My story

Who says you are too old to need your dad? This year my emotions are heightened with everything that has been going on around us and I find myself thinking about my father more.  At times I have felt overwhelmed with all the negative news and COVID counts that i try and tune it all out … and then he pops into my mind.  My dads journey was not an easy one but he was a fighter and he would want me to be just as strong and hopeful.   I found these photos today and wanted to share them with you .. because I want to honor his memory … with some fun facts about my dad.. He had many friends who called him Panos, short for Panagiotis, and he loved… cake! I mean he loved cake… look at that smile while he cuts a knife through that creamy cake, and the photo above.. I think he just wanted me to blow out those candles fast.. so he can have .. cake! .. He loved dressing up, and he loved hockey games , family , Christmas and .. stories.   He wasn’t much for sharing his own stories (I get the story telling from my mom), but he loved to listen to a good story over a cup of coffee.   This all might sound simple and his life was simple but a simple life .. one with love, laughter, food because he loved to cook, … and family he was very big on family.. it does’t get better than that.   Oh and steak.. he loved steak! I tell the stories now and i hope he still listens because i want him to know he is the hero in my story.  He taught me to be imaginative and appreciative, to be forgiving and proud, and to never be ashamed of who I am …
Today I am that girl in those photos, missing her dad. He is the hero in my story and I just wanted to find a way to share my memories and tell him I love him to the moon and back.. forever.  Do me a favor and listen to this song.. you will understand. Until we meet again, katerini

 

Just Breathe in the flowers

 

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Lavender, lemons, fresh cut wildflowers and daisies… as the suns light glows just a little longer each day until the solstice something amazing happens to the earth.. it breathes in and releases warmth, color and alerts the senses.

As I continue painting cards for my fundraiser, my colors change and so does my inspiration. This card set is for a new friend, the last few weeks have changed everything in our lives. Our routine, our work life, the way we interact when we walk down the street… and with all of this change happening around me I search for a feeling of familiarity…  in a familiar voice, a place, a taste.  It can be as simple as the smell of a ripe lemon, or lilacs as they bloom and fill the air with a sweet scent.

Even in all of this uncertainty, friendships are created, strengthened and discovered.   There is still magic out there in the simplest of things.  Allow yourself a moment to breathe in the fresh spring air, explore the blooms as you take your walk, and share your experiences with someone else.  That right there is the secret – it’s the connection.  As human beings we all need to make a connection and although lately we are limited to the internet, our homes and our phones .. if we just take notice of the people in our lives and what they bring to us … each and everyone brings something .. whether a smile, a tear, a supportive shoulder to lean on from afar.. perhaps strength, the unexpected … everyone matters … and plays a part in our life… This set of cards is for someone unexpected, who makes me smile, and has made me feel welcome.. even in these unsettled moments how lucky am I to have found a friend in all of this frenzy.  For you it might be something different, it could be the love of a person or a pet, spending time with a parent, an elder a child.. whatever makes your heart a flutter .. take note of it.

Just take a moment, breathe in .. and smell the flowers, they are right there waiting to be loved.

Until we meet again, stay safe..and listen to Faith Hills Breathe. It always makes my heart melt.

 

What a song should do…

Someone asked me if I would be adding a story to each card set .. and I told them the story … right now stays the same.  It is about supporting each other, sharing laughter, finding ways to make each day hopeful , and remembering those who might not have the support they need to make it another day.  I will be painting for a while as I work on your cards and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support on this project.  The donations have been so generous and everyone who reached out to me has been so kind. ….. I am working on the cards a little at a time with each one of you in mind.   Thank you so much for supporting the Yonge St. Mission.

As for what inspired me on this set of cards… a song.  Music can be the most comforting, assuring and loving inspiration and the song needs to make you feel something! It should make you want to sing out loud, dance if you want to, cry if you need to… what ever you need it to do so you can feel hopeful … that is what a song should do!

Listen to Tom Hicks- What a song should do ! .. Listen the words and you will understand where my inspiration for these flowers came from.

Until we meet again,  Stay safe, Katerini

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rise Up

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My mind has been swaying back and forth lately as I am sure all of you have had some mixed feelings about what is happening out there right now.  There are days when I cannot bring myself to a positive space and so I choose not to fight it but to feel it.  This is a terrible time, people are getting sick, others are losing loved ones .. I feel it all happening around me and I want to do something to help but what?   There are food drives, blood drives, donations and acts of kindness all around me .. how can I help?

