Right Now

Dear Reader:

right now I am missing painting on location.  There is still too much snow and last week the temperatures dipped to minus 27.  So I am posting “Island In The Sun” in memory of a warm day and sunshine!

Paintings done on location come with lots of memories.   In this case it was 2012 and a few months before my mother would pass away in a care home.  I was exhausted and this trip to Howard and to paint was medicine for me.

Island In The Sun w.c.

I  cared for my mother for 4 years after her stroke while she was in a facility.  She was able to talk and to write and recall her life.  However she had lost the use of the left side of her body.  She needed so much help and assistance.  I learned how to use the lift and filled in the many blanks left by our senior care system.  We had a great time together and as one of my mentors she continued to teach me.

So like I said.  Painting on location and the paintings that come out of these trips are memories of the road travelled at the time.

Right now I am looking at expanding on my current art theme which is “The Expression Of Life”.  I am planning a series of quick conte sketch’s capturing the essence of the expression.  Pictures like Apache.  Wish me well and I hope to hear from you.  Has it been a long winter in your neck of the woods?

Apache/Owl Head Dress ©GWJ Creative Art

©Katie Kidwell, The Living of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

Testing…Testing…

I moved to Vancouver when I was 19

A high school graduate with shorthand, accounting and typing. I had always worked after school and during summers so I expected to find a great job with all my references! Excited to move away from the little cow town!

On one of my job interviews…

In downtown Vancouver I was applying for a receptionist position.  This was a company leading the way for other company’s on: “How to hire the right people for your business.”  Now I don’t remember their name.  But I do remember their office was full of packages,  pamphlets and signs for “industrial psychology.”  Something I had never heard of. They were very busy.

The test would take three hours…

I was informed at my interview I would have to undergo the testing they were teaching other company’s.  If I wanted to come back after lunch they would have the test ready and it would take 3 hours. I had a folded newspaper in my purse with the days job opportunities. I wondered if I wanted to give up most of my day to one application.


I thought about it…. 

Then I realized – Heh!  People pay big money for this and I get to do it for free.  So I came back and sat down to a stack of papers. Most of the questions were multiple choice.  When I finished – yes it was 3 hours – I went to their waiting room.  In time I was called in.

And the results of the test are…


The man behind the desk looked at me with what appeared to be a mixture of kindness and sadness.  Holding the papers in front of him he shook his head several times and then he apologized.

 

“I’m so sorry…I don’t know what to tell you. What you should do…”

You have the highest marks I have ever seen for someone in the field of writing…with music second and art third!”

He looked at me as if I should say something. I sat stunned. He continued.  “I don’t have a clue on what to advise you…maybe…(and at this he really sounded doubtful)…more schooling?” Then he really perked up: “I can tell you would never be the right applicant for an office job!”

And this was just a receptionists job… 

So I had wasted a whole day.  One part of me agreed with him.  I did love writing, music and art, BUT I had already proven myself out working in office jobs I had references for.  I had all my high school training!  I could do short hand!  And this was just a receptionists job…I kept these thoughts to myself.  I thanked him and walked out.

I like to think I went for a nice coffee…  

Today, I haven’t forgotten the atmosphere of his office, his look and his words.  I wish now I had looked deeper at what he told me.

I became Secretary to the highest paid scientist in forestry…

 
I did work in Vancouver in temp positions moving in and out of many office buildings.  In the course I learned dictaphone and telex machines and zerox. I became secretary to the highest paid research scientist in forestry in Canada at that time.  A two year hiring on Russian research called “Muka”. But in the end I became sick with agoraphobia.
 
Eventually  I became a folksinger and a multi-media artist.  My ability to juggle the work on the ranch gave me what most ranch women get. Expert ability to handle logistics. This meant I could organize shows with successful outcomes and I did!  My typing has been invaluable and I still love short hand.  But everyday I’m faced with the same dilemma my “tester” had.

 I still don’t know what to tell myself about the writing, the music and the art.

 Oh well.  All’s well that ends well.

 I hope it does.
 
© Kathy Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)
©The Living of Loving, 2018
 

Conrad O’Brien-ffrench

I remember drawing with Conrad…
Conrad O’Brien-ffrench.   He was an aristocrat who had been a spy. My parents, who knew him, told me he had been a close pal of Ian Fleming’s. Conrad was the “real” James Bond.
 
Conrad laughed when you asked him but a lot of people knew this about him.
 
I knew him as an old man who could draw and paint horses, people and places. Here I was walking down a dirt road with him. A little girl and an old man and all because I told him I liked to draw. So he invited me to come along with him.
 
I remember sitting behind the Bridge Creek Estate barn with him. Drawing horses and fences and the way the grass grew along the creek. He told me I must know the anatomy of a horse if I want to be able to draw it moving. He drew bones on my paper and I still have it.
 
