Tuesday, December 28, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Clementine In A Glass"

"Clementine In A Glass"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on primed canvas (8"x10") Finished & signed 12/26/10

"This painting is going to be in a fund raising gala for The Naples Museum Of Art to be held in April, 2011.  Three hundred artists across the country are participating and I am honored to be one of them.

The "Friends Of Naples Art Museum" committee contacted me early last summer and I agreed.  But it was shortly after my painting ceased and I devoted all my time to my beloved Karl.  Now that I am led to paint again, I gave this my full attention and thankful because the painting is due back to the committee on or before January, 10, 2011.  I believe I'll make it.  The painting was varnished this morning (Liquin is my varnish) and now it just has to dry.

There is something else on my painting agenda.  It seems to be building up the steam for activation and I hope to share it with you soon."

Monday, December 27, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Roses In A Dish" & CHRISTMAS DAY


"Roses In A Dish"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas (6"x6"x1") Painted 12/26/2010

"There were two paintings finished on my easel yesterday and tomorrow, I will post the other one.

After 73 . . .and a half years I spent my first Christmas Eve alone, ever.  It wasn't so bad.  In fact is was a good time to reflect on all the Christmas Eves past in my Blessed life with gratitude and thanksgiving.

Just want to share with you how wonderful Christmas Day was for me because of a dear son, Jason and his beloved wife, Leticia.  The day was filled with Blessings and Joy.  I drove up to their house in Tampa on Christmas morning.  When I arrived Jason was carving turkey but had driven over to Tarpon Springs earlier for Jett and he was there too.  Also, a lot of Tish's family were there including son, Chad and his wife Michelle with their beautiful four year old Kennedie, Tish's parents, sister, nieces, and children.  There was a houseful and it was wonderful!  Tish and Jason must have cooked for days with all the great food (Mexican and American) put before us.  There were hams, turkey, tamales, two different sweet potato dishes, green bean casserole, Jason's own cranberry sauce, real mashed potatoes with lots of good gravy and just so much more that I can't remember each one.  The deserts were pies, cakes, flan, homemade cookies, candies and again much more.  . .  . oh, I forgot Tish's macaroni and cheese.  I had two servings and brought a large serving home for my late night dinner.  It is the best anyone ever ate.  Did I mention we ate on Christmas decorated, English china and Tish had wrapped each place setting of silver with napkin and holiday trimmings.  I for one really appreciate those things and it makes me happy.  Thank you, Tish.

In the afternoon the two smallest children, Kennedie and Damian, stood on a little platform in front of the huge TV and did realistic downhill snow skiing and other games that gave awards.  It was really fun to watch and then low and behold, Santa arrived.  . . . .  and a very good Santa she was.  Tish had quietly gone upstairs and donned the very best Santa outfit of red velvet along with the big boots, gloves, hat, white curly beard and even the rimless glasses.  She had round rosy cheeks too.  I don't know how she did it but it sure looked like the real Santa to me.

After the agony of my beloved Karl dying only four and a half months ago, who could have foretold the Blessings and Peace I experienced this Christmas?  My heart is full."

Friday, December 24, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "The Magi"

"The Magi"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (30" x 24")  From the archives


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Morning"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (36"x 48") From the archives, 2001

On Sunday morning, Dec. 12, 2010, I was taking my time getting out of bed,  just laying there and enjoying the beautiful master bedroom suite.  Out of nowhere the idea came to me that the master bath area too would look beautiful in that same deep carmel color.  A long story short - by 10 o'clock that night I had the first coat of paint on those walls and put the second coat on early Monday morning.  I had a gallon left over from painting the bedroom walls 7 years ago.  So, I went back to Home Depot and got another gallon mixed with the same formula.  The paint is Behr Premium Plus and I can highly recommend it.

The reason I'm sharing this with you is because that Sunday morning was the first time since Karl died (four months) that I actually felt happy and enthused about anything.  The ideas just kept coming and I enjoyed painting the walls myself.  It's surprising that interior design was the spark that put light back into my life again and not fine art.  Before Karl was in my life I was working in interior design . . . . though we were called decorators in those days.  Even as a little girl I can remember marking out my rooms with a stick in the dirt and using small crates and boxes for my furniture.

