Humble and Kind

 

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My sketch from last week did not exactly come out in this painting did it? After a week of isolation and wondering when I will be able to see my family and friends again my colors seem to have darkened.  I believe many people in our life are feeling the exact same way just like the flowers some of us feel strong and faithful while others are weakening and need some help to rise up and hang on.  My favorite flowers are …. not sunflowers but daisies , simple, passionate and loving.  No matter what your favorite flower is and how it reflects you as a person …be that person for someone out there that could use a connection.   Writing a letter, or an email to someone just to remind them they are being missed might be exactly what helps them make it through another day of isolation.   My mom is 83 years old and I have seen the changes in her the past few weeks as this virus has begun to spread .. she is quiet and her sparkle has dimmed so I took today and we made a greek dish together , we baked together and I heard her laughter again… Reach out.. if you can’t physically be with someone you care out.. you can still let them know you love them, miss them and are sending them a flower for hope…   .. .. Humble and Kind is simply an extension of last weeks Hero sketch… and the whole time I was painting I kept wishing my dad was still here … he would know what to say to my mom to make her feel safe and …. then I would feel safe too.  We all have a story to share and we express ourselves differently for me it s my art , cooking … music .. writing.. what is it for you? Whatever it is.. find a way to share it.. so that you are still connecting and making a difference out there.

Take a listen to this song by Tim McGraw.. the words…. inspired me, and reminded me to keep standing tall , not just for myself but for everyone I love… just like the flowers.. stay Humble and kind.   Until we meet again, Katerini

 

I need a hero

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It has been a long while since I connected with you all and tonite I thought i would share my work in progress. I am sure we are all feeling the same confusion and uneasyness as this virus situation changes moment by moment.   I think the thing that we need to remember most is that we are all in this together and this alone should create a feeling of caring and kindness toward each other… I have not been able to draw or paint in months and it has been difficult to express myself in the way i know best which is to … create something from my heart.   This sketch of wildflowers just came out of nowwhere and gave me renewed hope for all of us.  

It lit the light that had dimmed inside me the past few months as I have been challenging myself to do better and have others see me in that light.  I was working so hard at trying to make others see me that i lost the person I truly am and for those of you that know me.. I see the good in everything .. until i am proven wrong.. over and over again. ..and still.. i find hope.   The painting is going to be called ” I need a Hero” and the sunflowers are the connections we make along our way, the people we encounter on the street that meet our eyes and smile, the friends we love and care so much for, our families and the stranger that might just need someone ..  to share a moment of kindness with..  ….  I was in the grocery store on Sunday and this woman who was alone shopping was having a difficult time finding the simplest necessities . She looked up at me with fear in her eyes and I smiled and assured her it will be ok.. panic has taken over and these people will be stuck with a lot of jam later on this year! She laughed then and reached out and grabbed my hand and said thank you .  A connection with a stranger can be such a powerful feeling, I know i wont forget her… If someone reaches out to you take the time,  be humble and kind in a time when we all need each other .   I am excited to start the painting but in the mean time hope you like the sketch and I wish that it makes you feel a little more connected to each other and to me.   I need a hero is my way of saying..it’s ok to be scared,  and it’s even more ok to need a connection to help you along the way.  Be safe, take care , and until we meet again, –  Katerini

Calendars at Filosophy Pastry Bar

It has been a year of Art and stories and you can share in some of those memories with the 2020 Art Calendar which will be available at Filosophy Pastry Bar 912 Bloor St. West.  this week for $28.00 (however as a special Thank You the first 10 sold will include a $5.00 credit to Filosophy. You can spend and sip a hot cup of cocoa or my personal favorite London Fog Latte. Sit back take a moment to reflect on your year that has gone by…   and if a drink is not what you had in mind, you can choose one of their delectable treats instead.   Should you wish to order a Calendar from me please send an email on my blog or katbattista@rogers.com.  The Calendar has a glossy finish; if you wish to cut out the painting once the month is over, they make for great postcards, bookmarks or even a little framed photo. 

As i look back at the year gone by I hope you have enjoyed my artwork and my stories .  I enjoy sharing a piece of my heart with all of you .  Have fun this Christmas season and don’t forget to pop into Filosophy where some of my Seasonal Artwork is being displayed.  

