© 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.