Well, as I said, the ideas just kept coming and now my home gallery wall is BLACK.  Don't gag.  It's beautiful! . . . .  . at least I'm very happy with it.  I was leaning toward a deep cranberry color but glancing at the tall black moire drapes in the dining room that puddle at the floor and the black border around the dining room rug I knew black would be the right choice.  Getting good photos for this project is tough because of the spot lighting on the paintings.  Trust me, it looks great.

On a closing note I would like to share with you that I'm continuing to let the Inner Voice lead me.  An idea about painting keeps coming to mind and even things are falling into place quite naturally for the next chapter of my painting career to take place.  I need to keep a lid on the ideas for now and let them build up steam on their own.  If the work is meant to be, it will take place for sure.  Tonight I am filled with such gratitude, God's Love and thankfulness."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "I Like Pink"

"I Like Pink"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas (6" x 6")  SOLD
Sheldon Fine Art in Naples sold this piece recently

"My son, Jett, had a slight setback last week-end but now is better than ever.  A sonogram last Monday shows a strong pulse in his left foot and toes.  What a blessing!

Carol Blackburn told me a while back that the agony of grief would not last forever and that one day I would experience an ah-ha moment . . . . . . I believe it came last week and I've definitely turned a corner in life.  The horrible black cloud has lifted and there is light once again.  I'm still telling Karl how much I love him several times a day and am thanking him over and over again for all he has given to me.  Somehow I sense his essence is still with me.  He's sure not replying to me but it just feels right and good.  Last Friday night, a week ago, I was sitting in Karl's chair and getting very sleepy.  I heard him say, in his kind and caring voice to me " Honey, you're falling asleep now . . . .  you need to wake up and go to bed".  Well, apparently, I was asleep and dreaming because when I opened my eyes and looked up to see him he wasn't there.  It doesn't matter to me if I dreamed his presence and voice or he was really there.  I felt such love and tenderness and hold it dear to my heart. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A White Rose"

"A White Rose"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured canvas  (30"x15") From the archives SOLD

"This past week has not been the best for me but certainly not a terrible time either.  Actually, some very good breakthroughs have happened to me.  

Last Sunday my friend Ellen and I went to the Naples Museum of Art.  Two of the three major exhibits really spoke to me and believe me, it was a wonderful feeling.  Now, if that wasn't enough wonderment (if there is such a word) Ellen told me about a book that Myra Daniels, the woman who is responsible for the great art center that we have here in Naples,  has authored a book and I could get it in the gift shop.  I bought the book and as I was paying for it the lady told me Myra was in the Daniels Pavilion and knew she would be happy to autograph my copy.

Ellen and I rushed right over there (in the rain) and low and behold we opened the door to hear music, beautiful music.  It was the children's (maybe 10 to 14 year olds) orchestra of strings and they were magnificent!  The usher said we could wait until the end of the concert for Myra to sign my book.  When she realized how happy we were to be there, the usher seated us in the front row and we were allowed to enjoy two more works by those talented young people.  Afterwards, Myra Daniels most graciously signed my book.  She is a widow also.

The book, pictured below, was a perfect read for me and I finished it in two days.  I learned that this little lady went to Indiana State University and also started her advertising career in Terre Haute, Indiana.  I grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana so I was familiar with all the places and people she mentions.  But, what I really gleaned from her book was her knowing and trusting her Inner Voice to lead her on her path, right from the beginning because of a wise grandmother.  I am encouraged anew and most grateful to this woman.

I don't want to end the blog today without telling you that several days ago I painted over an old canvas (24"x48"x2") the color lavender in acrylic paint.  Not everyday but most days I have put on a few paint swipes in different colors with the brush and also the knife.  It is not pretty but I can at least say I'm painting."

GOOD NEWS!     My son, Jett, is still on the mend.  He's getting stronger from the surgeries and the cyst in his left leg is slowly going down. . . . .  you all have to know how very much I appreciate your prayers and concern for him and hope you will continue to lift him up along with me.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "25th Anniversary Roses"

"25th Anniversary Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on canvas  (40" x 30")

"Karl and I met 28 years ago tonight and it was a Friday, the same as today.  December 3, 1982 is a most important and memorable date to me, even more than our wedding anniversary.  I was so thankful for the GOOD man God brought into my life.  I had prayed for many months before asking God for this Good man.  Stars and rockets didn't explode, I was 45 and Karl was 51, but it was like an invisible magnet that just drew us to one another.  If there are soul mates, Karl and I were that and happy for all the years we had together.  

