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."