Wednesday, June 22, 2016

@SueBadeau - Art Draws our Family Closer

Raising a family of twenty-two kids provided my husband and I with many opportunities to test the phrase, “necessity is the mother of invention. With as many as ten children under the age of ten for several years, we had to learn how to offer low-cost activities and entertainment that appealed to both boys and girls across a range of ages and abilities. Luckily, we enjoyed creating craft projects with our kids and they all enjoyed participating.

We made Christmas trees out of pine cones collected while camping at Lake Tahoe, paper-bag luminarias, “God’s eyes” with yarn and popsicle sticks, Easter Eggs with personality and many other items, some useful, some decorative and some just fun to make with no real purpose other than self-expression. Drawing, coloring and painting were staples, not only for a rainy day but for anytime the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored,” surfaced in our house.

The result of these many hours spent on creative coloring and crafting is that to this day my adult children are artistic, creative and have an eye for beauty which they, in turn, have passed on to their own children. Nothing delights me more than receiving a hand-colored card from one of the grand, or great-grandchildren on Mother’s Day, my birthday or “just because.”

In the last few weeks, I have shared (in two previous blog posts) the process and purpose behind my newly released book, “Building Bridges of Hope: A Coloring Book for Adults Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma.” I have shared how this book represented the culmination of a decades-long dream and how I see it as a valuable tool and resource of parents and caregiving adults.

As a bonus, I am bursting with pride because my daughter, Chelsea Badeau is the lead artist. She has created most of the delightful, calming designs for coloring – designs which underscore and reinforce the written messages in the book. In addition, three of my other (now-adult) children and three grandchildren have contributed their creativity to the book. The artwork and poetry by Abel, SueAnn, Alysia, Emma, Angel and Kandia not only enriches the final product, but demonstrates in a very tangible way my core message – families are for a lifetime and belonging to a family is something that every child needs and deserves, no matter what.

Our family members so enjoyed collaborating on this project that they are already cooking up ideas for future coloring books. Who knows, this may be the first in a series. Stay tuned! And in the meantime, I hope that while you enjoy coloring these whimsical and purposeful images, you will also think about ways you can use art and creative self-expression to bring your own family closer together.

Happy Coloring!

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