, Fred’s your go-to-guy! 

I personally, don’t have any books out there. So why does this effect me?

Simple: I would like my children and grandchildren to grow up in a world, where idiocy and ‘false facts’ are no longer part of the status quo. Need medical facts…buy or borrow a MEDICAL BOOK…you know…the kind where the author is a VERIFIED MD. Better yet…go to a damned DOCTOR! Don’t know how to punish little Billy? Use common fricken common sense!!!! When did rational thinking fly out the window? In this new age of memorization education, critical thinking is no longer on the menu….want to bring it back? BUY THE DAMNED BOOK!