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  • MommaLynn

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

My latest piece tells the story of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. Her courage, tenacity and relentless drive to protect the children of Flint, Michigan moved me to tears and outrage. She almost quit, dealing with doubt and depression, a situation myself, like so many others, can relate to. However, she reminded herself that no one else was speaking for the children, so she got out from under her blankets and tried again. You are amazing Dr. Mona.


Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, professor, and public health advocate who spearheaded efforts to reveal, publicize, and fix Flint, Michigan’s water crisis. In 2014, a change in the city’s water source resulted in astronomical amounts of lead leaching into the drinking water, causing irreversible damage to Flint’s residents. As a local pediatrician, the poisonous levels of lead in the water terrified Dr. Hanna-Attisha, and she was shocked that the government ignored complaints, protests, and reports from citizens, journalists, and experts. She knew that the only way to stop the lead poisoning would be to present undeniable proof on a national platform.


Mona


Ceramic, thread, vintage school house clock face, ink, encaustic.


  • MommaLynn

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

For 30 years I have been belly aching and moaning about the predictability of television. I rant about how formulaic it is and how nothing can keep my attention for more than 2 minutes which is why I need my laptop, phone, sketchpad and suduko to handle watching a 30 minute show with my husband. So why the heck can't I stop watching these damn Hallmark Movies!


"What are you doing?"

Apparently, over the soothing sound of a choir of sweet, but plucky, pink cheeked tiny children singing Oh Christmas Tree and the intermittent soft sighing and muffled mitten clapping of a the beautiful but overworked and under fulfilled advertising executive, I didn't hear my husband walk in and ask, "What are you doing?"


I mumble something about checking the news, this dumb remote and that dinner is almost ready. The fact is that dinner is not almost ready. I am going to have to grab some leftover rice, pluck the remnants of the Costco rotisserie chicken from the carcass and throw it together with Trader Joe cajun corn into the cast iron pan and pretend that was the plan and has been in the works for some time now. The whole time lamenting silently in my sweats and uncombed hair that I didn't get to see the end of the Hallmark movie that I was too embarrassed to admit to watching.


My husband and I have been married 34 years. I've admitted that I have eaten a whole tub of Tilamook Rocky Road in one sitting, that I have gone a whole week only using dry shampoo and baby wipes, that I really never listen when he explains (in agonizing detail) the steps involved in his beer making process. So why is it so hard to admit that I watch Hallmark Christmas movies? I will tell you why. I have complained for so long and with such passion and fervor about how boring and predictable all television is that admitting to liking these movies, that are the gold standard for formulaic is impossible. I'm afraid it will make him question everything that he thinks he knows about me, am I suddenly going to admit to liking kombucha and horror movies (an adamant no, I promise dear). So what is the deal Hallmark? What subliminal magic have you baked into these shallow, homogenized, one-note, ceaseless cinematic offerings? Disney is terrifyingly forbidding comparitvely. Hallmark has not even toyed (ha ha) with adding the tiniest of plot twists. I know who the beautiful and kind but troubled leading lady is, who the strong and handsome but guarded boyfriend will be and who the jealous and a little less beautiful girl who will try to ruin their love is before the opening credits finish rolling. I know that the town will be quaint, the clothes expensive and perfectly tailored (oddly even for the quaint country folk), the hot cocoa plentiful and the story sappy, ridiculous and oh so very very very predictable, And yet, I can't stop watching.


I have a theory.

Life is clearly not a Hallmark movie. Global warming, impeachment, bullying, layoffs, plastic in the oceans, drugs, gluten, cancer, divorce, death and taxes, just to name a few very very un-Hallmark things. I think that is why for a couple hours I want to sit on the couch with a fuzzy blanket, a sugar cookie and a mug of cocoa with marshmallows and fill up on the safe, sparkly, sweet, sappy, elixir that Hallmark pedals this time of year. There is a calmness that comes with knowing in the end that everything will turn out perfectly, that goodness and kindness and perfectly coiffed hair will triumph. That meanies will get their comeuppance, that there is always time to make cookies and the magic of Christmas is real. Well at least that is what I'm going to tell my husband, while he shakes more hot sauce on his mediocre dinner and I ask him if I could just check really quick to see if the tree farm is saved and the girl forgives the boy and if they kiss under the mistletoe and if they live happily ever after. And then I promise I will watch Gold Rush with him. (but that show is so damn scripted and predictable).


Snippets of our version of a Hallmark Christmas




The simple focus of my blog will be anything and everything that relates to me and my perspective as a woman. So, with that one simple agenda this blog will cover.... art, business, husbands, yard work, dogs, sons, daughters, brothers, leaky faucets, hair color, comfortable shoes, really really uncomfortable shoes, movies, eye brows, global warming, carrot cake, vacuums, coffee, reunions, social media, aging, overwhelm, deep breathing, squash, power outages, cats, babies, Halloween, ink, hummingbirds, moms, sisters, role models, science, books, humor, curtains, Madmen, yoga, watermelon, dinner, husbands and, well, anything else that I think merits a word or two. Welcome and please say hi, suggest a topic, or share your thoughts. Glad you're here.



Blank Canvas

The beginning of any creative endeavor is a big dish of cowboy casserole (a whole lot of random stuff dumped together because I haven't gone shopping yet this week). You feel excited, intimidated, scared, anxious and have an overwhelming desire to clean out your Tupperware drawer and sort by size, color and age (or maybe that last one is just me).


However some of the most well know artists ever faced a blank canvas and .... I know you think I'm going to say that they persevered and overcame their angst to create a stunning masterpiece, but I am not. Because of them just left the damn thing blank and put it in a show anyway.


One of the country's leading galleries is to charge £8 for entry to a summer exhibition of works which cannot be seen.


London's Hayward Gallery will gather together 50 "invisible" works by famous artists including Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Yoko Ono for an upcoming exhibition, thought to be the first of its kind in Britain.


Curators argue the collection of pieces will demonstrate that art is about "firing the imagination" rather than simply viewing objects. Invisible: Art about the Unseen includes an empty plinth, a canvas of invisible ink and an invisible labyrinth.


It features work from French artist Klein, who pioneered invisible works in the late 1950s with his concept of the "architecture of air". Also in the exhibition will be Warhol's work Invisible Sculpture – dating from 1985 – which consists of an empty plinth, on which he had once briefly stepped, one of his many explorations of the nature of celebrity.


Another, entitled 1,000 Hours of Staring, is a blank piece of paper at which artist Tom Friedman has stared repeatedly over five years. The same artist produced Untitled (A Curse), an empty space which has been cursed by a witch.


"I think visitors will find that there is plenty to see and experience in this exhibition of invisible art," said Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery.


"From the amusing to the philosophical, you will be able to explore an invisible labyrinth that only materialises as you move around it, see an artwork that has been created by the artist staring at it for 1,000 hours, walk through an installation designed to evoke the afterlife, and be in the presence of Andy Warhol's celebrity aura.

"This exhibition highlights that art isn't about material objects, it's about setting our imaginations alight, and that's what the artists in this show do in many varied ways."

The exhibition forms part of the Southbank Centre's summer-long Festival Of The World. Also among the exhibits will be a series of typed instructions by Ono, encouraging viewers to conjure up an artwork in their minds, and Jeppe Heine's Invisible Labyrinth in which visitors negotiate their way through a maze wearing digital headphones activated by infra-red beams.


These artists embraced the unlimited realm that is art, so face that blank canvas head on with vigor and passion, grab those brushes and get to work. Or just curse at for a few minutes and call it good. It's up to you.



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© 2019 by Lynn Garka