5 March

Robin And Her Abominable Hat. And Her Steely Gaze.

by Jon Katz
Robin’s Abominable Hat

Robin has developed the art of the steely gaze, when she locks in on something you get the feeling she is really paying attention. You also get the feeling not to mess with her I sent her this hat a month or so and I get the feeling it’s time for a visit, maybe next weekend. Emma sent me these photos tonight and I started showing then to people at dinner, and everyone kidded me for having said I wasn’t going to be one of those grandparents who showed other people photos of their grandkids on the phone.

Well, maybe sometimes I will.

5 March

The Openness Of Cows (And Bulls)

by Jon Katz
The Openness Of Cows

I love the curiousity of cows (and bulls), they are inerested in the world, and are notorious for gazing out beyond their fences in various states of contemplation. They are the calmest and most meditative creatures unless they are startled or caught by surprised. I was driving by Route 67 and got out of the camera to take this photo, I didn’t have to go far, the subject came right up to the fence to greet me.

5 March

Portrait: Lisa Carrino

by Jon Katz

Black and white portraits can sometimes, in my mind, bring out the souls of people. I thought this portrait captured the soul of Lisa Carrino, an artist and co-owner of the Round House Cafe and Pompanuck Farm and Retreat Center. Lisa runs the Pompanuck bakery and makes the most beautiful and creative cakes, cookies and pastries.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School Of Design, she brings a sense of artistry to everything she does, and a sweetness and compassion to her life. I took this photo Sunday at the reception for Rachel Barlow, who has a show up and running at the cafe. Lisa was listening to Rachel speak.

5 March

Rachel Barlow. Draw. Paint. Create

by Jon Katz
Draw. Paint Create

Rachel Barlow is an inspiration to me. She has been a student in my writing workshops for a number of years and is one of the most creative and compassionate people I have ever known. Rachel has suffered from severe depression as well as chronic abuse, she is a loving mother, wife and an amazingly diverse creative who has a successful blog, draws and publishes books, sketches and has become one of the most successful landscape painters in Vermont.

Her work is beautiful, filled with emotion and feeling and detail. She has worked through debilitating depression and found grounding and purpose in her work. She had a show of her paintings at the Round House Cafe Sunday afternoon, and while there, I learned of a remarkable new program she has creared called drawpaintcreate.org, a program to get art kits and creative tools into the hands of newly-arriving refugee children coming to America.

This is a powerful idea and is desperately needed, and I will launch a campaign tomorrow on my blog to support her idea, which is already distributing art kids to isolated and bewildered children. She is seeking to raise $900 to get 60 art kits made and distributed. It is a beautiful and urgent cause.

I will be writing more about this tomorrow, today belongs to Rachel and her artistic accomplishments.

You can follow her rich and diverse work on her website, and see some of her paintings there.  She has offered several of her paintings to support the new Mansion Assisted Care project to put some art on the empty walls of some of the residents.

Rachel affirms so many of my theories about writing and creativity. She had many hard and confusing times, she put her blog up, painted and sketched, wrote and published, found her landscape work. She uses new technology skillfully, but writes and sketches from the heart. Hers is big. In America, I sometimes feel so many hearts are turning to stone, hers has turned to gold.

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