Karl ordered the huge bouquet of 25 roses, that I painted above, for me last year for our 25th wedding anniversary, October 13, 2009.  It was a wonderful surprise!  Because it was so hard for Karl to even speak a sentence then, I had no idea he had managed to call a local florist and to let them know his wishes.   Our good friends, Web and Troy Gaskin brought champagne over to celebrate with us and Karl even took a sip or two.  He had not been able to drink since July, 2002 when he'd had heart surgery. 

Tonight, it feels good to think and write about my beloved.  I am so filled with gratitude and thankfulness.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Roses For The Table"

"Roses For The Table"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (30" x 24")  In the collection of:
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Weinberg
Naples, FL

"The fringe is on the yellow knitted scarf and now I'm knitting a grey one.

Today, I talked with an amazing artist, Irma Gilgore.  What a feisty lady she is.  She paints her emotions abstractly and is a successful artist, showing her work in the New York gallery of Walter Wickiser.  Irma lost her dear husband in February of this year and she has finally gotten through the early agony of loss.  Her days are filled with painting, giving lectures, opening her wonderful home gallery by appointment (she lives in a gated community also),  etc.  She's busy with the Naples Opera company here and other organizations.  Our paths crossed because I joined "Portrait & Figure Painting Society of SW FL" this morning.  I forgot to tell you that she is my age and lives just 3 miles up the road from me.  She says that she is managing so well and is not fragile because she believes the spirit of her dear husband is still always with her."


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A Jar Of Roses"

"A Jar of Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured canvas  (20" x 12" x 2") From the archives

"My son, Jett, is out of the hospital and back home in his Tarpon Springs apartment today.  My hope and prayer is that he will do well living on his own with the help of his friends and neighbors.  It's a complicated situation that I can't share but I want to thank everyone again for their prayers and concern for Jett.  He was a breath away from losing his left foot and we're giving thanks galore this evening that he was able to come back home with both feet.  Hopefully,    he will take good care of himself and all future reports will be good.  

Do you suppose that this blog will ever get back to just the arts?  I sure hope that it does but while still crying buckets of tears almost daily I've been knitting too.  The yellow scarf below was knitted from the beautiful cotton yarn that Christy Verity sent to me.  It's 72 inches long and 4 inches wide but I still need to put the fringe on it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Small Still Life"

"Small Still Life"
© Nora Kasten

"The INR number for Jett slipped down and not up as anticipated this morning.  This evening a much larger dose of Cumadin was administered and we're keeping our fingers crossed for a better report tomorrow morning.  Jett, surprisingly, is handling this whole ordeal far better than I could ever have imagined.  God truly does work in mysterious ways His wonders to behold."

Below is an enjoyable video of Robert Liberace's works 
Turn on your speakers

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NORA KASTEN, Artist Oil Painting "Red Geraniums"

"Red Geraniums"
© Nora Kasten

Oil painting on linen  (24" x 30")  From the archives  SOLD

"Tomorrow will be two weeks since Jett was admitted into hospital.  He is slowly healing from the two surgeries and has been walking again now for six days.  I'm a little concerned that Jett is still experiencing sharp pains and regularly taking pain meds. . . . every 5 hours now instead of 4.  He still has the cyst but his INR blood count is slowly inching up as wanted.  It was 1.9 today.  At least 2 but not higher than 3 is the number the doctor is trying to achieve and maintain with the Cumadin.  Some good news today was that the doctor told him that he probably will only have to stay on the Cumadin for 3 months after he leaves the hospital.  Jett and I talk on the phone everyday at lunch time and then again in the evening.  He gets disappointed because healing is taking so long but overall, his spirits are good.  Sure hope he isn't putting on an act for his mother.

It's ironic that another man the same age as Jett, 48, has been in the room next to his for the last week.  That man had already lost one foot just above the ankle and the doctors are trying to save his other one but the prognosis is not good.  He has Renaud's disease too and had neglected his health like Jett but was too late in getting medical help for himself.   Is this just a coincidence these two men cross paths with one another at this time.  The man is alone in life like Jett but is a widower while Jett is divorced."

