Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2 simple secrets

Two Simple Secrets to a Great Relationship
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 by Joel F. Wade -
There are two related things that you can do to make your relationships – not
just your marriage, but all of your relationships – happier, stronger and more fun.
These are very easy things to do - if you set your mind to it. I always
recommend doing all the easy things you can do. Sometimes, because they
seem so easy, people overlook them. But it's the easy, simple things that you do
every day that make a relationship strong and happy.
When you have the kind of base that is built by countless friendly, kind and playful interactions, then
when the inevitable difficult conflicts or misunderstandings come up they are much less daunting
because they are exceptions to the overall spirit that you have created between you.
Bids and Turning
The first is what John Gottman calls "Bids and turning."
When someone makes a bid for your attention, turn toward them – actually, physically, turn toward
them; and respond to them.
Simple, right?
But here's where a lot of people get stuck. They think, "If I respond, then I have to do what they're
asking, and I don't have the time or energy to do what they're asking so I'd rather just try and ignore
them, and then maybe they'll go away. Then I won't have to do what they're asking of me and
everything will be fine."
Except that when you ignore them and they go away they take something with them: a little piece of
the trust and joy and closeness that you both want in the relationship.
Let me clarify something that will make doing this much easier, and much more attractive.
When somebody – your mate, your child, a friend – makes a bid for your attention, turn toward them
and acknowledge their request. That's all you have to do to make a better relationship.
You don't have to do what they're asking you to do.
Sure, it's nice if you can, and you want to do that as often as possible; but that's not the most important
thing. What's most important is the initial immediate response.
For example, say your wife asks you if you could help her do a chore but you have work that you have
to finish, and you can't reasonably take the time right now to help her – or you don't want to take the
The Daily Bell -
1 of 3 08/31/11 9:45 PM
time right now because you've got enough to do.
You turn toward her and say something like, "I'd like to help, but I have to finish what I'm doing. I'll be
done in about an hour and I'd be happy to help you then." Or, "I'm sorry honey; I've got my hands full
and I really can't help you now."
Now, she may be disappointed but she won't feel ignored.
Make a point of practicing this for a couple of weeks. Notice when the people you care about ask for
your attention. It may be obvious in some cases: "Hey, look at this!" Or it may be subtle: a gentle touch
or a gesture that you might easily ignore (if you've been practicing ignoring such things).
As you notice these, physically turn toward the person and respond to them kindly.
And then if what they want your attention for is to show or tell you something they're happy or excited
about here's something else to do.
Active Positive Response
There's another thing that you can do, from the work of Shelly Gable. Especially for a romantic
relationship, or with your kids, this can literally make the difference between a happy, delightful
relationship and a pretty miserable one.
When your mate or your child comes to you with good news, respond to them actively and positively.
"Active" means that you ask them questions about it, engage them in conversation about it and be
curious about this great experience they've had.
"Positive" means that you are excited for them, happy for them, supportive of what they've
accomplished and optimistic and hopeful for the possibilities.
And what matters is that you do both.
Positive all by itself, without the active part, is actually not that much better than a negative response! If
you say something like, "Oh, that's great!" and then turn back to what you were doing without asking
anything or engaging about it further, you're going to find that you've lost a great opportunity to build
more joy and happiness into your relationship.
A lot of people might think that what really matters is how you respond to the negative things – the hurt,
the fear, the pain, the sadness, the grief. But it turns out that's not really all that important. Dealing with
negative emotions and helping people when they're in need is much more complicated. It's not always
experienced as purely a good thing.
I'm not suggesting that you stop empathizing with people you care about when it comes to issues of
loss and sadness and fear, or that you avoid helping people. These are part of being a loving and
caring human being. It's just that this is not as important for the resilience, joy and longevity of a
relationship as how we deal with the good stuff.
When you respond badly to the good things, you severely undermine the joy and trust in a relationship.
When you respond positively and actively, you create a benevolent cycle that energizes both you and
the other person, and sets the stage for more and more positive emotions and attitudes between you.
It is this atmosphere of positive emotion, trust, and joy that gives you the strength to weather, and even
The Daily Bell -
2 of 3 08/31/11 9:45 PM
flourish through, the hard times.
Start at home, and expand out to the other people you care about. Turn toward the people you love,
and respond actively and positively to any enthusiasm, optimism and good news. Grow the positive
emotions between you and you will broaden and build your resilience and your joy, together.
The Daily Bell -

