Monday, January 31, 2011

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Macy In Red Pinafore"

"Macy In Red Pinafore"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (15"x13") Painted in 1995
This was painting # 224 and my last painting was #1147

"Yesterday, I found the photos from a photo shoot I took of this precious little granddaughter in 1995.  The painting above is from one of those photos and since I'm older and wiser now, I just thought I could do a really great painting using that photo today.  The excitement was high, I painted all day and then wiped out the total face and background.  FAILURE . . .. again, but I can't give it up and tomorrow is another day.

The real reason that I'm posting tonight is to let you know about a very good blog that C.W. Mundy has sent us to check out.  The blog is by Ryan Mellody and it is GOOD!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A Floral Spray"

"A Floral Spray"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured canvas  (10"x10")  January 18, 2011

"Finally, a painting produced!  I'm not proud of it and I see all the errors but the next one will be better.   It's just very good to be back in my studio and painting again.

Today a great artist, Jane Naraine from Carmel, Indiana, called me and we got together at Starbucks for a wonderful gab fest about the art.  She and her husband are here in Naples for the season and she is painting everyday.  It brings back memories of Karl and me spending three or four months in Key Colony Beach, FL every year before buying a home there and making  Florida our permanent residence.  Our condo was right on the beach and I painted everyday too. Jane is not only a great painter, she is delightful, she is pretty and definitely a very good woman.  Click on her name above to view her beautiful paintings.  It's a treat."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting " Nora At Sixty-One"

"Nora At Sixty-One"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (24" x 20") From the 1998 archives

"Here is the painting, hung high on the far end of my office wall.   It was there also when my Beloved Karl occupied this office but recently I've changed the decor.  It's necessary now that I create "my space".  I must tell you though that it is a joy to be here in this room as well as the whole house that we shared and were so happy together.  It's a good feeling to touch and handle the papers along with the instructional notes that he left for me, knowing his hands were on them.

Purposely, living in the present moment and listening to the inner voice all through the day is very rewarding and Goodness is coming to me in ways I could never have imagined.  The other day I felt led to take a short walk in my neighborhood (I seldom do this) and while I was walking the mailman came along.  We've only waved to each other in years past and one time he called out to me from his car while I was painting roses in the front yard.  Well, he recognized me and pulled up to the curb to ask how Karl and I were doing.  I know it was a good day for me and I certainly wasn't feeling down but when I had to tell him Karl had died, the tears began so I just waved good-by and started to walk away.  The next thing that happened almost put me in shock.  He parked the mail car, turned it off, got out, came onto the sidewalk and gave me a hug with tears in his eyes.  Since the tears were rolling down my face by now I couldn't really say much but it didn't matter.  The mailman had the perfect words for me at the perfect time, even giving me the perfect solution to something I had been pondering about and he couldn't have known.

The next day I put the red bar out on my mailbox and placed a one line note, thanking my mailman.  When I got the mail later that day, here is the note I found.   We can believe that we really don't know another person but the fact is that we are all in this together.

The days are still filled with loving thoughts of my Karl and I continue the best I know how to live this life without him.  His presence always gave me strength and peace and It still does . . . . .  I wish he could help me with these tears."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Roses & Melon"

"Roses & Melon"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (40" 30")  From the 2005 archives... Photo is way off in color

Karl died five months ago, today.

"This morning while having coffee by the fireplace (yes, a fireplace in Naples, Florida), I was actually enjoying viewing this painting.  It's framed in a large ornate frame and I just recently hung it on the family room wall.  When I painted "Roses & Melon" in 2005 I knew it wasn't good enough to market but saved it anyway.  It amazes me how we appreciate something on any one day and then another day brings different things or ideas that we appreciate.  When I use the word "appreciate", I mean it as "to go up in value" . . . . like we want our stocks and bonds to do, right!

The book that I'm reading now "The Presence Process" is coming to a close but I'm sure to be reading it again and again.  Here is a sentence that I high-lighted this morning:  We discover the capacity of Presence - a Presence we all share, everywhere , in each moment, that's able to bring us exactly what's required, whenever it's required. "  I discovered this many years ago and am still experiencing this same miracle that is meant for us all today too."

Monday, January 10, 2011

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Jar Of Roses"

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

"I've been painting my friend, Louise, again but this time with little Suzie."

Oil painting on linen  (18" x 14") January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Louise Toresco" Revisited

"Louise Toresco"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas  (24"x24"x2")  1/1/2011

"I couldn't leave that frown on Louise's face.  How could I do that to her?!  Now I'll feel better about giving the painting to her for her birthday, which is today.  

Last night, while at Louise's for dinner and after everyone had viewed the portrait on yesterday's post, her son, Ben, came up with the perfect name for the frowning portrait "It's The Mona Louisa".

Below is a photo of the painting while on the easel."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

NORA KASTEN Artist oil Painting "Louise Toresco"

"Louise Toresco"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas  (24"x24"x 2")  Signed 1/1/2011

"My dear  . . . and GOOD friend, Louise, gave me two days of her time and energy so I could paint her portrait from life as I had asked.  She is a beautiful lady and never complained once about posing under the hot light.  After the first day's painting after Louise left the studio I did a Sargent and scraped down the whole canvas (20"x16"), leaving a ghost image of the day's work.

The second day, yesterday, New Year's Eve, when Louise arrive I was so enthused and excited about finishing her portrait sketch.  Something told me to take a photo of her in her position without the overhead light on before getting started.  Well, two hours later I had to bite my tongue, send my ego to the back of the room and tell my good friend that I had failed.  Oh, my how I hated to declare that  but Louise being the gracious lady that she is said "oh that's ok, Nora, but I'm afraid it's because of me".  All you artists out there can chuckle about that because we all know that the problem, fault or whatever is NORA and not the beautiful sitter.

I sent Louise home to get ready for her New Year's Eve date, ate a tuna salad sandwich, took a nap and then remembered the photo in the camera.  After printing I tacked the photo up on my easel and began painting.  Louise is smiling in my photo but she sure isn't in my painting.  I could get discouraged but am refusing to do that.  Tomorrow is another day and I'm still invited to Louise's house for dinner this evening.  Am I fortunate or what?"

Below is the sketch of Louise at the point where I stopped and admitted defeat.