Friday, November 26, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Onions"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen on board  (5" x 7")  From the archives

"It's hard to believe my good fortune yesterday to spend Thanksgiving, Italian style, with my friend, Louise Toresco and some of her family.  We arrived at her son, Ben and his wife, Valerie Toresco's beautiful home on Marco Island at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  Hors d'oeuvres were served as we gathered together on the large lanai and visited .  .  .  .there were 10 of us.  At 3 o'clock what I thought was dinner was only the first seated course.  We all ate heartily of Italian fare . .  . I've started to list all the dishes we were served but there were just too many to count.

I should have started this with how beautiful Valerie's dinner table was set.  After the first course ended around 4:30pm and a quick pick up of dirty dishes, we visited some more on the lanai.  A Skype call to more of the Toresco family in New Jersey was a joy to behold.

We were seated again at 7 o'clock pm for the main course of turkey and a zillion side dishes, each one a delicious work of art on it's own.  By 9 o'clock pm we are all smiling, well fed and happy.  But that wasn't the end by any means.  Dessert was fine Italian pastries, apple pie, key lime pie, two ice creams, Louise's homemade cookies and on and on.  I haven't mentioned the drinks but it was anything you could possibly want including espresso with dessert.  

I am most thankful to all the Torescos' for including me with open arms and the warm hospitality each one extended to me."

The doctor continues to keep Jett in the hospital but the INR is gradually coming up.  It was 1.78 today.  Now, he has developed a good size cyst at the beginning of the first surgery incision that was a week ago last Tuesday.  The doctor said this sometimes happens and it may dissolve on it's own or he may have to use a needle to extract the fluid.  The good thing is that it is fluid and not blood.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A Wedge of Sunshine"

"A Wedge of Sunshine"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (8" x 10")  From the archives  SOLD

"Today's good news about my son, Jett, is the doctor said he won't lose his left foot. .  .. he said  Jett got to the hospital in time for help.  The other news is that Jett will stay in the hospital for an undetermined amount of days and not be home for Thanksgiving as he wanted.  I know he's in the best place he can be right now and hope my words this afternoon gave him some encouragement.  The INR blood test count dropped since yesterday and it is still not up to the 2 - 3 count range that is required.  

Today, I am giving thanks to God for Jett's progress, all of my children and their families, you wonderful, caring friends and having the Faith in God that all will be OK.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "The Glory of Roses"

"The Glory Of Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (30" x 24")  From the archives  SOLD

"First, let me say a huge thank you to everyone for lifting up my son, Jett, in prayer.  Yesterday, Sunday, I was able to go to the hospital in Tarpon Springs to be with him all afternoon and evening.  He was in a lot of pain but kept putting off getting more meds for relief . .  .  I told him not to play macho man in front of his mother.  He didn't take the meds though until after I left and the nurse told him that he cannot let the pain get ahead of him like that and to keep taking the pain medication every 4 hours for a while longer.

His left leg and foot are dark, dark gray but thankfully, more feeling is coming back in his foot today.  He was able to finally get out of bed yesterday and walk with a walker so we took a couple of short walks in the hall together.  He's hoping he can use a cane tomorrow instead of the walker.  His INR blood tests results are still too low and he must stay in the hospital until the Cumadin regimen he's on works. His risk of a blood clot is still very high.  I am so thankful the surgeon could help Jett . . .  . especially since he had waited much too long before getting help.  

I often refer to my four sons as the boys, when in fact they are all middle aged men now.  I'm praying that Jett will make better choices for his life and he will understand just how merciful God has been to him.   My faith is ever greater because of all your prayers and the Goodness of God.  I am most thankful and grateful."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Jett, Towing Jay"

"Jett, Towing Jay"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on canvas  (24" x 20")  From the archives

"This painting of my son, Jett, was, obviously, painted from a photo I took on the boat back in 1989 and is very amateurish.  It was my 15th painting.  I used a lot of Alizarin Crimson in those early days of painting and this painting of Jett shows just how fugitive that color is.  There was life in those shadows in the beginning but within a year, the Alizarin was gone.  It was a good lesson to learn early on and then I substituted Rose Madder for Alizarin for many years.  The last 5 years I've used Quinacridone Magenta in place of Alizarin Crimson and have been very happy with it.