It was a wonderful afternoon. Drawing and talking. Later, I saw his home in Colorado when I went to visit my Aunt. She signed me up for one of his drawing workshops. It was on hands and feet and eyes which he was very good at.
 
The workshop was okay but nothing like that afternoon sitting behind the barn drawing. He is gone now and I tease myself with the memories of sketching with the real James Bond.
(from my 1992 notes at Elko, Nevada)
During an estate sale a few years ago, I found an oil painting by Conrad that had been stored in Lord Martin’s Attic.  It was leaning against a wall behind Lillian’s piano.  There was no price on it.  I asked  and bought it!  When I took it to the framers I discovered it wasn’t square. I knew Conrad had painted it on one of his many visits to the Lodge and had used the wood from their local wood shop.   So I took it to my trusted carpenter friend, Peter Dalby (who also knew Conrad).  He did the job proud and $400.00 plus dollars later it was framed.  A fitting wood frame of knots and beauty.  It is a picture of Jesus in the Garden.
 
Not the best of photography but for now.
1969 Oil Painting by Conrad O'Brien-ffrench
Sermon On The Mount

Conrad wrote in pen, on a piece of manilla paper glued to the back of this painting the following, which was later lifted and placed onto the new backing:

This is what he wrote: 

Sermon On The Mount  “The Kingdom of God is within you”  Leo Tolstoy wrote a book with this Title concluding it in 1893 the year I was born .  Conrad
Partial/Close up of 1969 Oil Painting on board of Jesus by Conrad O’Brien-ffrench 19″ x 38″
Also written on the board before back was put on: “I am the Vine, Ye are the branches.”

©Katie Kidwell, 2018, The Living of Loving

Contact Katie at GWJ Creative Art.  Or by e-mail:  katiekidwell8@gmail.com

Weswisxe (Shuswap for Robin)

“Weswisxe” (Shuswap for Robin) water colour

     Today I was invited out for Moose Chile with the Canim Lake Elders! There I presented my painting and story about Weswisxe. Here is the story which follows the painting. Also a note of thank you at the end.

WESWISXE

by Katie Kidwell
(a story as shown in the painting)

The Great Spirit, the Father, lives in the sky and at night the Star People dance for him.

Silhouetted by the night, the Mother Robin sits on her nest like she is a mountain and her nest is the earth where life is born. Notice her chicks in the nest as valleys and hills, rivers and lakes.

When you see the mountain in the robin; she sees you with starlight in her eyes.   In the light of her beak her words are now a song.

The Father lives in the eyes of the Mother’s children. His light glows like the cool part of a flame. Together, in the nest, the Mother and Chicks are a living fire of Life. A campfire where the peoples of the Earth can gather and remember the star dance. The dance of flying over mountains in the breath of the Great Spirit; the dance of living and of being alive right here on Earth.

With twigs and with moss we build our nest…and live like a mountain.

©Katie Kidwell, 2018, Painting and Story.

My note on this: I am grateful to a Canim Lake Elder who expressed an interest in my painting: “Robin and Chicks” at my show, The Little Birds That Fly. There she told me the Shuswap name for Robin was “Weswisxe” and wrote it down for me. I promised her a painting with this name. The story came along for the ride and I am grateful to the wisdom of the Great Spirit in using every opportunity to reveal His presence. I trust I heard him right. If not, I will hear about it around the campfire…

 

 

The Currency of Love

Deer @ Tracy’s

One morning, while I was laying in bed, half awake and half asleep; I heard the voice of an expert.

“Her work will never sell.”

“Yes,” I thought dreamily as I stretched. “I know this one…it isn’t seen as commercial.”

Half awake, I understood what was being said. It was as if I was there, looking over the shoulders of the “expert” who was looking at my work.

But this is when I really woke up. The booming voice over it all…

“It’s the currency of Love!”

Two voices waking me up with two different messages!
So I laid in bed for awhile mulling it over.

It was such an intriguing line… “It’s the currency of Love.”

The fact is, one voice wanted me to know I would never make money from my work. The other voice wanted me to know I had already received!

Currency is another word for money. The largest part of the word is current ­ suggesting flow, ­energy, ­power.

Yes, Love is a powerhouse – ­ it runs the Universe.

The bible says: “God is Love”.

If you asked me I would tell you this. I find agreement with the work that comes to me. I believe God created me to create. Creating Love is what God spends on me and expects from me in return; ­ The currency of Love.

This is the story of my Life!

This blog “The Living Of Loving” is what I spend on you the reader. If you leave “inspired” it’s been a good exchange.

A near stranger said to me once:
“You have different creative expressions because you are still exploring who you are!”

This is the ultimate pay off.  “The currency of Love”

P.S. I will be mulling this experience over for awhile as I’m sure there is more to discover…on my own or in listening.

©Katie Kidwell, 2018, The Living of Loving

You can message Katie at:  https://www.facebook.com/GWJCreativeArt/