I am passionate about preserving the stories of others.  We are all unique beings and have our own positive impact on the world.  It is worth sharing these stories and keeping them alive through the beauty of art and story.  Below is a recent write-up on my last portrait subject:

I am deeply honored to have had the opportunity to paint my friend of nearly twenty years, Joani Nelson. I have learned so much by watching the way Joani moves through the world; she has been an inspiration to me in a myriad of ways.

Throughout the time that I have known Joani, she has tirelessly dedicated herself to the arts and cultural life of our community as well as to global engagement experiences for youth. She served for many years planning events for the San Diego Symphony and has hosted musicians as well as supported the La Jolla Music Society in various ways. Most recently (at the age of 77!) she started working as a Conversation Leader in the UCSD Extension English Language Program for international students at UCSD. In her work at UCSD, she transcends her role as teacher and additionally mentors her students, takes them around San Diego to show them an insider’s view, hosts a special Thanksgiving dinner, discusses their conceptions about Americans and helps them to break down cultural stereotypes and walls. She has been to 94 countries herself, so has much wisdom to offer in this realm.

I have personally witnessed Joani repeatedly transform personal suffering into good in the world…the calling of the highly conscious/evolved human being. She does this with wisdom, volition, true friendships, art and a commitment and a belief in the power of service.

Upon meeting Joani, I was at an age where I was looking at my future and deeply questioning many of the cultural expectations and conventional norms for women. Joani not only encouraged me to do so, but also celebrated this exploration. She was incredibly honest about her own life story and I could see by her level of fulfillment that there was true power in this questioning. Having both grown up in small WI towns, we could relate to the expectations set for us and the desire to empower ourselves to reach beyond the traditional roles.

Recently, I was talking to a student of hers from Kazakhstan, Moldir, and she told me, “Joani gives me permission to be myself.” I agreed…this has been my greatest gift from her, and for that, I will always be grateful.

With Love and Deep Gratitude…

To read more about Joani, please view this recent San Diego Union Tribune Article: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2019-11-28/sd-me-esl-thanksgiving

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STORIES ON MY SUBJECTS

1/10/2020

I am passionate about preserving the stories of others.  We are all unique beings and have our own positive impact on the world.  It is worth sharing these stories and keeping them alive through the beauty of art and story.  Below is a recent write-up on my last portrait subject:

I am deeply honored to have had the opportunity to paint my friend of nearly twenty years, Joani Nelson. I have learned so much by watching the way Joani moves through the world; she has been an inspiration to me in a myriad of ways.

Throughout the time that I have known Joani, she has tirelessly dedicated herself to the arts and cultural life of our community as well as to global engagement experiences for youth. She served for many years planning events for the San Diego Symphony and has hosted musicians as well as supported the La Jolla Music Society in various ways. Most recently (at the age of 77!) she started working as a Conversation Leader in the UCSD Extension English Language Program for international students at UCSD. In her work at UCSD, she transcends her role as teacher and additionally mentors her students, takes them around San Diego to show them an insider’s view, hosts a special Thanksgiving dinner, discusses their conceptions about Americans and helps them to break down cultural stereotypes and walls. She has been to 94 countries herself, so has much wisdom to offer in this realm.

I have personally witnessed Joani repeatedly transform personal suffering into good in the world…the calling of the highly conscious/evolved human being. She does this with wisdom, volition, true friendships, art and a commitment and a belief in the power of service.

Upon meeting Joani, I was at an age where I was looking at my future and deeply questioning many of the cultural expectations and conventional norms for women. Joani not only encouraged me to do so, but also celebrated this exploration. She was incredibly honest about her own life story and I could see by her level of fulfillment that there was true power in this questioning. Having both grown up in small WI towns, we could relate to the expectations set for us and the desire to empower ourselves to reach beyond the traditional roles.

Recently, I was talking to a student of hers from Kazakhstan, Moldir, and she told me, “Joani gives me permission to be myself.” I agreed…this has been my greatest gift from her, and for that, I will always be grateful.

With Love and Deep Gratitude…

To read more about Joani, please view this recent San Diego Union Tribune Article: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2019-11-28/sd-me-esl-thanksgiving