Thursday, September 30, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Strawberry Shortcake" / THE JOURNEY, Day 11

"Strawberry Shortcake"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (24"x20")  From the archives  SOLD

"Another day of almost non-stop crying but things are looking better this evening.  I drove over to the LL Bean store in Freeport, Maine this afternoon and cried the whole way. . . . . I wonder if I could get a ticket for crying while driving.  I don't think I should do THAT again or have such crying jags either.  I believe there is power within to rise above this agony but my emotions just aren't paying much attention.  My good friend, C.Ann, says "grieving is just one bad day after another".  I don't really feel that way but can understand what she is saying.  Now, who could have guessed this art blog would turn into a blog about grief and loss?  Tomorrow is another day."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Pretty In Pink" / THE JOURNEY, Day 10

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

"Day 10 of The Journey and the tears seem to flow all day long.  The one good thing I did was to bring my painting gear into the room and set up to paint . . . .  I didn't paint but surely it will happen soon.  

Driving around the back roads up here is so much like being at Diamond Lake near Cable, WI.  Karl had a cabin there  and that is where he taught me how to fish.   My first big catch was walleye and I remember how much fun it was.  But now I think I let the memories take over too much and hence, the sadness.  I'm looking forward to a better tomorrow."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "The Morning News" / THE JOURNEY, Days 8 & 9

"The Morning News"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (40" x 30")  From the archives

"Today is day 9 of The Journey and I'm in Rockport, Maine at The Country Inn.  2100 miles on the car odometer.
I was so disappointed when I walked into my suite this afternoon here and said aloud "Karl, I need you, where are you?"  But then I took a deep breath, looked at my options and decided to make good come out of this situation.  It would be a good time for that line "Well, This Is Nothing Like The Brochure!"  

I called Susan and she is home safe.  Then I went to the lobby for tea and a muffin.  The rain is letting up and I will go into Rockport or Camden for dinner tonight."



NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Poppy Power" / JOURNEY, Days 8 & 9

"Poppy Power"

© Nora Kasten

Oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas  (6"x 6") From the archives  SOLD

"Yesterday, Monday, Day 8 was more of the same the day before.  Hiking a mile back into the woods, being really cold and damp and watching Stapleton Kearns dab some more paint on his painting.  I hiked back out of the woods to the parking lot at noon and went to Bar Harbor for a nice lunch.  Sure glad that I did too because Susan Roux called me on the cell to tell me not to come back to the painting group but go back to the inn.  She said the rain came pouring down and everyone still there got soaked.  She brought my things with hers back to her car and was leaving too.
Susan and I went out for pizza at a little cafe in town and another artist in our group found us and of course we talked the art.  Too tired to blog when we got back to the inn last night."

Stape at easel

Clem & Patty

Stape's unfinished painting

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Anniversary Roses" / THE JOURNEY-Day 7

"Anniversary Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured linen  (40" x 30")  Artist's collection

"Today is day 7 of The Journey and I'm still not painting.
It's late Sunday afternoon and I came back to the inn after lunch.  We all watched Stapleton Kearns paint another painting this morning after we had hiked a mile from a parking lot in Acadia National Park.  I had to really bundle up to keep warm . . . . it was only 50 degrees and the first hour was misting rain.  I took a big umbrella.  The guys lugged a tent to the painting spot but the misting finally let up and we didn't need it after all.  We hiked on a trail in the woods, next to the ocean until we came to an inlet with a small beach area.  It was neat watching the tide come in as Stape was painting.  

I certainly felt led to attend this workshop and really glad to be here but this lady is not physically fit enough to do what the others are doing.  I can't even guess what will happen tomorrow, our last day.  When Susan Roux gets back to the inn this evening she will fill me in on all the details.  She is so bubbly and enthused it's really great she is here too. 

