Anite is a Haitian woman who works at 2nd Story Goods, a non-profit cottage industry started by my friend Kathy Brooks. She tells Anite’s story below:
We stand outside Aniteâ€™s tiny thatch home, the one she moved into this past June with her four children. I reach down to fix the collar on the dress of the little girl standing there with Aniteâ€™s daughters. Anite tells me that the little girlâ€™s family lived next door until recently and were forced to leave. The momma left with her baby and left this daughter behind. Alone.
Anite is a young widow and might weigh 75 pounds soaking wet. I wonder how many days she has gone without food to keep her children fed… She is a woman of faith. She is a woman fiercely determined to keep her family together and raise her kids well.
Anite has taken this little girl in.
So, this young girl is maybe eight years old. She is so thin and small it is difficult to say. Anite has taken in another mouth to feed, another body to clothe, another child to hold when she cries.
She slays me.
She tells me that God will take care of them, that He promises to do that for those who care for those in need. So she does.
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I was so touched by Anite’s story that I felt prompted to paint her and offer the print as a means to give money to her family and others like her through the ministry of 2nd Story Goods.
If you wish, you can purchase a signed, limited edition GicleÃ© print (museum-quality paper using archival ink) for $48.00.
The print will come unmatted, rolled in a solid tube ready to place in a mat or frame.
I will send $35.00 from each sale to 2nd Story Goods for Anite and families like hers.
The remaining $13.00 will cover the cost of reproducing your limited edition print and shipping it to you!
You can place your order through all the various means on the sidebar next to the painting.
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I’ve tried to take some pictures as I’ve worked on this watercolor so you can see the progression.
This is really not the first step but you’d never be able to see my “first step” pencil drawing as it is so light. So, this is the step after the drawing where you lay in shapes and try to establish some colors.
Now I start laying in the background shapes and colors trying to balance the background against the foreground. In this painting, I don’t want the background to compete very much as Anite’s clearly the focus. I try to keep the colors somewhat muted.
AndÂ here is the final piece!
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I can’t believe so much time has passed since my last blog! This has been a year of settling kids in college, or not college. I keep thinking I’ll have my own life, but perhaps that’s a myth…
Anyway, I’ve managed to squeak in painting, and I’ll try and catch you up. I’m going to try and keep this post updated (ha) so you can check in at your leisure, if you like. I’m presently working on a piece called “Waiting.” This was generated by a series of photos sent to me by a friend of three Mennonite women at the train station. I’m always intrigued by what people might be thinking, especially when waiting.
This painting, “He Heals the Brokenhearted,” was accepted for the 72nd National Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Alabama, Spring, 2013.
The summer has been filled with illustrations, one a commission (below), the others have been submitted to a children’s book publisher (on the right panel).
The poppies are just for fun…
That’s it for now. As the kids are going off on their lives, I’m starting to get excited about regaining mine… !!
I love these paintings! I found your site by contacting Bobby Haven’s name on the Brunswick News. He was named in a piece about you, and I clicked on the oil still life of a blue vase and an orange, that you had done in a workshop–perhaps experimenting with oils. Then I looked at “Anite,” and I was just thrilled. That is at once a most spontaneous-looking piece, which, I think is the gift of watercolor–and still has the appearance of a meticulous likeness. I doubt any photograph in this world could produce the responsive likeness you have created here. And that is a balm to my painterly heart, ever challenged as it is, nowadays, by magnificent photo-landscapes we can see on any Facebook page, taken by the most basic camera, or even a smartphone. I once focused on watercolor and loved it with all its constraints, but gave up on it due to what I thought was a practical concern–having to frame them in heavy glass and mattes, expensive and difficult to transport. And then here you are, showing the glory and endearment of the medium in a portrait, and the irrelevance of how such would be framed, since you are shipping prints on order, rolled and ready to frame! I last did a portrait in pastels, my least favorite medium, and the greatest cost to the client was that of shipping it framed, to another state! Thank goodness for the revelations of the internet. I never know where I will be led. I was on a mission of gratitude, to thank Bobby Haven for a portrait photo he took of me at an exhibit of my nineteen paintings in oils and acrylic, at the Horton Gallery of Southeast Georgia Health Systems. And that’s when I saw that photo of your oil still-life. I found your blog when I clicked on it–as you said, your medium of choice and skill has been a water medium. And what wonderful ways you have found to reach out with your gifts. It’s what I hope and intend to do; as a mom, that greater “freedom” to work is something we hardly trust, and love for our family remains our treasure and life-informer forever.