The main reason for showing you this painting is to ask for your prayers for Jett.  Jett has Renaud's  disease and was admitted into a Tarpon Springs hospital this past Monday.  He had fallen earlier and couldn't recover from his injuries.  He had surgery on Tuesday to open a 70% blockage in the groin area and then surgery again on Wednesday to open two more blockages (60% and 90%) in his left leg.  There is at least a pulse again in his left toes but no feeling in the bottom of his foot.  The doctor told him this morning that he may never get that back.

The biggest problem now is getting and keeping his blood flowing thin.  His PPT count is much too low and Cumadin plus Heparin are being administered.  The risk of a blood clot is very high and he is not permitted to get out of the hospital bed.  Jett is 48 years old.  I will be with him tomorrow."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Asters"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (14" x 11")  From the archives  SOLD

"Another artist, Carol Blackburn, has shared some words of wisdom with me and I am very grateful.  Even more so when logged onto her photography blog.  Her photos are awesome but I especially like her words under the photos.  Click on Carol Blackburn to visit her blog.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "One For Lunch"

"One For Lunch"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (16" x 16") From the archives  SOLD

"Yesterday marked three months since Karl is gone.

"One For Lunch" pretty much says it all for today but this work was painted in 1991 when life was wonderful.  The crossword puzzle is something I've stopped doing since Karl died.  They make me sad now and I guess it's because we enjoyed doing them together for so many years.  The last three years Karl was doing the Sudoku number puzzle too but I never started."


PS:  I just viewed a short video on Don Hatfield's site that I know you all will enjoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Floral on Battenberg Lace"

"Floral on Battenberg Lace"
Oil painting on linen  (36" x 24")  From the archives  SOLD

New Curtains

" I woke up this morning seeing the new curtains, plaid drapery with Battenberg lace insets, at the windows and the sun shining.

These curtains were my big project undertaken last week and warranted me buying a new Viking sewing machine.  Let me tell you - sewing is not at all like the old days.  Today it is a breeze to get the work done with a digital sewing machine.  Maybe, I'll sew something else now.  When I was a young mother I routinely designed and made clothes for myself and young sons.

This curtain sewing project has made me realize anew that my years of sewing is what gives the sense of measurement that comes easy in painting for me."

. . . .  . Oh, I forgot to tell you that hanging curtains and drapes is as hard as it ever was.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Karl Kasten"

© Nora Kasten
Oil on linen  (40" x 30")

"Today's blog is to share with others who are suffering loss too at this time.

Since being back home (and it's a good place) from The Journey I realize my blog projects a much more recovered Nora than the truth.  

It amazes me how many of my friends and family remark about what a Great time I had on my trip and how strong I am.   They don't have a clue!

Yes, it is very slowly getting better but not easy to just function every day.  The tears easily erupt at any time.  I still feel like I'm just marking time and going through the motions of life.   My intellect knows I must accept the fact that Karl is gone and will never return. . . .  but my heart still pines and yearns for my Beloved. " 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Mother & Child"

"Mother & Child"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (30" x 24")  From the archives  SOLD

"Today is voting day and here in Florida the races are close for governor and senate.  Hope my vote does some good."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "The Emerald Ring"

"The Emerald Ring"
It's Sunday evening and I believe that I have all the accounts in order . .  . . .  finally!  Now I know why Karl spent so many hours here at this desk.  And a five week backlog of mail was tough to tackle too.  Art sales have certainly been down this year but there are still art records to keep up to date.

I say that I'm playing house because everyday since returning home from The Journey, I have been moving and rearranging paintings and furniture in my home.   I'm changing many accessories in the house and just giving my home an uplift.  I bought a new Viking Sapphire 835 sewing machine yesterday and will be making new drapes for the master bedroom this coming week.  Wow! For all of you who sew but haven't looked at the new sewing machines for years, what a surprise.  It's digital this and digital that.  I'm looking forward to the project.  

Before being an artist, I was an interior designer and loved design work.  So, it's no surprise to me that doing these things now really help stave off the tears and sadness.

Friday, October 29, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Afternoon Snack"

"Afternoon Snack"
Oil painting on linen  (30" x 24") From the archives
My granddaughter, Macy, was four years old and visiting grandma at the lake house.