Smile a few times today ... maybe even laugh outloud

Don't let a dreary day dim your spirits .... keep a little sunshine in your heart ready to use on the spur of the moment.
It was a lovely day here today..... with the end of the summer just around the corner ... how can that be?!

Yes... we draw lips  ... charcoal on smooth newsprint .. about 4 inches wide

From my sketchpad ,,,, charcoal on smooth newsprint about 6 inches wide

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life is just a bowl of cherries ... so live and laugh at it all

Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly. -Eskimo saying

 "life is just a bowl of cherries" .... yesterday they were on a tree.... tomorrow they will be pits :-)

Hey... add a slice of water mellon and what could be better?

check this out Vallee - 1931

Study from still life setup... oil on canvas pad  6x8

Monday, August 22, 2011

You can teach an ol' Geezer new tricks

Never underestimate the power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others. -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Well the altelier got me to do some more posing .... from 7 to 10 in the evening ... I thought it would be pretty tough that time of day for the ol' geezer but it was not... I made it thru in good order... did not fall asleep
Following are some of the drawings by the students and instructors .... the pictures with several drawings on one page were 5 minute sketches

 Erik Gist 5 min sketches

 Erik Gist 20 min demo

Jeff Watts 2 hour drawing

Jeff Watts 5 min sketches

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tutto leri

Always nice to get to the Beach once in a while ... tough life but someone has to do it :-)


Relax... cool it .... chill .... peace and no stress is up to you today .... make it a good one

Nicole was back again today ... 3 hours of fun painting

Oil on gessoed Masonite 9x12

Friday, August 12, 2011

tiny pieces of plastic

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. - Will Rogers

OK...OK.... so we sneaked out for a day and skipped school (kinda)... but Z was in town so it was off to Legoland ...... what the heck is Legoland? ... didn't know but soon found out ... a theme park with all sorts of fantastic things made out of legos ,,, incredible.... who would have thought!?
(but the roler coaster was not made of legos)

Looks like everyone had a marvelous time... don't you think so ?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Who are they?

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have..

Art students take breaks too....... so off we went to the Carlsbad Village to the COAL artist's reception for their 50th anniversary show .... it was great fun
afterwards I entertained in the parking lot for a while :-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Change is good

Since we live in a changing universe, why do men oppose change?...If a rock is in the way, the root of a tree will change its direction. The dumbest animals try to adapt themselves to changed conditions. Even a rat will change its tactics to get a piece of cheese. -Melvin B. Tolson

Sometimes change is good ... sometimes change is not good .... to know when to make changes and what changes to make ... that is the big question

Change of pace in the head drawing department with a fun sketch

Charcoal on smooth newsprint  12x14

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What's happening today?

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. -Henri Bergson

We probably make some changes to ourselves every day whether we know it or not... or whether we intend to or not .... take control and make some good changes today.
Poke your head out the door and sit in the sun for 5 minutes ... listen to some good music that is not normally your fare .... relax and enjoy the scenery .....  read something positive ... turn off the TV or computer for a few hours ....... study something new ..... jump on your mini-trampoline ...whatever.....

I'm still pressing on to learn and improve .... may not seem like it but it is true :-)
Painting from real life is always a challenge and in many ways better than painting from photos ... painting with a room full or more accomplished artists is always a pleasure and very rewarding.

Oil on masonite  9x12