Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oil painting "NORA" by Artist, NORA KASTEN

Oil painting on linen on board  (15"x 10")     December 6, 2012

"It's a good thing to be painting again.  This self portrait was painted from my self photo that I took in October, 2011."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Oil Painting "Fresh Cut Roses" by Artist, NORA KASTEN

Oil painting on linen on board  (12"x 24")

"FRESH CUT ROSES" is now in the collection of
Mr. & Mrs. John McKechnie 
Shalimar, Florida

"John and Christi McKechnie have purchased several Nora Kasten paintings over the last fifteen years but this is the most special to me.  John emailed me before Thanksgiving saying he wanted to purchase another painting to give to his wife, Christi, for Christmas this year.  What makes this so special is that John emailed me from Afghanistan where he is deployed after his reserve unit was called up last July.  I heard no complaints from him.  He said that he has been in the reserve for 18 years and they always were aware that this might happen.  My heart goes out to John and his family (they have three children) as he serves honorably for our country  .  .  . .  FOR US!  It must be hard for them everyday but especially through these Holidays being separated from each other and the dangerous threat always overhead.  I feel overwhelming gratitude and I'm asking each of you to please join with me in prayer for John and his family?"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


"The title says it all.  This is a hugh gallery wrap canvas painted a high gloss black and hangs over a king size bed."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

To Taos, NM & Back by Artist, NORA KASTEN

Artist, Laura Robb in her studio, 9/26/2012

"If anyone is noticing it has been a month now since I've posted on this blog.  Two days before Earl and I flew out to NM on American Airlines (Everything went wrong because of the pilots calling in sick),  I had closed on my new home.  It's a beautiful condo.  I'll share all the good news about that in my next post but now it's time to tell you about Laura Robb's wonderful workshop in Taos, NM.

She not only paints beautiful flowers and still life, she is quite beautiful, herself.  There were 10 of us artists in attendance and it was one of the best group of artists that I have ever been with.  Laura was so thorough in her teaching and she shared everything with us, always going the extra mile for each one of us.  The night before our last workshop day, Laura invited us all for a pizza party at her wonderful, unique home and studio in Taos.  What a privilege for us and it was really special.  Before going to NM I only knew Laura from her published, beautiful works of art but now I am honored to count her as my good friend.  Did I mention that she has a keen wit and great sense of humor too?

Have you noticed yet that I have not published notes from Laura's workshop?  Well . . . . . . the reason is I was SICK. . .  . through it all and it was a big effort just to function for me.  The weather, the scenery, the season, the mountains, EVERYTHING was perfect and I couldn't enjoy it.  Two weeks before the trip, I was fighting a sinus infection and one week before I was struck down with a horrible vertigo attack, dizzy, headaches, vomiting, the whole nine yards.  With massive antibiotics and a trip to our Naples hospital to receive the Epley maneuver, I thought that I was well enough for the trip but I was WRONG!  The air flights always give me terrible problems with my ears but this time it was just too much.

Today could be the first day that I am feeling somewhat back to normal and Oh, I'm just remembering the author, Joan Marie Ambrose, who sat next to Earl and I on our flight home.  It was well worth the discomfort that I was feeling to meet this dear lady.  I think so because she is one of the very few people I have encountered that has also realized "The Power Of Now" in her life.  Her book is 10 years old and out of print now but I was able to get it through Amazon and it has been a blessing to me.  I can whole heartily recommend it to you.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sold Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Bavarian Vase"
Oil painting on linen on board  (12"x12")              SOLD

"This Bavarian vase was a favorite of mine for many years, starting back in the early years of my painting journey.  I am so happy this painting is now in the wonderful collection of Rick & Brenda Kelley  of Nashville, IN."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My New Art Studio Location by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Self Portrait Demo" by
David Leffel

"I watched this demo by David Leffel this past week.  He painted it from a photo and also he was in front of a mirror.  I'm inspired to paint a self portrait from a photo that is blurry but that may work for my benefit.  

The sketch on canvas was done last Thursday, thinking I could paint on Friday.   Not so because the Comcast tech was working in the den (my studio) in my friend's home and he created other things for me to do.  Too bad because Saturday I had to begin the big job of moving my art studio to another location here in Naples.  The storm, Isaac, is on us right now but I got the last load of painting gear to the new location just before the rain this morning.  My energy is exhausted but tomorrow I should be able to get my new place organized and possibly move my office too.  Even with this big detour I'm still enthused about painting."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Oil Paintings to Gallery by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"These four paintings were shipped to The Brown County Art Guild Gallery, Nashville, Indiana yesterday and will arrive in time for their Fall, 2012 Exhibit.

