Art Studio and Life #21 featuring artworks and painting

Hello lovely family and friends

I’m very excited that some of you picked up the gauntlet and have been clearing up your living spaces. If you took before and after pics, I would love to see them!

20 more minutes this weekend! You got this.

For those of you are also struggling with the other inmates of your house, you are not alone! Often, but not always, it’s the teenagers giving trouble.

Mounds of dishes and laundry, raids on cupboards to ‘borrow’ clean clothing from the parent, the struggle is real.

Apparently, it gets better once they turn twenty-five. Let me know if it’s true.

In my twenties I went to a friend’s wedding, and her mother made a speech about how exciting and special it was to be “the Mother of the Bride,” but that as of the next day she was going to be “the Mother-In-Law,” which doesn’t sound quite so appealing. I’m a sucker for a good Cinderella film, but the penny has finally dropped that I should be identifying with the wicked stepmother, rather than Cinderella, so I am giving you a re-write of the classic story based on some of our collective parenting struggles:


Once upon a time, in a far, far away land covered in a white cloud, there lived a gorgeous young girl called Cinderella. Now Cinderella had a wicked non-step mother, who treated her cruelly. This non-step mother forced Cinderella to rise early from her bed, as early as 11am. She also forced Cinderella to work like a slave, making Cinderella take her own plate to the dishwasher, and not only that, actually insisted that Cinderella should put her dish into the dishwasher. And while Cinderella was slaving away, the wicked non-step mother enjoyed herself all day, having fun working, buying groceries, cooking meals and cleaning toilets. The wicked non-step mother eventually also refused to make Cinderella’s bed, so poor Cinderella was forced to climb into an unmade bed every day. Cinderella was also made to wear dirty clothes, because evil non-step mother left her dirty laundry on her bedroom floor rather than collecting it and adding it to the washing machine when she selfishly did her own laundry. Poor Cinderella was consoled somewhat in her hard life, by her loving cat, although, at times, even her beloved pet was enticed away by the wicked non-step mother, who stole its loyalty by basely offering it food and water. In addition to all that, Cinderella was emotionally scarred for life when her wicked non-step mother told her she had BO after some days of playing netball and not showering.   Cinderella was forced to use an old Samsung phone, even though ALL her friends had an iPhone, and, what is more, she was given a pittance of an allowance that did not allow her to buy name brand shoes, or even stretch to a monthly manicure.

In that same distant land, there lived a young prince, who could sometimes be charming, but who also had his royal parents make offensive remarks about BO and washing of hair. His old Queen even banished his skateboarding shoes to the laundry after realising that the dreadful smell in his bedroom was not caused by rats, as she had originally suspected, but by his heavily utilised footwear. Prince Charmer had an authoritarian father who also forced him to actually put dishes in the washing machine, and made rude remarks about the returning of borrowed clothing.

To be continued, perhaps…

Thoroughly on topic, I spend the morning at my cleaning job, and then went with my oldest to Massey Uni open day with my oldest to look at accommodation, (including laundry facilities!) and to visit the Music Production Faculty. So many fresh-faced princes and princesses wandering around, about to Live the Dream and discover the reality of dealing with one’s own catering, dishes and laundry…  God bless them!

And now I am too worn out to write about art, plus I am doing a 30 day challenge posting pictures of my paintings in different settings on Instagram and Facebook, so I’ll just put one below and go and lie on the sofa (after removing the teenagers and cats).

This weekend may you hug the messiest person in the house (especially if it is you), may you enjoy some beauty outside as well as inside, and may you laugh!

XX Barbie

Art prints are for sale in my shop


  1. Daniel Button

    I have thoroughly laughed my way through your Cinderella rewrite. Clearly, this is the story of our family and our children – one of them, anyhow – (including the lovely portrait pointing the way to the dishwasher – a path of complete mystery and intrigue in our household). I am dying to make him read it, if he ever gets out of bed – although he might see that as cruel and unusual punishment and fail to see any connection whatsoever…

    • Barbara Podmore

      Perhaps you need to wait and show him when he turns 25, or has his own kids, or his own grandkids? I do know my own dear mother did wonder how I would ever manage to look after myself, let alone anyone else… But behold, we thrive!

  2. Bruce Podmore

    What a cracking yarn! I very much look forward to hearing how it pans out (and who cleans the pans…)

    Am I the Big Bad Wolf, or the father of the prince – which would make me the King??
    No, wait – that is another story…

    • Barbara Podmore

      You are indeed the King! Ok, I’m pondering on what happens next….

  3. Francis Podmore

    Thanks once again for the humorous #21 (:-))
    Pls do continue the Cinderella story…

    Why “non-step”? Do you mean Cinderella’s biological mother?

    And we are intruiged to know more about the creation of images showing your paintings in smart living spaces. Is that Photoshop? What’s the aim for doing it? And for 30 days….

    • Barbara Podmore

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I do indeed mean her biological mother.
      I use PowerPoint as I haven’t figured out how to use Photoshop, and PP does what I want to do. I do it to show what my art looks like in actual living spaces, as that is hard for people to envisage from a tiny little phone image.