Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Portrait of an Artist

Greetings All:

The photo below is of a painting I had commissioned (wow, that sounds pompous) as a Mother's Day gift.  We're not exactly the art collecting type, although my plaster bust of Elvis is proudly displayed at my office, adorned with my 1ST Cavalry Stetson, but that is a post for another day.)

Even if your idea of art is of the "Dogs Playing Poker," print is your preferred form of wall decor, you have to hand it to Katie, this is terrific.  I sent her a photo of our kids and asked her to "work her magic."  Boy, did she ever.

I learned about her when my wife had another print done.   Here's that one:

Again, I'm not an "art guy" although I wish I was because there is a lot of great works out there I just do not know about.  Still, even I can appreciate the work that she puts into these paintings and admire the final product.  (Is art a "product"?  I suppose I should have a better term, "piece" perhaps?)  This is clearly someone who is passionate about what she does.

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite writers, R.W. Emerson is this one:  "Nothing great happens without enthusiasm."  I think passion and enthusiasm are akin to happy and glad.  As my Dad might say, "It's about giving a damn."  Katie has all of the above.

I exchanged emails with her and had to ask her how she got into this field.  Her reply was both surprising and expected.  She commented that she had always loved art but had put it aside to pursue the regular job.  (Sound familiar, anyone?)  Then, one day when painting her son's room, she started drawing images and in that moment remembered all she loved about art.  Fast-forward a bit and that "safe job" is way back in the rear view mirror.  She does what she loves (see above :)) and does it on her own terms.  She remarked to me that she has time to be with her kids and still has time to paint.  As for the business, well, she's doing great. I think I was about a month "in the que" as our Brit friends say, awaiting this painting.

What is the morale of this story?  Is it quit your job and pursue your dream?  Well, not really.  It is instead (in my opinion and I suppose I can offer that as this is my blog) to figure out what inspires you.  It may be that you are happy as a clam doing what you do.  If so, mazel tov.  I know I am dumb lucky to have a job I dearly love that allows me to meet my obligations and still got the Camaro running (pause for cheers.)  Alas, I digress:  Step one, find what inspires you.  Step two, figure out if that is a way to pay your way in the world.  Step three, if that which inspires you will not pay the bills then is there something else you can do to to pay the bills in as little time as possible, leaving ample time to focus on what does inspire you.

About three years ago, I listened to The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.  Truth be told, I only got the audio book because Audible had a sale and I thought it was a cool title.  I think Tim is great.  He's a guy who has traveled the world and figured out how to make money (and this is before the fame of his books) and do the stuff he likes.  If you have not checked him out, I encourage you to do so.  His bit about writing the "resignation letter" to the boss is worth the price of the audio and/or regular book.  Here's the link:

What I really like about Tim's stuff is he does not say "Do what I do."  In fact, he says the opposite. (My paraphrase:)  If you do not want to travel the world, that's cool.  Do what makes you happy.  Here's how I did it and good luck on whatever you want to do. 

So back to Katie, I think it is great that she is doing what she loves on her own terms.  Her art is great.  Here is a link to her site, check it out if you'd like.

Here's to all of us finding what inspires us,...and sharing it with the world.

Be well my friends.



  1. Jeno, I saw a picture of the print you commissioned on Facebook...I fell in love and have one being created now also! Very excited for the final product! Katie is so great to work with!

    1. Hi Rynda, thanks for the reply. You will LOVE the final work from Katie, I have no doubt! I think it will be one of those treasured family items that will get passed down from generation to generation. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

  2. aaah, Jeno, thank you <3 And thank you Rynda!! I enjoyed working with you and your family, Jeno, to create your commissioned original paintings, and am so much enjoying your painting, too, Rynda! Have a great week's end!
    Love & Sincerely, Katie

    1. Thanks Katie, totally enjoy your work and look forward to your future creations!