A walk on Naples Laudermilk City Beach yesterday was delightful!"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Bavarian Vase"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen on board   (12"x12" unframed)        August 18, 2012

"It's good to be painting again and I've also been listening to the audio version of  "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer.  I just want  to share with you.  It is a wonderful book!  This author explains, in the best way, what I have experienced since childhood.  I always referred to it as my gut feeling or the still small voice within but finally someone has explained what I didn't have the words to do."

This book came to me through a beautiful lady who just recently entered my life and she too is a widow.  She was widowed after 60 years of marriage and has not yet reached the first anniversary of her Beloved's transition.  "Transition" is her word for her husband's death and I want to use it too.  Her presence in my life is most certainly a Godsend and I realize anew how precious life truly is."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sold Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Pitcher Of Roses"
Oil on linen     (16"x12")                 SOLD   August 15, 2012 

"Many thanks to the nice couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary who bought this painting last week at The Brown County Art Guild Gallery in Nashville, Indiana.  I wish that I could find the better photo of this painting but just not having any luck."

Monday, August 13, 2012


"Today, two years have gone by since my most dearly beloved Karl transitioned.  I was truly Blessed for the years we had together and I miss him so much."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oil Painting "Yellow Moroccan Vase" by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Yellow Moroccan Vase"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen on board   (24"x12")     July 31, 2012

"Today is much, much better and life is certainly our most valuable possession.  

This painting was started over a week ago before my youngest son,  Jason, and his lovely wife, Leticia, were here for the nicest visit.  Sadness hit me when they left but we all visit with one another on the phone every afternoon so I always feel they are close."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Widowed Life by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"This music is a Blessing to me and I'm glad to share it with you. 
 In two weeks it will be two years since my dearly Beloved Karl died.  I thought the agony of grief would be behind me by now but  . . . . . WRONG.   He's always close to the surface of my thoughts but most days I am at peace.  Maybe the coming anniversary of his death is bringing on the waves of horrible  grief anew but I thought that I would be stronger now.  Someone said to me a while back "Nora, take time to enjoy your sadness".  What does that mean?  I have fought it for so long.  Can it be true that this grief for Karl, after all, is just "prolonged self pity".

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reworked Paintings, Destroyed Paintings by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Red Geraniums"  (Reworked)

© Nora Kasten
Oil on linen on board  (24"x20")    Reworked July 22, 2012

"Peach With Franciscan Ware"  (Reworked)

© Nora Kasten
Oil on linen on board   (12"x12")  Reworked  July 22, 2012

"Today, I did something that I almost never do and that is to rework a painting.  I go with the theory that it is better . . .    and saves precious time to start a new painting rather than try to fix a bad one.  But the two paintings above were reworked today and I feel better about them.   I removed two inches from each side of "Red Geraniums" before reworking."

No hope for the two paintings below so I destroyed them and they are GONE

"March Bouquet No. 1"  (16"x12")
Oil on linen on board

"Dried Roses & Blue Vase"  (12"x12")
Oil on textured canvas

Saturday, July 21, 2012

News of a workshop & Barbara Flowers new easel by Artist, NORA KASTEN

Oil painting on linen on board  (24"x20")
I think that I destroyed this painting last summer while clearing out.

"Laura Robb is giving a four day workshop in Taos, NM / September 24 through September 27, 2012.
The workshop will be held at the Blumenscheim Studio, 222 Ledoux Street, Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-0505.  The class is limited to 10 artists and I'm signed up already.

Now, please go to Barbara Flowers blog.  First to see her beautiful work and then to learn about the Hughs easel.  Below is the comment that I left on her site."

"Barbara, I am so happy for you and I know just how you feel.  Five years ago my dear husband bought the Hughs easel (same as yours) for me, for my 70th birthday.  Just like you, we ordered it and 2 or 3 days later he delivered it to our house and totally set it up for me.  It is well worth the money and the easel of every artist's dream.  I enjoyed using it for 4 years but gave it to The Salvation Army last summer with a prayer that the right person would get it.  After Karl died I sold our big home and had no place for it then.  Today, I'm blessed with a good place to paint again.  It's just not big enough for that easel and yet my heart is full of Love and Thankfulness for such rich memories.  God is so good to us . . . .  and Barbara, I kept the 2 paintings I bought of yours and enjoy them every day."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Oil Painting "Peach With Franciscan Ware" by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Peach With Franciscan Ware"

© Nora Kasten

Oil painting on linen on board  (12"x12")       July 20, 2012

" Today was another painting day and also a walk on the beach.  I consider this another practice painting and it's just good to be back at the easel."

Loudermilk Beach,  Naples, FL    July 20, 2012


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oil Painting, "Red Geraineums" & At The Beach by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Red Geraniums"
© Nora Kasten
Oil on linen on board  (24"x24")  July 18, 2012

"Another practice painting.  I painted all morning yesterday and then to the beach for an hour walk.  When back home, I painted until 6pm."

