Saturday, September 6, 2014

I see you ... Day 30 of 100 faces in 100 days

Day Thirty!!!! Nearly a third of the way through this and I am beginning to see the evolution of what is happening. I am in some ways overwhelmed and I feel like it's finally ok to do what I'm doing. I can't really even explain what that means. Ha .ha.. it is what it is. It's Saturday so my sister is here .. already. I'm glad to be at least this far along today and I have a headache lol .. but it's ok.

I think it is in the connections , how we relate to each other in our experience and life. These are the things that tell us we are not alone that we too feel similar feelings and share thoughts. So .. today this portrait just seemed to say .. I see you. I see what's on your heart and sometimes I see what's on your mind.

I see you...

Thank you for all the support and for following me on this journey of self discovery and painting.
Today's portrait is $30. The size is approx. 8"x10" and is painted with acrylic on old letters, a calendar page and wrapping paper that was sewn. My mother saved everything. I'm putting it to good use. I think she would be pleased. Email me at if you would like to have this portrait looking at you. And have a fantastic day!! I'm off to be with my sister.. :) Hey and I always LOVE hearing your comments and thoughts about all of this!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Robert and the 29th face of 100 Faces in 100 days

Today my portrait is called Robert. Yesterday I went to a funeral. It was Robert's father who passed. Robert and his brothers and parents lived in Africa when we did. Robert was in my class. He was shy and sweet. Sometimes other children that were less shy and over confident seemed to pick on Robert. I always felt protective of him. This was again .. all under the age of 11. I saw a few other people at this funeral who were also children who lived in Africa. I had not seen them in over 20 years. Some I didn't recognize most I did. But I had to hug each one, I felt so delighted to see these long ago children that I played with and that were long time friends of my parents. It seemed so odd to me to see them aged. Amazing how the pictures stay in your mind as you grow older, the memories never age. But here we all were balding, gray haired and more comfortable in our skin. I didn't really know Robert's father too well. I went for his son's but mostly for Robert. He was always a sweet boy and I think he will always be a sweet boy, even with his big eyes and graying hair. I was heartbroken to see the deeply felt loss expressed on his face as he listened to all the accounts that were spoken of his dad. His last parent to say goodbye too.

He was buried with military honors. Once everyone was seated or standing by the graveside. The actions of the soldiers were slow and precise. It was so moving to watch two military men walk from their present poised position of attention and slowing walk to the casket. It seemed like everything slowed down and all eyes watched as their hands held each corner of the flag and their fingers holding gently this flag and their fingers trailing down to the corners of the fabric holding all the way down. Eloquently, they removed the flag from his fathers casket and began to fold it so precisely and carefully. I was impressed with the pomp and circumstance of their fully decorated uniforms and the reverence with which the two soldiers interacted with each other. Their eyes even strategically looking at the flag the entire time, the purposefulness of each fold and then transferring from one soldier to the other. Their respect for the flag was felt as gentleness and caring so strong that it hung in the air like a sweet perfume. The trumpet playing taps and then the final act of placing the folded flag in the hands of Robert. He saluted the soldier. There were no tissues .. we were excused...i walked quickly toward the car I was riding in. There was a long silence. Then I enjoyed the reception afterward. The sharing of a meal is always a good time to reminisce and meet family that you've never met. We talked about getting together as a group of children who lived in Africa. I hope we do.

To Robert, be gentle with yourself as you grieve. Remember always what was good. Rest and find time to look for joy again. My thoughts are with you and your family.

So today's portrait painted with Robert on my heart and mind.  Available for $29 today. Send me a message to if you would like him on your wall. Thanks for following me on the journey .. I'll see you tomorrow. I hope you hug someone and say I love you to those you mean too. ciao

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 28 and the painter's mind

Day 28 and I'm still painting just having a down day. But I am committed to continuing. If only I could stay out of my head and win the lottery. haha ..

