I met Kelly 37 years ago from today, when she was born, because…she’s my littlest sister! It’s her birthday today! We didn’t always get along. There are stories of us chasing each other with knives when my parents were away and I recall a time when I tortured her with some joke store fart perfume (called Ocean Breeze) that she bought because she stole a sweater, or our family would pose her in funny positions when she fell asleep in the car, because we could and she wouldn’t wake up. I do love my sister and admire her for her independence, outgoingness, and adventurousness. She is also an amazing mom to the best niece ever. Kelly is also very talented at her career in cosmetology and she owns a pretty great salon in Keene, NH (HairSpa of Keene). Finally I would like to say we get along now.
lady of the month
One of the fun things about my Lady of the Month project is surprising someone who is not expecting this at all. Cheron and I do not know each other much at all, and just know each other through a mutual friend. I think she’s cool and has a fun, creative style. We lost touch and I do not think she is on social media any more…so I hope one day she sees this. I do want to note that this is my December Lady of the Month. I had this portrait mostly completed, but wanted to keep adding little details.
Marissa is another person I have not seen in a million years but should know that I admire her. We met in the theatre department at Columbia College and I was immediately impressed by her intelligence, outgoing nature and humor. She is sooooooooooooo cool! Marissa is one of those people whose opinion I value very much and she’s super smart and thoughtful. If you are in the Chicagoland area check out the 16th Street Theatre where she is managing director.
I miss this woman! I met Katrina during my college years in the Theatre Department at Columbia College. I didn't really get to know her until my last year when we worked in the scene shop together. I was always very shy and quiet and she was/is the opposite of that. I remember that once we started working toghether on scenic projects our bosses would comment on how well we worked togehter, that we were like a ying and yang. I remember we working on some pieces for "Our Contry's Good" and I needed a maidenhead for a ship. We were having trouble shaping her body so we used my bra to shape her boobs since Katrina wasn't wearing one.
Now she lives in Oklahoma with her family and I live in Vermont, but I appreciate that I am able to connect through social media. I love reading her point of view on current issues. She is very compassionate and smart and full of life. I think this painting accentuates her badassness.
PS - This is my July Lady of the Month. Yes. I'm late again. I'm late with August too. Will I ever be able to turn this around? We shall see. I do have the next three finished and scanned...now it's just a matter of posting 'em.
Phew! Another late one.
This time, for March, I picked another old, Chicago friend, whitney. I also got to meet up with on my trip to Portland! whitney is a fun, colorful person who loves animals and sewing and making cool stuff. One of my favorite Thanksgivings was when she invited me over for an orphans feast. We used to work together at the best cafe in Chicago when it existed along with another Lady of the Month, Melissa.
There are so many ladies who I think are incredible, and I've been having a very hard time narrowing it down to just 48 portraits. The only remedy I could think of is to either extend the length of time I work on this project, or I could also do some two-fers. I'll probably end up doing a little of both. This one is a twofer of sisters I met a long, long time ago.
I grew up with Anna and Ali in New Hampshire. Anna was one of my best childhood friends who inspired me to be creative, and she was just the coolest! Some of my favorite memories were from times we would work on fun projects like a dollhouse made of recyled materials, a fake catalog called "Funky Fashions" full of wacky, themed clothing styles, and teaming up on various O.M. teams. I absolutely hated high school but had a daily hour of respite in art class with Anna and a couple other friends.
Ali is Anna's little sister who was one of my younger sister's best friends too. She was a talented gymnast and now teaches gymnastics to kids. Ali also probably doesn't realize that she made me feel better about being teased at school by using her incredible sense of humor.
Happy Birthday Anna!
Also, the sweaters in this painting were inspired by this photo taken around 1986.
I have chosen a long time family friend, Paula, to be my July 2017 Lady of the Month portrait! I met Paula probably close to 25 years ago or so when her youngest daughter became friends with my littlest sister. Our families spent quite a bit of time together as we were growing up. We went on hikes, celebrated holidays, and also get together every year for a week on the beach (which is where I am writing this blog post). Paula is someone who I can always have an interesting conversation with and she has a great smile. And she is a lot of fun. One of my favorite memories is when she and my mom would have 40/50, 50/60 and 60/70 birthday parties. I'm glad that my parents became friends with the Dustons, and I think I have used that friendship to model some of my adult friendships after.
Oh no! I have been so busy I forgot to post my June Lady of the Month. My day job has been taking up a lot of time and mental energy so I have been kind of slacking in the art department lately.
For the month of June, I have decided to present you with my very good friend from Chicago, Naomi! We met probably a decade ago when I was tabling at the DIY Trunk Show, trying to sell some mini comix and crocheted creatures. Naomi was volunteering and we ended up chatting for quite some time and I thought she was very cool and we struck up a friendship. Later on we started meeting up with some other artist friends on a semi weekly basis to draw or paint together at local cafe's. Naomi is one of my favorite people on this planet, she is cheerful and optimistic with a touch of grumpiness (#oldchicagolady) and a huge sense of humor. She is an incredible artist who also paints in a colorful style and has done some large murals. Visit Monstrochika to see what I'm talking about. The monster in the painting that she is painting, in this painting is a character that she includes in many of her pieces. I miss you Naomi!!!
For further reading: Finding Empowerment Through the Colorful World of Monstrochika