I like to walk on our city beach, Loudermilk Beach, here in Naples, Florida

Photos taken with the IPhone

It looks like I was up high but I wasn't.  It's just one part of the
 beach that I walk over or around  . .  . .  .   Depending on the tide. 
This little boy was really busy
It was high noon when I took these photos  yesterday
and here it  looks like  the little ones were out for lunch .

This is all I could get of my feet with the sun directly overhead.

This photo is either sad or uplifting, depending on  how it registers with YOU.
It belongs to an elderly lady who was pretty far out in the Gulf, enjoying the water with her husband.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Florida's Plumbago" Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Florida's Plumbago"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen on board   (12"x12")          July 4, 2012

"This is the second painting from the Plumbago blooming in Debra's yard on Marco Island.  

Again, as the first one it was executed totally with a palette knife but I still didn't get the finish that I was after.  Maybe another one . . . . I don't think so but we'll see."

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Plumbago" Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN


© Nora Kasten

Oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas  (11-1/2"x11-1/2")   July 1, 2012

"Just to be painting is my goal right now and I'm certainly surprised how each painting turns out.  I might be able to salvage this painting but have decided not to and just take the lessons learned to go on to the next one.

"Plumbago" was created totally with the palette knife to give me the loose, impressionistic look that I'm after . . . .  .  that's ok.   The big problem here is too many values when 4 or 5 would have been best to create a dramatic "center of interest" that I always strive for.  

The excitement and joy of painting again at this stage in my life is most refreshing.  It is a new beginning though and I'm having to relearn or remember so much that used to be second nature to me."

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Road Trip to Key West, FL by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"These photos were taken with my IPhone on Thursday, June 28, 2012.   The statue (inspired from a Renoir painting) is in front of The Museum of Art and History in Key West FL.

The weather was quite warm but each day was beautiful!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Large Bouquet" Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

© Nora Kasten, 2012

Oil on canvas  (48"x36")   June 19, 2012

"This large painting has been on my easel for several weeks now and I'm finally declaring victory, saying "It is done".

In the beginning this canvas was another oil painting that I had completed on March 13, 2010 . . . .  5 months to the day before Karl died.  The painting, "Personal Reverie", never pleased me and I don't think Karl liked it either so it seemed fitting to paint over it.  I covered the painting with Griffin titanium white alkyd paint and let it dry for a few days before starting this new painting.  See the painting "Personal Reverie" below________________

"Personal Reverie"  Oil on canvas  36"x48"   March 13, 2010  /  Destroyed March, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Motor Trip Highlights & The National Museum Of Art by Artist, NORA KASTEN

(iPhone photo)   Renoir at The National Museum of Art, Washington, DC  on  June 9, 2012

     "Today is Saturday, June 16, and my second day to be back home.  Both days I was privileged to take my walk on the Naples beach at the edge of the water and as good as the trip was  . . . .  it is even better to be back home.

       It's been over 20 years since I visited The National Museum of Art in DC and the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, along with several other museums in the Eastern states.  At the time I had been painting for only 5 or 6 years and I was in complete awe of most of the paintings.  My husband, Karl, 
would often ask me on those days what it was that I liked about such and such a painting and I couldn't 
always tell him.  After several days of museum touring, one evening Karl summed up his opinion by saying "I believe if the artist's name was Monet, Degas, Manet, Renoir or any other famous artist's name, the quality of the work was not considered.  Good, bad or mediocre . .  it was In".  I couldn't hear that then but after last week's museum visits, I believe he was right.

      It really doesn't matter what I feel or believe about the art of the past but today I am changed and I was quite disappointed with far too much of the artwork exhibited.  Contemporary artists today such as
Richard Schmid, Dan Gerhartz, David Leffel, CW Mundy and so many others are producing fabulous and excellent works of art that are a joy to view and behold.  My eyes much prefer their works.
The paintings of artists, Barbara Flowers and Joyce Norwood, are also a delight to behold."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

News Of Artwork by Artist, NORA KASTEN

Paintings to "The Brown County Art Guild Gallery" 
Nashville, IN
"A White Rose"  Oil on linen on board  (20"x16")

"Lilacs"  Oil on gallery wrapped canvas  (24"x24")

"Pitcher of Roses"   Oil on linen on board  (16"x12")

"Saved Dried Roses"   Oil on linen on board  (12"x16")

         " The 4 paintings above will be delivered to The Brown County Art Guild Gallery in Nashville, Indiana on Thursday, May 24.