The first step into giving back is giving a little hope back to myself. There is still good happening out there in the nurses, the doctors , all the health care workers, police officers , TTC, the list goes on… the world hasn’t stopped turning even though it feels as though it has at times…

My Art is me speaking from my heart, It is an expression of who I am, what I love, who I love, my dreams, my hopes my emotions.  What better way to help .. by giving a small piece of myself to the world I am sharing my love.

So I am painting Art cards and selling them as a pack of 4 for 25.00.  The entire amount will be donated to one of my favorite charities “The Yonge St. Mission”.  I will continue to paint these cards and donate the earnings as I sell them to the Mission.   I know the funds will go to a good place where it will make a difference in someone’s life. Even if it feeds two people.. that is two people less hungry .. .. I need to find ways to share my heart and these Art cards are my way…

So please keep following my posts and if you see a set that connect with you, message me … I will donate any sales I make from these Art cards to the Mission in the month and May and June .. hoping and praying it will reach someone who needs the help and the love.

Kindness can’t be measured by a value or an amount… just be kind .. and already you are making a difference.. one step at a time.

This series is called “Rise up” .. and I encourage you to be sad if you want to, cry if you need to .. and Rise up because… as they keep saying through out this whole ordeal.. we are all in this together!

Until we meet again,  Katerini

Take a listen to “Underdog” by Alicia Keys… it will get you up and get you smiling! because we are creative and so much of ourselves to share.

I still believe…

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Social media is full of different versions of  peoples reality right now with so many opinions, beliefs and articles that it becomes overwhelming. Recently there was a letter posted about Disney loosing it’s magic, Paris losing the romance and New York not standing tall anymore and it made me sad… to think that the magic is gone.   Weeping Willow trees represent a sense of whimsical for me because they are usually old with withered trunks, the leaves droop down and at times touch the ground, they are usually large trees that take up a lot of space…. but to me the Willow is .. magic.

Usually when you come across one of these trees they are full and can provide a shady spot to plant yourself with a good book and spend an afternoon reading away.   During our last month of isolation I take my morning walks before work and pass a big, aged Weeping Willow that is patiently waiting to bloom into something enchanting .. and it makes me feel like everything is going to be ok once this tree begins to bloom green.   I specifically pass it on my walk because it creates a sense of wonder for me….  until the other day when I walked by and it had… disappeared.  I had to stop and check the street I was on just to make sure I was on the right block .. the tree was gone and nothing was left but the trunk.  I felt… let down. Why would someone cut down this beautiful ,and in the summer shady tree from their property.. .. so the magic really is gone?

Have you ever believed in something or someone and really allowed yourself to trust in that person or thing.. thinking that no matter what you do or how much you might mess up that person or belief will still be there… only to find out the hardest of ways that life let’s you down at times no matter how hard you try.   If there is one thing I have learned the last few weeks during this challenging time its that we cannot stop believing in the magic… Yes there is tragedy and isolation, there is change and even death .. but as long as we are still here there is still much to believe in.

Begin with believing in yourself … be humble not just during this difficult time but every single day .. giving a piece of your heart to someone makes you generous, it makes you kind and it makes you ..magic.  People will let you down, they will break your heart and sometimes they will walk away when you need them most.. disappear like the Willow tree ……maybe I am dreamer …. no not maybe .. I am a dreamer, but I will always believe in good hearts,  in finding and being the best of yourself you can be, in forgiving the mistakes and finding the silver lining in all of this.   I believe we will come out of this kinder, more gentle, more generous, more affectionate and more appreciative of the simple things and the everyday.   I miss my friends, my family, my work family my cup of Starbucks… even my Willow tree… and while I was creating this piece of my heart I was missing something even more .. I was missing the magic!.  .. so I painting this to remind myself to smile, to forgive, to give back and to just be the best of me that I can be…oh .. and most importantly… to stay a dreamer… and still believe…

Until we meet again,  Stay safe  Katerini

PS. you know I always end these with a song .. really listen to what Bon Jovi has to say ..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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