I think that somehow I put my feelings into my paintings. I don't know always if that comes through but I do seem to be told that people sense emotion in the faces. I think there was a time that I wanted to paint emotion. Probably somewhere in my life I lacked approval and so my tendency is to seek approval for what I do .. for who I am. I don't always feel this way. I don't really paint for approval. I paint or make or stitch or create anything because I love to do it. On the really bad days.. all I want is to be told I am lovable or worth loving. I suppose everyone wants that. Life happens and it isn't always pleasant. I'm grateful that my experience has taught me that feelings pass and something will distract my train wreck of thoughts and my mind will go down a road that is more pleasant and less emotional. I will get over myself haha. Thank goodness.

So .. I have no story to tell today.

I will be back tomorrow.

My email is if you want to own this face for $28. Painted on my mom's wrapping paper and one of her handwritten letters to her father. Sewn together and then painted with acrylic paint. Approx 8x10.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Man in the Tunnel on Day 27 of 100 Faces in 100 days

Today I was up at 5:30 am getting started on this painting of a man. I think this process is teaching me a great deal about trusting myself and the process. When I relax it all just seems to happen. At some point I have to stop.
Sometimes all it takes is the subtly of single stroke of paint. I don't even mind it is off just a tad. Some times just one highlight can make all the difference. I love painting.. i think I could do it all day.

His look is pensive....contemplative. Reminds me of a time we went to Switzerland on one of yearly travels to the US. We went there to meet with some friends of my parents. They lived in Geneva. We stayed in a Swiss Chalet nearby. It was on a lake and near the Chateau de Chillon. The beds in our room were mattresses filled with feathers and the covers down comforters. It was the most delightful sleeping I can ever remember.  We were within walking distance to our friends home which was in a tall building. There was a bridge to walk over or you could go down some stairs and be near the lake and into a tunnel that went under the bridge over to the other side. I have an older brother and a younger sister. There is one thing about having an older brother that is close in age, it's rivalry. I could do anything he could do, or at least I was going to try really hard too. In the few days that we were in Geneva we had walked to our friends home both ways, over or under the bridge with my parents several times. Always uneventful excursions to and from. My parents never really let us out of their site when we were traveling but how bad could it be to run from one side of a bridge to another in a minute or less? Somewhere along the way the challenge was thrown down to see who could make the distance faster. I went under the bridge my brother was going over. I got to the bottom of the stairs and I quickly scanned the area as I was lunging off the bottom step and there were some young men standing near the lake, I was running and I took off into the tunnel which was not too long but suddenly it became longer then even I cared it to be. I heard the footsteps of someone running behind me and I turned to look and it was the men. I remember thinking they were cute or handsome but I wasn't happy they were chasing me. I was afraid. My feet ran as fast as I could make them go and in an instant I was in the light of the morning sun and my parents were there and my brother had already passed .. laughing and happy he had beat me .. I was panting from the breathless frightening run. The boys/men chasing me came out walking as if they had not ever been running. I was near my parents then. I reached up and took my dad's hand and I never did say what happened. I looked back to where they were and they going back into the tunnel. Gone. I never went in the tunnel by myself again. I think they were just playing but that's what the mind of an innocent ten year old would probably think.

If you want these penetrating eyes hanging on your wall .. email me at This was painted with acrylic paint on sewn wrapping paper and an envelope with Christmas stamp and a letter I wrote to my mom when they were living in Korea. I was married with children so I had a lot to say. Interesting to read my own words after 33 years. Strange really. Somewhat eye opening. Thanks again for following my journey .. I have to say I'm delighted with today's painting and this project. See you tomorrow. Peace out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Orphanage and Day 26 of 100 faces in 100 days

Today this face strikes my mood. Not sure I can explain it so I'll just tell a story.

While living in Africa we were near an American military installation where we attended school, and church and were able to eat in the Officer's club as well as use the post commissary and the px where we were able to buy clothing, shoes and things you might need for your home. We were not military but my father worked for them. So they gave us those privileges which I'm sure my parents were grateful for.