          I am humbled and most grateful for the news from Jeffry Carter, Commissioner of Labor for OSCA and Chief of Enforcement Programs, State of Indiana.  Below is his e-mail to me, 
dated May 22, 2012."

Dear Nora,

My wife Jan and I have two of your works and have enjoyed them immensely. We continue to support the Brown County Art Guild which is where we purchased our first "Kasten" from. Most recently, that piece has been hanging in my office in the Indiana Statehouse.

The Guild expressed an interest and we have agreed to donate one of your works to the permanent collection at the Guild.
The piece is a beautiful pastel and we will miss it but it will be part of the Guild's permanent collection.

Just wanted to tell how much joy your work has brought us over the years.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good News!

"Good news today?  The biopsy on the tip of my nose shows it to be a pre cancerous Actinic Keratosis and the doctor will treat it with nitrogen on Thursday morning.  This was the best news possible for me and I am really thankful I didn't wait any longer.  The small sore that never healed has been  on the tip of my nose for at least three years.  I just couldn't bring myself to deal with it the last year while Karl was still with me and even over a year after his death.  It was foolish on my part but it looks like everything will be alright after all.

Tomorrow, I am going to Shark Valley in The Everglades National Park so there won't be any painting but. . . . .  life is GOOD!"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"March Bouquet II" Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"March Bouquet II"
© Nora Kasten

Oil painting on linen on board  (20"x6")    March 31, 2012

"March Bouquet II" is produced on the last day of March and now I want to go into a larger format.  

Yesterday, I had lunch with two very accomplished and successful artists, Joyce Norwood and Abby Warman.   It was so good to be with these friends yesterday, to share with one another and talk the "Art".  I came home with a feeling of thankfulness and enthusiasm to be painting again.  Listening to and heeding the Still Small Voice within always shows us what path to follow and what steps to take.  I am Blessed anew. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"March Bouquet I" Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"March Bouquet I"
© Nora Kasten

Oil Painting on linen on board  (16"x12")   March 26, 2012

"I simply couldn't think of another title so this will be "I", in hopes that "II" and "III" will follow.  

A bump on the tip of my nose was biopsied today so I plan to stay in and paint for the next few days.  Who could have guessed that it would take this to get me back to the easel?

One thing that I would like to share with you is about my MAC and the new "Lion" operating system I've downloaded.  I've lost so many Pages documents and Pictures folders and even my bank can't open up my account using Safari.  They told me to use Google Chrome until they get the issues resolved with Apple and thank goodness, that works.   I am so sorry I upgraded to Lion because everything was working fine until then.  

Have any of you had this problem and how are you solving it?  I really want to go back to the old operating system, Leopard."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Bright, Bright Sunshiny Day" Acrylic Painting by Artist NORA KASTEN

© Nora Kasten
Acrylic painting on 2" deep gallery wrapped canvas  (32"x 54")    March 10, 2012

"This painting is on a canvas, custom crafted, by the owner of the Art Emporium art supply and framing store here in Naples, FL.  It's hanging on an end wall of the lanai where I actually executed the painting that took me several weeks to even get started.

The title is from a song I was listening to on the radio while driving one day.  Can you hear the upbeat tune with lyrics . . . .  It's a bright, bright  sunshiny day . . . ?  That's what I was experiencing.

When I cleared out so many things in the house after Karl died, I sent all my acrylic paints to the Salvation Army and had to buy new to do this painting.  I'm still finding my way back but believe that I prefer working in oils the best. "

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Smell The Roses" Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Smell The Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen on board  (24"x24")     February 12, 2012

"It was tempting to not sign this painting but I've eaten a lot of humble pie lately and this is just another bite.  

I purchased a new chrome and black easel the other day that will hold a large canvas and the plan is to experiment with more of the"Contemporary Expressions" I completed a couple of years ago.  Karl didn't especially like those works so I discontinued them but now seems to be the right time to go in that direction again."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Beach Bride" Oil Painting by Artist, NORA KASTEN

"Beach Bride"
©  Nora Kasten
Oil on linen  (40"x24")   From the 2001 Archives

"Last week we saw the movie "The Artist".  It was a great movie and the wonderful lead actress, Berenice Bejo, reminded me so much of Kathy, the beautiful "Beach Bride" I painted over ten years ago.   The actress looks so much like Kathy.  She's pretty like Kathy but also she portrayed her mannerisms and personality so wonderfully.  It was really a treat for me to see the  movie and remember Kathy.

The home Karl and I shared finally sold last month, January, 2012 and I've moved into the place (home) that is right for me now.  There is a room with an easel, all set up for me to paint, and that's what I intend to do.  There is the beginning of a painting on the easel now (a lady sniffing a bouquet of flowers) but I'm not sure if I will finish it or destroy it.  I'll keep you posted."