Paintings and Puppets


This is a week late in the posting as I have been a bit out of it for a few days. So it was actually two weekends ago that the boys and I took part in a puppet parade. Whenever I hear from others about interesting events they’ve taken part in or exciting adventures there is always that feeling that these things are good, happy, enjoyable, ‘perfect’ occasions. In a social media world where we upload images of a fleeting moment we can easily forget that life is not always easy breezy. I write this as a precursor to the fact that after two weekends of making the puppets or recycled 3D bugs which in itself had it’s own ups and downs.


Skipton puppet festival parade start. One of the puppets someone had made.


Puppet parade skipton

The day of the parade my eldest, whom we had done this activity for was really not well. Despite this, I dragged him out with an additional reluctant younger son insisting on bringing his scooter.


Our butterfly reluctantly held by son with scooter.


Poorly boy carrying his dragon fly

I don’t think I had properly thought through the fact that a parade meant we would be walking through the streets with the world watching (or rather a select crowd of local puppet enthusiasts and families on outings). So I walked shyly with the butterfly my younger son and I had made, as he refused to help hanging his skeleton face-painted head over his scooter crying down the high street. Whilst my eldest son forced a smile through his shivering and looked the colour of his green coat  suffering with the weight of his dragon fly. I pretend not to think that anyone saw them kicking each in the other in the shins mid parade as elder son increased in frustration at younger son’s lack of enthusiasm which caused disagreements and unsettlement mid walk. Big sigh. I then had to carry 2 puppets and a scooter, queue for pizza and wait for twenty minutes whilst the boys found a pew to watch a puppet performance. I am sure it was throughly entertaining but I failed to enter the packed marquee overladen with objects.

cactus painting

Cactus Painting by Sam Shendi (2015)

It’s this reality of emotion that we display visibly in our bodies and faces that my husband depicts in his sculptures and newly composed paintings. Paintings which have taken place in the back yard and now, kitchen as the October rain pours down to balance the sunny September we had. The kitchen floor is splattered with paint, the cereal bowls covered in cling film to keep colours fresh and brushes litter the sink. The reality of the artist’s house. The up side of this is enjoying having Baba at home working rather than at the studio or away. We have all enjoyed coming home from school to be greeted with Baba’s great smile and open arms and an occasional cooked tea! In the morning the boys have loved being involved in the decision making of colours and concepts to try.

Life is full of it’s high and low moments. I saw a great check list recently of when things overwhelm or over face us to remember the reality of the world around us.

Isolated painting

Isolated Painting by Sam Shendi (2015)

So we change the thought; ‘I can’t move around the kitchen due to washing maiden and several 4ft canvases’ to a more positive, ‘but at least I have a house full of people in my life sharing a space which is warm and dry’. I have more washing up to do but at least we have food to eat and utensils to eat with. I am tired and achy and probably have what my son has but I have a strong immune system to fight infection and I am alive.

Mime painting

The Mime, Painting by Sam Shendi (2015)

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