Monday, December 22, 2008

The Impact of Art

It seems like most of my creativity lately has been in doing Holiday gifts. I am taking two art classes online but have had to push them to the side to complete my holiday gifts on time (and I hate missing my assignments!)

I haven't talked a trenendous amount about my family here but I have a wonderful husband, two grown daughters (19 & 21), an unbelievable soon-to-be son-in-law that I adore, a great 13 y/o step-son and a beautiful 4 y/o grandson.

Doing Holiday gifts for everyone in the family is pretty easy (I've done a bracelet for my oldest daughter, a necklace for my youngest daughter, a tshirt for our son-in-law, a jacket for the grandboy, a collage for the hubby) but my step-son, as wonderful as he is, can be tough. Chad has autism. He is high functioning and goes to regular school but there is no doubt that he is autistic and he has little or no wants that he conveys to us.

He loves Barney the dinosaur like you wouldn't believe. He also enjoys the computer and can spend hours browsing youtube.com for Barney videos, looking at Barney items on ebay and Amazon...anything and everything Barney. We've bought it all. He has every Barney video twice over, every Barney plush toy, talking toy, and every other thing Barney ever made...so what do you get a kid who's only wants involve Barney?

Well, if you're me, you MAKE him something Barney that he'd never find any other place. It's all we could think of to give him so that's what we settled on for Chad's big gift this year instead of some toy he'd never play with...a painting of Barney, done by me, for him to have and hang in his room.

Now, I've been working on painting pretty girls in my class with Suzi Blu so Barney is not my subject of choice personally and not something I have any experience with but there is nothing wrong with stretching our creative wings and that's what this was for me...a stretch. But I was so excited to do it.

An original Barney of his very own.

Because my oldest daughter is moving back to Arkansas tomorrow, we did our Holiday gift opening tonight and when Chad opened his Barney painting his eyes lit up like he'd just received the crown jewels! (We had no idea how he'd react...would he love it or would it just be another something thrown to the side?)

The way he smiled and stared at that painting, the way he touched each and every part of it, his fingers sliding across the smooth areas and touching on the glittery parts...his eyes wide as he soaked in every bit of that painting, there was no doubt that he loved this gift.

The hours I spent on making this Barney the very best Barney I could make him were more worth it than any other time I've ever spent creating anything. To see this wonderful boy who spends his life locked in his own little world, barely, if ever, able to communicate his most basic of human needs...to see him glow with excitement was the most joyous feelings I've felt in forever.

We all watched him as he absorbed HIS Barney and all of us had tears well up in our eyes. He just seemed so amazed.

Then his Dad told him, "Barbara painted that Barney for you, Chad" and Chad's reply? "A very special gift", then he hugged the painting and kissed Barney on the face and giggled. He loves that it has the Radio City Music Hall sign on it, too...he adores the "Barney Live in New York City" video and talks often about going to Yaddio City Music Hall so I had to include that in there.

It hasn't left his sight since he opened it.

We took him home later this evening and about an hour later we got a call from his mother to let us know that Chad refused to bathe without Barney watching over him from the bathroom vanity and he was now fast asleep, with Barney laying in the bed right next to him, sharing his pillow.

Now, if that doesn't tell you what an impact art can have on someone, I don't know what will.

I love knowing something I did through my art has impacted this wonderful child in such a positive way. My heart is happy.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,




PS. I got some amazing gifts already, including a NICE gift card from my oldest daughter and grandboy to Hobby Lobby where I will be purchasing my Bind-It-All tomorrow along with a slew of other art supply goodies...and from our youngest daughter and son-in-law a TWO HOUR deep tissue MASSAGE! How awesome are those wonderful goodies? And there is more gift giving to come on christmas eve. YAY!, it's a great Holiday season already.

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18 comments:

  1. Wow...this story brought goosebumps and shivers to my heart...thanks so much for sharing this...It is a reminder that not only does ART MATTER...but that the spirit of Christmas is well alive ...and so we shall not forget the beauty of that...Happy Holidays Barb.
    Supria

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  2. I love this story and it definately brought tears to my eyes to hear about his happiness at the painting that you made especially for him. I love giving, and especially giving something to someone that they really truly love!

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  3. What a wonderful story Barb about the power of art. Very moving!

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  4. That is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it with us, and thank you for bringing such joy to a sweet boy.

    Genuine love and joy like that have a ripple effect that we can never truly know the momentum of.

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  5. God Bless You for making such a wonderful, heartfelt gift for such a special boy. I'm so happy he loves his new Barney painting. You're the best! And congrats on those 2 awesome gifts! You certainly deserve them.

    Hugs!

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  6. Hi, Barb! I was stopping by to wish you and yours a tremendous holiday season ... but it sounds like you're already having one! What a fabulous story. What a blessing to be able to create something so loved and so appreciated. And what a joy to be able to touch his heart like that! Made me cry! Happy holidays! :-)

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  7. Barb, A wonderful story about the positive power of art. What a connection you made! You've made me consider taking an online art course. Enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for joining my blog crew. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day! jeanne in Oregon

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  8. What a great story!
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
    Joanie

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  9. Oh Barb!! how incredibly wonderful you must feel!! You made that precious boy so happy with something you created with your own hands!! That has got to be such an amazing feeling! (one I'll never know!)
    I had tears in my eyes as I read this!!

    and yes..you've had a wonderful Christmas!! Who could ask for anything more?
    xoxxo

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  10. Barb - your story brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful and special that this touched Chad's heart like that. Thank you for sharing such a touching Christmas story. Merry Christmas Barb!
    Hugs,
    Marci

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  11. What a beautiful story. It brought tears to my eyes too. I'm so glad you shared it tonight. It really brings home how special gifts from our hands and hearts can be.

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  12. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I have a present for you on my blog. Swing by when you get a moment.

    {soul hugs}
    k

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  13. Thanks for the comment. Merry Christmas - in "spades." jeanne in Oregon

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  14. fabulous gift--and what a wonderful story! thanks so much for sharing--and good for you for coming up with The Perfect Gift.

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  15. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
    Happy Holidays!!

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  16. Just came on your blog and I really relate to you in many of the blogging topics...art, people connections,autism,craftiness (in the good sense!) Nice meeting you...Nancy

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  17. Oh my goodness i have tears in my eyes! What a beautiful post X:-)
    and i'm REALLY jealous of all your wonderful chrissy gifts Lol! Happy holidayz vicki xox

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Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,
~Barb~

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