We were at Otter Cliffs yesterday."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "White Roses" / JOURNEY - DAY 6

"White Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (16" x 20") From the archives  SOLD

"There were ten plus Stape in the workshop today.  We met at the Bass Harbor Campgrounds and then all drove over to a beautiful spot in Acadia National Park, something Cliffs.  I'll think of the name before tomorrow evening.  Stapleton Kearns painted a beautiful water, rocks and mountain scene on a 16" x 20" cotton canvas.  He doesn't want to fight the slackness that occurs in so many of the linen canvases.   I think everybody got a good painting this afternoon.

That is but me.   I just didn't have the stamina left to set up the easel on those big granite rocks, tote my painting gear and then paint.  We'll be at a different spot tomorrow and hopefully it will be easier for me  to maneuver.  Stape is a good teacher.

I talked to another artist in our group who is about the age of my son, John, and learned his dear wife died ten weeks before my beloved Karl passed away.  He, too, is in the same agony of grief and yet was led to take this workshop the same as I was.  Even though I didn't paint today it was good to just be here, breathe in the fresh air coming off the ocean, even the wind felt good.  I only have these two photos to show you and they're not very good.. . .  it will get better."

PS:  I'm the only senior in our group.

(L to R)  James, Stapleton, Kevin, Clem, Steve and Susan 

James & Stapleton in Acadia National Park

Friday, September 24, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Fresh Cut Roses" / THE JOURNEY, Day 5

"Fresh Cut Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (24"x 36") From the archives  SOLD

"Tonight I'm staying at The Claremont Inn in Southwest Harbor, Maine / 1850 miles from home.
It's good to be here in this charming New England inn and it's only 3 miles from Bass Harbor where Stapleton Kearnes workshop starts tomorrow.  Today is the first day I didn't see 90 degrees or above.  In fact the temperature didn't quite make it to 60 degrees and it's been misting rain all day.  I'm on the third floor of this old, charming, turn of the twentieth century home that looks out over the Atlantic.  When I arrived late this afternoon mist and fog were heavy over the water and the boats anchored out there were just faint images.  It could have been a Turner painting.  Did I say that I was glad to be here??"


Thursday, September 23, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Onions & Cantaloupe" / JOURNEY, DAY FOUR

"Onions & Cantaloupe"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen (25"x30")
In the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Weber Gaskin, Naples, Florida

"Tonight I am in Augusta, Maine and 1750 miles from home.
The day started out so good, glorious bursts of color in many of the trees and a decision to go to The Boston Museum of Fine Art.  We've been there a couple of times through the years and I was looking forward to viewing John Singer Sargent's painting, "The daughters of Edward Darley Boit" again.  It's a huge painting 87"x 87". . . . . .  Can you believe The Boston Museum of Fine Art does not have any american artists' paintings hanging today??  

The paintings were all taken down a few months ago and won't be hung again until November.  The museum is in a big remodeling project right now but why would they remove all the american works at the same time and then for such a long period.  The docent I talked with was so kind and thoughtful about the whole thing I couldn't be upset.  Adding insult to injury though, it took me over an hour after getting to Boston to find the museum.  I was so close but extensive construction outside too made it really difficult to fine and get into the parking lot.  Below is a photo taken from the web of Sargent's painting.

The day has ended on a very good note for me since I'm staying at The Senator Inn & Spa here in Augusta, ME.  My suite of rooms is quite luxurious.  It even has a gas log built-in the corner fireplace and a nice little wall mounted TV in the bathroom to watch while soaking in the Jacuzzi.  It is also most comfortable sitting here at the beautiful desk writing this blog.  They have laid out a nice white terry robe for me . . . . . and oh, did I mention the dining is fantastic.  Wow! I'm in a 5 Star hotel.

"The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit"  by John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Morning Service" / JOURNEY CONTINUED

"Morning Service"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (26"x30") From the archives  SOLD

"I'm in West Haven, CT tonight and 1400 miles from home.  
Today I visited The Philadelphia Museum of Art thinking I could view one of my all time favorite paintings.  I thought that Daniel Garber's painting of his daughter, Tanis, was in Philadelphia's permanent collection but not so.  I saw the painting there 15 years ago, just a few months after viewing it at The Indianapolis Museum of Art.  I was disappointed today but still was able to view several Old Masters' good paintings and that made the trip worthwhile.  I have found a bad copy of "Tanis" on the web for you to see but of course it seems like nothing compared to the real thing.  It's a large painting (60" x 46")."