My mother had more free time to make friends here than in the US and she always got involved. I'm not sure how or why but she was always included in the Officer's Wives club functions.  As an organization they decided one Christmas to help some children in the city we were living in. Now mind you all the things that I share about this are from the perspective of a nine or ten year old girl. So all of my facts are what I assume was going .. and in my mind that is the only reality I have of what was happening.

I can't say how or why I was asked by my mother to go with her but I had to put on a dress and my mother said I was going to help her. They were going to take Christmas gifts to the children in a nearby orphanage. I was happy to go and help my mother and just to be with her, I don't recall my brother or sister being there. We drove into a compound where there is a large building with many steps leading up to a room that looked like a standard school cafeteria. There were tables lined up and the ladies were busy bringing in boxes of wrapped gifts to give away. They brought cookies and fudge and candies and all the things you'd probably find on a Christmas dessert table along with a few decorations for the table.  The ladies had obviously done some planning. How they determined what they would give the children, most likely had to do with the age and gender of the child. I was excited to see what the gifts were because I did not know what they were. All the children came into the hall. There seemed to be a hundred children of every age and you could see their shy approach and then the smiles and giggles as they approached the tables with all of the beautifully wrapped presents. I guess they managed to communicate which gifts went to which child. Then there was a flurry of unwrapping and paper being tossed aside by the younger children and carefully removed by the older ones to reveal the treasures inside. They were so excited to see what was there.. as was I. Watching all of this happening in front of me I could see that the older children all had pen and pencil sets and the younger children had bean bags. I thought bean bags? Why on earth would you give a child a bean bag? What could they possibly do with a bean bag? But after opening them they seemed to like the sound of the beans inside each handmade fabric bag. They were made of simple but pretty fabrics and they started to throw them in the air.  They appeared to be overjoyed and I really could not believe that they would be so happy about something so plain and simple. As an adult I could say that perhaps they were asked to be grateful or that it meant something to them that I could not possibly understand. And truthfully I could not possibly understand what it could have been like to be living with hundreds of other children in a building without my parents. Regardless of the reason I was there and the children in that orphanage were there, I would take away something I have never forgotten. There is much joy in simple things, in kind gestures and being grateful even for a bean bag. I do remember how happy they seemed. There was no way that I could be there and watch this and be anything but happy too. I was happy they were happy. I left wanting to be with happy people. There was a skip in my step. I am grateful to have that picture in the album of my memories. It has been difficult at times for me to be happy or imagine being happy more than other emotions. Telling this story brings me back there, where joy from simple things can make my heart happy. I think it is right where I need to be today. To be brought back to happy.

It was in that spirit and part of why I did yesterday's portrait. So .. today .. i guess I was contemplative and now I am grateful.

Today's painting is poignantly painted on one of my mother's received Christmas cards and some wrapping paper from her stash. It's done in acrylic and is approximately 8x10. The price of today's painting is $26 so thank you for following along. Please come again and if you have a mind to have this painting on your wall email me at And I could always use the encouragement to keep going.. I appreciate any and all comments. Have a fantastic day. Ciao

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Uganda Project and Day 25 of 100 faces painted in 100 days.

Today's face is very special. I reverted back to the rusted cloth because I wanted to mix things up a bit for today. And it's sort of a celebration that I have made it this far and still going!!! I am pleased that this portrait looks like a child. I don't think that it's easy to paint a child's face. This isn't just any face she is one of Josephine's children. A child that has for some unfortunate reason needed her services, her protection or her help.

Ok .. several days ago I was looking at some of the blogs that I follow and happened on one that asked me to go to another blog for a special announcement. It was Victoria's  I read the entire post and found myself moved by this woman's effort to help some children. Actually there are two women, Victoria and Josephine. And then when you go on to read the comments there are even many more women. And I think isn't the internet a wonderful thing. Imagine how the ALS group has gone so wild with this ice bucket challenge and raised over one hundred million dollars for their organization. There are so many wonderful things that can happen.

There are multiple reasons why this resonated with me so much but the main reason was because the children are living in Africa. Uganda is south west of where I lived as a child. I lived in Ethiopia but it is now Eritrea. They are almost neighbors.

