An Artist (or Three) in the Family

My sister Karrie is an amazing artist. Growing up, we hand-made all our relatives' birthday, Mother's Day, and Father's Day cards: she would draw the illustrations in marker or crayon, and I would write the messages on the inside. When we were in high school, we fought horribly, yet somehow managed to treat eachother amicably long enough to strike a deal: I would write her book reports for her, and she would do my art projects (we went to different high schools, so there was no way this subterfuge could be detected). Unethical? Of course. Mutually beneficial? Definitely.

She inherited her talents (of which I have none) from my mother, who is also an artist and an art teacher, and my grandfather, who, as you know, carried this talent as well, and owned his own sign shop. She excelled at art all the way through school, and for a time in college even considered a career in medical illustration. But, as she says, if she did art commercially, it would become a job and not a hobby, and she'd lose her passion for her work.

So, instead, her family members benefit. She makes her own beautiful Christmas cards. She lends her talent to t-shirt design for the tv show she volunteers for. And, she created almost 20 watercolors to place on the tables at my wedding four years ago.

On each table at the place where I had my reception, a 5 x 8 watercolor appeared on an easel. Each of these watercolors, on which my sister spent countless hours of her time, was representative of a place my husband and I had visited together during our dating years: London, Maine, New York, Ireland (okay, that was just me), Toronto, and the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, where we were engaged, among many others. We received so many compliments on these works of art from our from our guests, many of whom asked if they could take one home, which we didn't want to happen.

My sister gave me the gift of her time, talent, and love in each of those watercolors. I can't imagine a more personal and special wedding gift. And I am still so grateful for them...and of course for her.

Here are a few:

Adirondack Bridge

Seneca Lake Pier (Finger Lakes)


My House

21 Responses to “An Artist (or Three) in the Family”

  1. # Blogger Marie

    These are great... I remember them from your wedding reception Kristi! You are indeed very talented Karrie!  

  2. # Anonymous Clare Eats

    They are beautiful! You are lucky to have such a talented sister!  

  3. # Blogger Caryl

    I live with 2 artists - most people don't know the shame that I hide. I can't draw a straight line with a ruler nor match colors. I have even called my daughter asking for advice. How pitiful is that?

    Karrie - your work is beautiful. Do you sell any of it?


  4. # Blogger CAL

    Karrie---This are excellent. Kristi---You have other talents that are just as valuable... I think. Don't you? I mean, I can't think of any off the top of my head, but you must. Right?


  5. # Blogger Alisha

    Those are so beautiful! What an original idea.

    I read Karrie's blog now, too, and I love hearing her sense of humor, which is uncannily just like someone else's that I know and love!!!  

  6. # Blogger Christine

    What a great idea for a wedding gift and addition to the table settings. You guys are way too sweet.

    And I love the high school story. You were learning how to barter for services...and that is a very important skill.  

  7. # Blogger Binulatti

    OMG, Shish. If you were here at this moment, you'd see a red-cheeked grinning, eye-hiding goof before you. What can I say, but awww, shucks. Thanks! (And hey - thanks for taggin' Live Eye!).I mean it when I say, doing these was truly my pleasure. It was an honor, and frankly a kind of therapy. I never have the time to make art (sounds funny, like making cookies or something) these days, and having a "comission" is the best motivation to get me behind some canvas. I'm glad to have made something special for you. I remember going through all your photos looking for the best compositions and spending my evenings with a lamp and all my painting doo-dads. Good times, they were.
    And thank you to all you fabulous peeps above :-) Caryl - no, I don't think I've ever sold anything, but I haven't tried either. Maybe someday...  

  8. # Blogger l

    Hi, Kristi. I found your blog through Karrie. I know the talent of which you speak, I've been the lucky recipient of a couple of her handmade cards. And now a nod to you: you write so eloquently and have great insights. I love reading your blog. Your posting on MLK made me think for several days about what it means to say nothing.  

  9. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty

    As I was reading this post, I was thinking how much I'd love to see what those paintings looked like.


    They are absolutely, positively, most surely beautiful. I am wondering why your sister doesn't consider a blog where she shows off her work...and maybe sells it? I've come across a few other blogs that work like this, I will try to find them.

    your sister definitely is very talented.
    And what a wonderful idea for centre-pieces, that is SO original, and touching.  

  10. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty

    Oh! One more thing...that painting of Toronto...about another half inch over...that's where I live!  

  11. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty the right.


  12. # Blogger Kristi

    Marie-She is! I wish it had rubbed off on me.

    Clare-I really am!

    Caryl-I'm glad to know someone out there feels my pain. :)

    Andy-I have many, MANY talents, far too numerous to mention here. ;)

    Alisha-hee-hee. Thanks!

    Christine-LOL. Yup-bartering is very, very important.

    Karrie-And one of these days I'm actually going to do something with them, such as frame or hang them. I promise!

    L-Thanks for stopping by, and for your very nice words. You're too kind.

    Ramona-I think that's a great idea. I've been trying to get her to sell her work for years, with no luck. I'd be interested in seeing those blogs.

    And yes, I knew you lived in Toronto. It's such a beautiful city. You're so lucky to live there. And you know, we only live less than 3 hours from eachother!  

  13. # Blogger Geekwif

    Call me repetitive, but wow. I love those watercolors. What talent!

    And how cute is your house?! Blond Girl and I will sometimes drive around just looking at all the cute houses in the area. If yours was here, I'm sure it would be one of our favorites.  

  14. # Blogger Kristi

    Geekwif-Thank you! I love the houses in my old neighborhood. They're all so unique.  

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