Until we meet again,

take a peek :

Summer Memories

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Late August already and I am having a difficult time accepting that my Sweet Summer is slipping away.  I haven’t been able to get to the sands as of yet this year but my heart is always near the water.

My painting is an image I have instilled in my mind where the warm winds are blowing and the water is trickling across the sand rushing back into the lake to form a new tide.

I spent wonderful summers by the lake with my family.  I remember lying in bed at sunrise waiting to hear any kind of movement from across the street.   This is where my cousins lived.  My uncle would come out holding a large blue cooler filled with food and drink.  I would jump out of bed and my heart would literally be racing with joy because this meant that the decision had been made … we were all going to spend the day at the beach!

Soon after, I would see him packing chairs and bags full of blankets… the joy of the ride  surrounded by everyone I loved was pure bliss.  The memory is so clear, the voices of grandparents, the smell of charcoal BBQ’s, my fathers brown shorts and moms bathing suit.  The anticipation of rushing to water would almost make me dizzy, but we needed to help unload, and set up blankets, plates, and food.. practically jumping out of my skin I could smell the beach water, feel the sun’s shine and sand between my toes.

One, two, three, go!  Once I was allowed in, I always went to my favorite spot by the rocks where I would take some time to sit and swing my toes back and forth in the water.. this was my time to think and to dream .. and it all came so easily for me … at the beach.

Those days were gifts and I knew it back then… I felt such pleasure being in the water, the laughter we all shared by just gathering together.  As the sun slowly began to come down and the temperature changed we sat around eating sweet watermelon and wishing we didn’t have to leave this place …so much so that at times we made one last dash for a swim.  My Uncle Bill always made my summers special, even long after my dad became ill and my parents couldn’t come with us anymore, he always included me as part of his family and expected me to come rushing out once the hood of his big old car opened up!

I miss that time, I miss the way the tide sounds as it flows across the sand and surrounds our toes.. quickly rushing back into the lake.  I miss the gathering and everyone that has long past.. I miss the beach because it feels like home to me.

Above is a sun set over the water and sand ..somewhere out there the sun is setting on the lake at this very moment and my heart is right there … toes in the sand, wind flowing against my skin and magical memories in my heart..

Beach memories …

Until we meet again, – Katerini

Please click the link for a Summer song and really listen to the words… didn’t we all have one of those summers at some point?

https://ca.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=rollercoaster+luky+bryan#id=1&vid=0886e5680d030acb4088175b36b2d441&action=click

Spring Planter

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Spring has finally graced us with her presence and everywhere around the world people are opening windows and cleaning out closets.. as much as we love Winters beauty it is time for blossoms, blooms and new beginnings.   Although the trees remain bare and the grass hasn’t changed to a deep green just yet the season brings rain which helps the flowers grow and once those plants appear within sight we are assured that not too long from now the laughter of children will be heard in the streets and the musical Ice Cream truck will drive by …

Spring Planter was painted with a mix of acrylic and oils; the colors carefully chosen as gentle wildflowers nestle together in a wooden planter that fits just perfectly right below my window.

Whether you live here in Toronto or somewhere in Paris… when you wake up on a bright Spring morning and open your windows to a glorious day… your Spring planter will be right outside waiting to be adored.

Don’t wait too long to plant your own seasonal flowers as they become available.. they will bring you hope, beauty and comfort knowing that the flowers are making their way back into the city and our lives….

Happy Spring to all!

Until we meet again,  Katerini

 

 

 