The other reason is that the children learn knitting as part of their therapy and they sell their knitting and other crafts that they make to raise the funds to be able to go to school and take them away from an environment of abuse. There is poverty. I do believe that helping these children is a good thing. So I had an idea to help in a way that uses my talents to benefit others in a real and tangible way. And to bring awareness to what is going on at  Since today I am one quarter away from painting faces for a hundred days I thought I would celebrate with this. Today's portrait is going to be an auction of sorts. If you will go to the link below and read on  Victoria's blog you will find her paypal account, you can make a donation  and leave me a comment to indicate the amount of your donation and I will send this beautiful painting to the person who donated the most. Ok I was going to announce this at 8. At 9 I got an email and one person made a donation and since they were the only one on this day. I will send it to her. I hope you will still make a donation, even a dollar will help them. I will do another face fundraiser for them during my 100 days of faces.

So message me at my email address if have any questions or leave me a comment or if you need help with this in any way or if you would like Josephine's email address. Or go to the links I've provided in this post to read Victoria's message and find out more about what she's done so far. And at the very least I will urge you to consider doing something to use your talents or financial resources to help these children or spread the word to your friends and family. I know my post is going long but I wanted to end this post with two quotes that I found on another blog that I follow Peggy. I felt they were fitting quotes.

 "There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. it is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly." Martha Graham 

“You are worthy of love and you deserve to be happy. You have these beautiful qualities and many more because you are living the gift of a human incarnation. My hope is that you will embrace these truths and your birthright to live a life abundant in love, joy, and celebration.”~ David Simon 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Culture Shock and Day 24 of 100 Faces painted in 100 days

Today's painting includes some mail that my mother saved when she was alive. It was a parcel written by a friend she met while living in Africa. I think just saying "while living in Africa" sounds so incredible sometimes. It always elicits some kind of "oooohhh" response when you tell people that.
We moved stateside in 1970. So just imagine being eleven years old and arriving in a new town where you have to lock your front door, there are schools that seperate the elementary kids from the middle and senior kids. There are more children in the new elementary school then there were in my former school. We had all grades,  kindergarten through twelfth grade. Then on the first day of school I excitedly decided to wear my favorite shoes, red leather sandals.The had been custom made for me in Italy on our last trip home. The leather on the shoe, the part that touched my foot was a polished leather. It felt so good on my feet. There was a slight little heel on the back that was covered in red leather. And red leather straps. I LOVED those sandals. They were molded to my exact foot shape. Nothing hurt or felt uncomfortable on those sandals. So .. off I go proud and wide eyed and scared of all the new things I would encounter on that first day. I went into  class and it seemed as though all the kids looked at me oddly. I was wearing clothes my mother made and my beautiful red sandals. I was happy in those sandals. I don't remember much else about what I did that first day except that I had to leave early. In fact I had to go to the office with a note which I didn't understand. My mother came to pick me up. I heard her talking to the people in the office. We left and she told me not to wear the sandals to school anymore. I asked why???? She said "they don't allow children to wear open toed shoes to school" I still didn't understand but somewhere in the discussions about this that would take place through out the day I heard "it's unsanitary". Hmmmmmm I didn't understand still. I would have to wear the sandals at home or just when I was with my family. Made no sense to me. There were so many strange rules in this new school.
So what does this have to do with the face today? The face today seems vacant somehow .. distant in thought or something like that. My perception only and the year 1970 written on the note to my mother, her friend telling her she missed us. I thought about that year .......and how this new school was strangely different then where I had been ... in a small American school in the huge continent of Africa. I missed it .. very very much...

So thanks for reading my stories .. I have so many .. perhaps this is the best part besides the record of faces. The stories. I'll have to keep it somewhere so my grandchildren will read about my experience of living in a strangely beautiful and wonderful place. Maybe.

And if you would like to own Culture shock face 24.. send me a note at Tomorrow I will have a special face .. I hope you will come by and read what I have to say... Have a wonderful day .. I will!!