"I met Kevin Mizner in Bass Harbor, Maine while on The Journey.  A wonderful artist with a very unique art studio that I posted the first week in October on my blog.  Kevin is blogging now and you will certainly be "treated" . . . not tricked when you visit.  Click on his name above." 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Little Daydreamer"

"Little Daydreamer"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas  (30" x 30") From the archives

"Thank you, thank you, everyone for the many e-mails. phone calls and comments.  Each one has warmed my heart and seemed to be just what I needed.

There is still more mail to open and business to tend to but the good thing is the suitcases are unpacked and everything is back in order.  Well, the house is in order and I hope to be soon.  It was good to swim in the pool this afternoon."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Buttercups" / JOURNEY'S END, Day 36


From the archives  SOLD

"The Journey is over, a few tears I wasn't prepared for but I'm home and in a GOOD place.
The final odometer reading is 5460 miles.  The car is unpacked but I'll wait until tomorrow to put everything away where it belongs.  My good neighbors who collected the mail for me these last five weeks had three bags full and I need to give that my attention first thing in the morning.

I wish I could say what I plan to do now and in the near future but it's beyond me . . . . I really don't know."

Monday, October 25, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A Small Bouquet" / THE JOURNEY, Day 36

"A Small Bouquet"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured canvas  (8" x 12")  From the archives

"Day 36 of The Journey and I'm back in Florida tonight.  I forgot to check the odometer but will have the final reading tomorrow evening.  My son, Jason, his wife, Tish, and me enjoyed a good dinner together this evening and I'll be leaving after lunch tomorrow.

It will be so good to get back home again.  After staying in so many hotel rooms over the last five weeks I certainly appreciate my home even more.  No, I know that Karl is not there but his spirit is always with me.  He provided such a wonderful place for us and if I can't have him with me any longer, at least I can still enjoy being in the home where we were so happy together."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Tangelo" / THE JOURNEY, Day 35

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (24" x 20")  From the archives  SOLD

"Day 35 of The Journey and a very good visit with my son, John, and his family here in Cumming, Georgia.

On my way back to the hotel this evening I bought yarn and knitting needles.  It's a whim but I'm going to knit again after many years.  I'm listening but don't have an answer yet as to what I'm suppose to do now that Karl's no longer with me?"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Art Deco Vase" / THE JOURNEY, Days, 33 & 34

"Art Deco Vase"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured linen  (24" x 12")  From the archives

"It's Saturday morning, day #34 of The Journey and I'm in Murfreesboro, TN.  Looking forward to being with my son, John, and his family this evening in Cumming, Georgia.

Yesterday morning my son, Jay, and Sheila took me to breakfast at The Season's Lodge in Brown County, Indiana.  It was happiness for me that they drove all the way down there to see me off.  How I LOVE my sons!!!"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Sketch "Kathleen Ryan Cox" / THE JOURNEY, Day 32

"Kathleen Ryan Cox"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting sketch on linen  (20" x 16")

"Day 32 of The Journey and 4160 miles on the Trip-A odometer.

Artist, Ellen Cramer, invited ten other artists to a painting day at her beautiful country home in the rolling hills of southern Indiana today.  Everyone was set up and painting when I got there just before lunch.  My painting gear is down at the bottom of my packed car now so I didn't think that I would paint but the still voice within urged me to ask Kathy if she would sit for me.   Not only that but if I could use her palette, easel, paints and brushes to do her portrait sketch.  She graciously agreed and after Ellen's wonderful lunch, we got started.  I painted for almost three hours and forced myself to stop after the initial layin.  Kathy has beautiful blue eyes that I would like to have shown more but kept reminding myself "this is a rough sketch".

Ellen's husband, Mike, cleared a spot for us in his eight to ten car garage with a loft.  He's a master wood crafter and has every piece imaginable of equipment and tools.  It was a sunny, crisp, chilly day here in Indiana today and Mike heated the garage with a huge wood burning stove.

The Cramer's built their beautiful country estate twenty years ago but it is styled and furnished to resemble the turn of the twentieth century's charm.  Ellen is a very talented  artist along with the ability of a superb cook, graciously entertains and created a home of beauty and comfort, excelling the works of all others.  Her studio with her beautiful paintings is also a great work of art.  How I wish Karl could have seen all that I saw today."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Lilacs" /THE JOURNEY, Day 31

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (24" x 30")  From the archives

"Day 31 of The Journey and 4150 miles on Trip-A odometer.
This was a day of viewing beautiful paintings.  The Indianapolis Museum of Art has an Andy Warhol exhibit now but I've already seen more of his work than I ever wanted so passed it up.  It was uplifting though to view the Museum's permanent collections and see again many of my old favorites.