"Tanis" by Daniel Garber  1910 or 1916

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Roses Are Red" / Journey-Day 2

"Roses Are Red"
© Nora Kasten
Oil on Textured Linen  (24" x 20")  From the archives  SOLD

"Tonight, I am in Chester, Virginia and 963 miles from home.  The driving is almost enjoyable.  I've learned to stop often, take walks at the rest areas and a short afternoon nap there with the car running and the doors locked. . . .  . and Karl's handicap sticker displayed.  

I'm listening to Eckert Tolle's "The Power Of Now" again and I'm in agreement with him.  The death of my beloved Karl is making more sense to me now but the heartache is still so very raw.  So often during the day I want to share something with him and of course I'm reminded anew that he's not with me any longer.  Shortly before he died that sad night he said " Nora, your life will be better" but it isn't and I don't see how it could ever be."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nora Kasten Artist Oil Painting "Roses For The Table" / "THE JOUNEY BEGINS"

"Roses For The Table"
©  Nora Kasten
Oil on Linen  (30" x 24") From the archives

"Today the journey began and tonight I'm in Brunswick, Georgia . . . 450 miles from home.  An extra perk on the first day out, my son, Jason and his wife, Tish, met me for lunch just off the interstate close to Tampa, FL.  The car is loaded with painting gear and it will be interesting to see if I can still paint come Saturday in Stapleton Kearns workshop at Bass Harbor, Maine.  No crying today."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nora Kasten Artist Oil Painting "Cheesecake & Brass" / The Journey

"Cheesecake & Brass"
Oil painting on linen   (12" x 16")  From the archives

"Can it be my dearly beloved Karl is gone four weeks today . .  .  and I'm still here?  What I thought was the end of the world for me turns out not to be, but a huge gaping hole in my heart that my faith assures me will heal.  All of your e-mails, phone calls and comments have been a tremendous help and I hope you know how thankful I am to each one of you.  I'm learning to just let life unfold each moment and trusting Divine Presence to lead me in each step that I take.

The first planned big step forward I call "The Journey" and it starts September 20, 2010.  The Mac is traveling with me and I plan to post as often as possible.  Following are the plans so far and I'm content to make any changes as necessary."

The journey starts Monday, September 20 and will have me in Bass Harbor, Maine on September 24 for Stapleton Kearns workshop.

I'm driving our new and big 2010 Lincoln MKT which will be loaded with french easel, paint, canvases and everything I can think of to bring for plein air painting.  I will leave Bass Harbor on September 28 to arrive in Rockport, Maine that evening.  Rockport is a nice little artist's community that Karl and I have visited in the past.  I'll stay there in a charming inn on the ocean for a week by myself before going to visit artist friend, Susan Roux.  I'm looking forward to painting with her in her studio for a few days.

Then to Putney, Vermont on October 9 and Bennington, Vermont on October 10.  In Bennington I will take an art workshop with Sherrie McGraw from October 11 through October 15.

I plan to be in the Village of Swanton, Ohio on October 17 for a short visit with my nieces and nephew along with their families and my sister in law . .  . the Bardwells.  Then to Indianapolis to visit my son, Jay, and family.

Nashville, Brown County, Indiana:  Tuesday, October 19 to Friday, October 22 to visit with my friend, Cynthia Richards and get together with many other artists in that area.

Atlanta will be my next stop for a visit with my son, John, and his family.  I plan to be there Saturday, October 23 and leave Monday, October 25.

There are several friends who live in Florida, close to Interstate 75 that I'm hoping to see before arriving at my son, Jason, and his wife's home in the Tampa area on October 28.  I should be able to visit with my son, Jett, at that time also.

Plans are to be back home in Naples, Florida by November 1, 2010.