We are so blessed to be surrounded by scads of very special students and friends. When we decided to open the shop I was not expecting to create the intense relationships that we have. Frankly it was something that I never thought about. However, that has been, by far, the very best thing about our shop. I am a bit proud that our little shop in the mountains has become a mecca for so many people that find relationships and fulfillment through the arts. It is our dream to create a community of artists where everyone contributes to everyone else. The shop and the friendships have been life-changing.
Every now and then, a student will distinguish themselves in some way. Perhaps one student is incredibly creative, another is very neat, another may be quite flexible and have a great attitude. You get the picture. I have one student, Nadine Rodgers, that has been painting with me from the very beginning. She was in the first beginner class and from the first day that our shop opened she has been a part of our lives.
Nadine is hard to describe. She is a person that has lived on the same street practically her entire life, but her view of the world is rather large and she has a wide tolerance for others. She is also a person that loves simple things, a good book, family, her home etc...but she is a very intelligent and observant person. She is also a person that is very loyal and loving to the people in her life but has a quick wit and a very funny sense of humor.
I could go on and on about her but I have come to realize that there is one thing that I value about her above all others. Nadine thinks "out of the box". She has her own sense of style and her own tastes and her own eye and I support her decisions. She will often make small changes to the pieces that we are working on but will still retain the basic look of the piece. I applaud her independence and encourage her to continue. The wonderful thing is that she doesn't do it all the time but on occasion she will change the background color of a piece, or the color scheme etc etc.
During the prep for our last Palekh seminar Nadine told me that she didn't want to paint it on the surface that we recommended. Our policy is that seminar pieces must be painted on a piece purchased through the shop so she looked through our inventory and found a lovely scalloped edge plate. We talked about how she could adapt the surface to this pattern. She did a wonderful job with it and added a lovely scroll border to the outside of the plate. In addition Nadine studies some of the pictures that I handed out that talked about the history of the style and saw another painting of Father Frost with some pretty interesting hair. Nadine decided to change the beard and the hair and her piece is truly stunning. She is such an artist. It comes out of her mouth, her brain and her brush and I am so grateful to be her teacher.
I am posting a closeup of her painting. Isn't this truly a great accomplishment. Congratulations Nadine!