I delivered two paintings to The Brown County Art Guild Gallery this afternoon and was so pleased with all the changes in the gallery.  All changes for good and the new Gallery Director, Jaime Sweany, is a Godsend.  

The day just kept getting better as Brenda Kelly graciously opened her and husband Rick's beautiful Brown County home to myself and four other friends.  Their home is an authentic
Brown County log cabin.  They have enlarged and upgraded with all the amenities that make the cabin still a cabin with all the luxuries of our modern living.  Brenda did a spectacular job with the interior design and the Home & Garden magazines would love to do a cover story on it.  There are many antiques along with . . . . . . are you ready for this?  PAINTINGS, PAINTINGS, PAINTINGS.  BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS!  Mr. & Mrs. Kelly are collectors of fine art and have been collecting many years.  I'm still pinching myself that I have been privileged to view their collection and I am most thankful."

The photos below are some of those I took with my IPhone in the Indianapolis  Museum of Art.  Obviously, I haven't mastered that camera but it's a start.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Dried Roses" / THE JOURNEY, Day 30

"Dried Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured linen  (12" x 16")  From the archives

"Day 30 of The Journey and 4450 miles on Trip B odometer.  Still in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Picked up my framed paintings this morning and bought some more frames.  I can highly recommend RENDITIONS FRAMING and wish I could have gotten more frames.

I woke up crying this morning but after spending five hours this afternoon with good friends, Beverly and Delores, and lots of hearty laughter it was tonic for my soul.  I wish they could come back to Florida with me.

Tonight I had dinner with Jay and Sheila at a wonderful Mexican restaurant and another good visit with them.  I'm heading to Nashville (Brown County) Indiana tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A White Rose" / THE JOURNEY, Day 29

"A White Rose"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured linen  (30" x 15")  From the archives  SOLD

"Day 29 of The Journey and I'm in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I needed frames for the two paintings I completed while in Vermont last week and was led to visit RENDITIONS FRAMING this afternoon.  Am I ever glad I did.  Renditions Framing is in a new facility here in the Castleton Square area of Indianapolis but best of all, they had the perfect ready made frames for my paintings . . . . .  at a reasonable price.  I left my paintings and can pick them up tomorrow morning, framed and ready to hang.   It's good that I've got the big car so I plan to buy more ready made frames from Renditions to take back to Florida with me.

Tonight was a delightful evening with my son, Jay, granddaughter, Macy and Jay's friend Sheila Baker.  It's the first meeting for Sheila and me and she is a lovely lady."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Vermont Roses" / THE JOURNEY, Days 27 & 28

"Vermont Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (10" x 10") October 15, 2010

"Today is day 27 of The Journey and I'm in the village of Swanton, Ohio, close to Toledo.  I'm visiting my nieces and nephew, the Bardwells' and their children.  There is 3750 miles on the odometer now.

Yesterday, Sherrie McGraw treated our whole group to the Sterling & Clark Museum.  I can't say enough good things about the exhibit and Sherrie doing comments on many of the paintings.  It was a great outing and it brought the Sherrie McGraw workshop to an end.

My maiden name was Bardwell and I'm really looking forward to visiting with the whole family of my much loved, belated brother.  We'll have all day tomorrow and evening too.

After twelve hours of driving today I am exhausted.  Good night  . .  ."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Autumn In Vermont" / THE JOURNEY, Day 25

"Autumn In Vermont"
© Nora Kasten, 2010
Oil painting on linen  (12" x 16")  Available

"Day 25 of The Journey and another full day of painting.  No notes today because Sherrie didn't paint or lecture.  I finished and signed the painting above and now I'm almost done with the painting below.  I'll only have tomorrow morning to paint because we're going to the Sterling & Clark Museum tomorrow afternoon.

It's beautiful here but getting colder everyday here in Vermont.  Rain is forecast for tomorrow and Deb, who owns a gallery on Cape Cod left this evening instead of tomorrow night because a nor`easter is coming in. "
Nora's work today (8"x 8")