Gytheio, Greece, Girls day out

Girls day out- 1961
Mom’s Gytheio
Gytheio, Greece 


It took sometime to begin this new series but this year I have decided to share my moms stories in a visual as well as short story form.   Similar to last years Seasons in the city I will share a drawing/painting a photo from long past and a story.. my mother’s story.   This years artwork is dedicated to the woman who is my inspiration, my strength and my creativity.   My mom has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and in the coming months I will share a few of her own.. with you.
The year is 1961 and Maria, Dina and yes.. Dina number 2 .. (my mom being the one on the right with the classic purse, set out on a bus ride to the seaside town called Gytheio, in Greece.   The lady in the middle was the village priest’s daughter and the other was the reason for this entire outing.. it was Dina’s birthday and the girls had gathered to celebrate.  Dina’s father owned a restaurant by the shore and the plan was to spend the day strolling the shops where my mom purchased a black patent purse and matching shoes and a small bottle of perfume that spilt in her purse a few hours later.  To this day, when I open the purse which she has kept all of these years I smell the sweet perfume… the scent lingers ensuring the memory of this glorious adventure never fades away.  The shop was called Lavropoulos and apparently favored by one of her favorite actresses Aliki … imagine the excitement she felt knowing she had just shopped in the same place as her adored Aliki!   After a few hours of shopping along this colorful little town, the girls , all dressed up went to the restaurant and shared souvlaki, bread and the flavorful Mousaka .  This is where my mom had her first beer.. she insists it was only half a beer – FIX beer .. the best beer in Greece as she recites this story I picture three young ladies sipping and giggling at the innocence of the experience.  Near the end of the afternoon my mom was introduced to an older gentlemen from Crete by Dina’s father and he seemed interested in getting to know her better, but Maria knew that this serious looking gentleman with the twisted dark mustache wasn’t the one for her and she quickly made an excuse to get going back to her hometown.  My mom is 82 years old,  and she describes this day as clearly as if she just visited Gytheio.  The colors, the music, the sound of the water as the boats sail along… She remembers the way she closed her eyes and listened … taking it all in… all the while spending an enchanted day with her two besties… I listened carefully .. and I tried to capture the image as best I could… but it was her dancing eyes as she shared her tale with me that guided me through each color, each building and the waterside….   I guess it goes to show you… all you need for a perfect day is a seaside village, shopping, delectable food and your favorite people along side to share in the memory…
Gytheio, Greece 1961 – a moment in time.


https://youtu.be/1Wl2JyND3NQ
Click the link to hear mom’s treasured song!








Maria me ta Kitrina- Maria in yellow – who do you love more?

A Winters Tale

On the eve before a winter storm I am making a peppermint tea and thinking back to a night just like this years ago.  The snow had begun to fall, topping the tips of the tree branches creating the appearance of a powdered white coat of fresh crystal .    It was February and the holidays had long past however I always managed to feel the “magic” of a wintry night. 

 There is something so enchanting about being walked home by someone who you are completely enamored with, as little frosty flakes fly around creating a whimsical path along the way just for us.  That moment in time will be with me always as one of the most romantic walks.  There were people around us and the usual area traffic but I only recall the sound of laughter, slips and slides through the icy streets, fingers entwined and the twinkling of sparkles on the trees.  It was a perfect scene out of a story book;  the crisp crunch sound under our feet as we glided through the snow.   We spoke to each other,  the cold night was evident,  but this night… this wintry evening with all the snowflakes falling ever so gently  had me under a spell … I remember feeling as though we were all alone on this walk… surrounded by the illuminating trees, and whispering winds. 

 Snow and I have an understanding.  As long as there are February evenings where snow makes its way into the city , I will always be grateful for the sense of wonder that comes with a Winters Eve.  The air becomes crisp and I just know… that something wonderful is on its way… ” I smell snow”. … it’s exciting and it takes me back to that one night…

 Re creating a feeling as powerful as the one I felt that night brought me right back to a time when life was a little less complicated, when time was not ticking quite as rapidly and when the simple act of a walk home in the snow was a gift specially wrapped for us.  The painting only has a first coat as I need to add the details just as I remember them but I wanted to share my memory as it unravelled into one of the most romantic evenings in the snow.

We don’t have to allow our innocence to slip away; we tend to get caught up in the stress of every day life and we all experience disappointments, sadness and stress, even the anticipation of a winters eve if allowed will become a heavy burden as we think about shovels and digging out our cars.  We change, as we grow we tend to look at life as a hurdle and we don’t take more time to appreciate what’s coming….. snow… and the quiet that comes once it has fallen creating a picturesque canvas for all of us to take in.   On the eve before another wintry February day, I want to feel the purity and innocence of a snow fall; I want to look up at the sky and allow the wet crystals to kiss my face and I so want to feel the way I did long ago on that walk home…hand in hand in the snow.

Tree tops tipping over, covered in snow, frosty noses, hearts entwined and icicles forming on window panes … a winters past , this painting represents my Winters Tale.  

Until we meet again,  Katerini

Click to hear