I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


My friend loans me jigsaw puzzles.  We get together every couple of weeks or so and hand off a pretty box of someone else’s art in a restaurant parking lot.  We laugh about how she’s enabling my obsessive compulsive nature.  Sometimes she gets serious and asks if she should quit enabling me, but hey, it’s not like I’m doing drugs.

Doing puzzles lets me decompress and think about stuff.  I play food shows in the background, and between puzzle pieces in my hands, other people cooking stuff I’ll never eat, and vengeful thoughts about people who annoy me, I get around to thinking about things that actually matter.

When I started out as an artist, I sat at a drawing table for many hours a day and had plenty of time to think.  I liked painting painstaking things, and didn’t have to concentrate my full brain on what I was doing 100% of the time.  Eventually the chatter in my mind would die down and I would just be with my art, my hands and mind moving together in a blissful nonthinking.

Computers wrecked my zen time, but I found times where I could get back into it if a project was complicated enough.  Not enough zen time for my real needs, but some.  Now I have a hard time settling down to anything focused except for puzzles, so the parking lot handoffs give me a happiness I used to get at work.  I only get 1000 pieces every couple of weeks so I can’t get too OCD about things.
This week, my friend gave me a puzzle of 999 pieces.  She dismantled her vacuum cleaner to find the missing piece, but wasn’t willing to dismantle a cat to find it.  I made a new piece for her.  The hardest part of making it was cutting it out to fit.

So what’s all this got to do with energy?  In a perfect world, people add something good to each other’s lives.  In this case puzzles, but more than that, my friend is sharing something she enjoys, and in sharing, she gets to share her pleasure in what’s basically a solitary activity.  She’s giving me something beyond a loan of colored cardboard.

She’s very good at giving like this, and part of myself observes from the outside to see how she helps people by giving not what they think they want, but what they actually need.  Too often we think of gifts as things, but real gifts are actions that help us to be better than we were yesterday.

When I first saw “energy” is the word for the week, I thought about psychic vampires who suck energy from others.  Isn’t it better to think about the positive people in our lives instead?  Angry thoughts just kill us faster.  Happy thoughts of gratitude help us live the lives we’re here to live.

My current job has a lot to do with prayers.  It never occurred to me before working there that reading other people’s prayers would change me, but I think it has.  Seeing other people’s suffering reminds me to be grateful for what I have and to look outside of myself to add my prayers to someone else’s heartfelt pleas for help.

In that vein, prayers are appreciated for Mickey who is going through chemotherapy and Danny who is having surgery this week and possibly chemotherapy afterwards.


  1. Lots to be said for sending positive energy and karma... some people call them prayers. :)

  2. I'm with Rand there, positive thinking/prayers etc are so much more useful than despair...they are great coping mechanisms when life throws it's worst at you Linda. I love that you made the new puzzle piece ;0) x

  3. Nice write up Linda! And Happy Birthday :) Thanks too for the positive thoughts!

  4. That is so nice that you made the missing puzzle piece. Sweet. But I also like that you have vengeful thoughts. Ha!

  5. Thanks for the comments and birthday wishes! Even if the world isn't yet what we want it to be, doesn't mean we can't make it better. Seems like passing around positive energy can only help.

  6. As for vengeful thoughts, well, hmm... I have to admit that I've thought up some clever ways to get rid of some people who seem to exist just to make me crazy. I never said I was better than anyone else!

  7. I think it's very cool that you were able to cut out that puzzle piece. I am not very good at jigsaw puzzles. My escape is with the New York Times crossword, but only at the beginning of the week when it is easier! Interesting post on so many levels.

  8. At least once a month, I have to tell a child or two of mine that what they are saying (something negative) is such a waste of energy. Energy is not always physical. I get what you're saying.

    I only work on a jigsaw puzzle about 4 times a year, but I love it! That's something we have in common. :)
    I understand how the mind can relax and recharge while working on one.

    Who would have thought to create a missing puzzle piece besides you! :)

    1. Heartfelt and sincere healing prayers for Mickey and Danny.

  9. I hope you wear a trench coat and dark glasses when you're handing off the puzzles in the parking lot :-)

    Healing thoughts going your friend's way.

  10. I didn't think about the fact that maybe other people wouldn't create a missing puzzle piece. I just saw a need and fixed it. Maybe this is a new service I could offer for people? Well, not for your puzzle Josh :) Thanks for the comments everybody!

  11. When I am very old and contemplating my life, my art, my friends (hopefully a long way off), I think this is the post that I will most remember you by, Linda: working puzzles, listening to the cooking channel, and settling into Zen thoughts. Your willingness to 'puzzle' through to the real heart of Life continually brings a smile of appreciation and something like joy to my face. Here's to you, Fellow Traveler.

  12. Thanks Susan! Life just wouldn't be the same, and it would be a whole lot harder without fellow travelers. Thanks Sister!

  13. I've been trying hard to stay positive this week, myself.... Great post. I LOVE jigsaw puzzles! 1000 pieces for sure! And I like the ones that are not rectangular, for an extra challenge! I suppose icing on the cake would be for a puzzle company to pick up some of my artwork...

  14. You are so right, the greatest gift aren't things, but whatever makes us become better human beings, something we can share or just the good, genuine thought. And I am in with that it's better with positive energy than negative. Have a nice weekend, Linda!

  15. I'd love getting my art on a puzzle too. Some day? Let's all spread around the positive energy. Hoping everyone has a spectacular week!

  16. I'm late for birthday but I can now wish you a Merry Christmas, with a lot of peace and happiness.