Friday, November 13, 2015

Whereabouts Unknown

This is the place where my Spokane family first met the cousins, aunts and uncle (from Seattle) we never knew. The name of this place is quite telling...........Whereabouts Unknown.  

My mother was adopted and always yearned to find her birth parents.  She died in 1984 at the young age of 57.  She tried her best to be happy with life, but there was always that underlying feeling of "being abandoned" within her.  Consequently life was difficult for her.  Sadly, my father discouraged her from searching for her parents. 

In 2002, my sister Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer.  We had not known of any cancer in the family prior to my sister Barb Noe and I decided to do a search via the internet.  We were fortunate in that we had a copy of the adoption certificate with our birth Grandmother's name on it. With the help of a group of wonderful people, we found Mom's living brother Uncle Joe.  I contacted Uncle Joe and then my sisters and I traveled to Seattle to meet him.  We were greeted warmly by this man who looked so much like our brother Doug..  He was so emotional, saying that he always wanted a sister.....and that some conversations he overheard between his parents led him to believe that he did indeed have one.  I had an Uncle Bob, as well....but he also died young.  I won't go into the reasons why my mother was adopted was the only recourse my Grandmother had at the time.  God Bless her.  

We did find a cancer gene in the end, and that was a good thing..  But the best news is that cousin Paula Purcell hosted a "Union" at Whereabouts Unknown 10 years ago, where most of the cousins met each other for the first time.  It was an amazing event especially for my family..always wondering about our "other family".  Twas the perfect environment for all of us to come together.  I will never forget that Union and I will always cherish this beautiful place.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This is a tole painting that I made for my mother in 1978 for her 54th birthday.  It was recently discovered in the attic of the house I grew up in.  It was delivered to my brother Doug via my brother-in-law Denny.  I had forgotten all about it.  I did a lot of tole painting in the '70's and gave many of them to friends and family as gifts.  What a memory this has brought back to me.

My mother became quite ill in the early 80' much so that Dad had to take steps to move out of the big house....and in to an apartment.  Dad eventually sold the house to our youngest sister Karen and husband Denny.  Together they raised three girls in this house.  Much of what Dad and Mom owned remained in the house.  Karen died in 2009.  Recently Denny has been in the process of moving from the homestead, in which many "relics" have been discovered.  This painting being one of them. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Parc Monceau

I have never been to France.  Though I did get a taste of it while visiting St. Martin's French side.  I would love to go to Paris.  I am entering an art contest to win a trip there, so this is my endeavor.  A painting of Parc Monceau.   Would love to see it in person.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Simple, more free with less detail.  I love the reflection in the water.  This feels good.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I like a good story, especially one I can create a painting from.  So here is a story about both paintings.  The top painting is mine.  The larger painting was created by a close relative many moons ago.

First of all, I have become friends (via Facebook) with a wonderful artist ...Kaye.  One who attended elementary school with my cousin.  She has studied abroad and has given me so much insight and advice with regards to painting.  One of her pieces of advice was to take a painting from your favorite artist as your reference piece, rather than working from a photograph.  Then my friend Joe suggested some awesome acrylics and also lent me some videos of great artists using these acrylics.  Both suggestions prompted me to pursue this project.

Well, I must digress.  This is a rather bittersweet story, so be patient with me.  My husband and I went to Spokane (home town) for a cousin's wedding in August 2014.  We stayed with my sister Barbara Noe, as she is always so accommodating and eager to have us there.  In the spring, the complex she lives in had new management take over and they decided to re-do every apartment.  That meant every resident needed to move out of their space, putting their belongings in a POD and find another place to live for 10 days.  It took a great toll on my sister (as she was already suffering from lung and heart issues.)  When Lynn and I arrived, she was almost completely moved back in to her abode.  She presented me with an oil painting she had found in the process of moving.....thinking it was my creation. I recognized it as a painting from one of my ancestors.  There was no signature on the painting.  I couldn't take it home with me on the plane, so I left cash for Barb to have it packed and shipped to me.  Meanwhile, I took a photo of it.  I contacted my older cousins and found that one of them had a painting like this one that was created from a different angle.  She indicated it was created by my Aunt Mary Rule (who was the mother of the cousin who married in August).

I was always intrigued and amazed by my Aunt's paintings.  I realized at that moment that she was indeed my favorite artist and I needed to paint this on my own canvas.  I have been working off and on using a photo copy of this painting since August.  Barb had every intention to ship the painting to me, but she never really recovered from her health issues.  Sadly, she made her transition on October 26.  I flew back home the following Thursday, stayed in her apt. and used her vehicle for transportation.  The painting was in the back seat, as she had intended to ship it the next day.  Sigh.  The day before I boarded the plane back to Columbus, I shipped it to my home.  Received it on the following Wednesday.   I was amazed by the detail.  The photo copy didn't do it justice, yet the photo copy was what I needed to learn from.  It was softer than the original, which was just the ticket for my new freer form of painting.  It has taken me some time to finish the painting....with all the grief of losing my sister, the holidays, etc.  I have finally completed it and I am relatively happy with it.  I sit the two paintings side by side and see all the differences and yet all the similarities in my Aunt's and my style.  I feel truly honored to have this original painting in my possession.  So grateful that my loving sister gave it to me.  This is for you Barb.  I will love you forever!!!