Janita Mo of Orsta, Norway

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Charcoal with white highlights on Strathmore Velet Gray Pastel Paper
Janita Mo in Charcoal
I met Janita in the library at Volda, Norway. She was just the kindest and most hospital person I have ever met. “I was a stranger and she took me in.” Before the day was over, she had driven me over to her village of Orsta some ten miles away, treated me to coffee and introduced me to her family. Following this they drove to historical sites and then back to Volda. It is rare that anyone will be this generous to a complete stranger. I wanted to do some simple, but nice thing for her so I drew her portrait which I hope to deliver in May.

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Natasha Pugiotto

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Natasha Pugiotto
Pastel on ochre sandpaper finished pastel paper

Size: W. 14" X H. 17"
Date: March 12, 2014

Natasha is the wife of my Venetian friend Piero. Natasha is absolutely lovely and if I were to pick a girl for Piero, I would hope that she’d be just like this Moldvan / Italian beauty. She is a strong woman but soft and kind. I have adopted her as my own. I am handicapped by working from a photograph I snapped while she stood by the kitchen cabinets in front of their second story window. They live on Isola Giudecca. I think I caught the light and the portrait catches the moment and the atmosphere. This is my fifth (or so) pastel portrait and I must say that the medium seems to suit me.

Asher Jesionka

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Asher recrop
Pastel on Terracotta Sand Paper.

Size: W. 14" X H. 18.5"
Date: February 26, 2014

This is one of about three pastel portraits I have attempted. I think I will one day get he hang of it.

Asher is an authentic sixties throw back. Yes, but Asher is a REAL hippy and without even trying. It’s just who he is. He plays base with North Street Band out of Perth, Ontario, Canada and traveled with me in Europe during the fall of 2013. Asher can build almost anything, he can shoot an slaughter deer or moose with a knife. More importantly he owns his own pick-up truck and quite happy to live in it if need be. His best friends are stray dogs. Essentially, if I we’re ever forced into survival mode, I’ll want to find him quick.

Funny how life works. After meeting him and planning a three week trip to England, Italy and Slovenia, I happened to learn on Facebook that his grandparents, mother and other family members were close friends of ours long before he was born. Here I am hanging out on a third branch of the Baumann – Jesionka family tree.

John E. Haley

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John E. Haley Cropped
Charcoal Pencil on Reve’s Light Weight Cream Paper

Size: W. 14" X H. 11"
Date: February 2, 2014

John is my son-in-law, married to my daughter Amy and living only a few miles from us here in South Carolina.

Beyond the hand – eye coordination that both basketball players and artists have in common, the portrait artist must have the unique added ability of picking up on personality. It is not enough to capture a likeness and miss the soul of the subject. I didn’t pick the photo for this one but agree it is John all over the place. This is in essence the "Who" of who he is when is he most himself.

Those closest to him best know that his public and private persona are quite different. Amy picked this one out and said, "I like this one," and I agree. John likes to fish and this is when you catch him most relaxed and authentically who he is at heart. John happens to be a great guy at all times. Everyone will tell you this. It’s just that once and a while, he is more great than usual.

Cristiano Pugiotto

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Cristiano

Conte’ and Pastel on Canson Mei-Teintes "Honeysuckle" (707-2320)

Date: January 20, 2014
Size: W. 10" X H. 14"

Cristiano is the son of my dear Venetian friends, Piero and Natasha Pugiotto who live on Isola della Giudecca. I first met Piero before he was ever married some eight years ago. We became good friends and always meet up with him on my way through Venice. He has since met and married a most beautiful woman and I love her as much as I do Piero. They now have two children and Cristiano was their first. I will eventually draw Livania, his sister in the same style and size.

Moshen Boghdadi

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Moshen Boghdadi Crop
Conte’ and Pastel on Honeysuckle Mi-Teintes 707-195

Size: W. 12" X H. 16"
Date: January 10, 2014

My friend Moshen Boghdadi (father of Peter) passed away in December. Over the years of knowing Peter, Moshen and I became more than acquaintances. Due to the distance that separated us we didn’t get to become fast friends but we did share love for many of the same things, particularly his youngest son, Peter and more importantly, Jesus, in that order. Moshen was an Egyptian Coptic (a system that I really can’t feel much affinity for) but nevertheless, we could both lay this small difference aside and concentrate on what really matters.

In some cultures (like the native American) one does not ever say, "Good Bye" but always, "I will see you again."

Kevin Eduardo Ferreira

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IMG_1878 crop
Carbon Pencil on Bright White Stonehenge Paper

Size: W. 10" X H. 14"
Date: January 2, 2014

Kevin lives with us. I first met him some seven or more years ago in Parma, Italy when he was but a kid hanging around the church. I could recognize early that this was a boy with a future and watched him grow into a leader and man of God. I had the idea to try to help him some how. He had no father in his life so I took him under wing and brought him to America with the vision of seeing what could be done with God’s help. Neither Kevin nor I had any money to throw around but people got behind him and with a generous scholarship from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina and the help of church friends Kevin paid for his first year and ended the first semester with a 3.6 average. It is really amazing how he fits right in with our family and Jeanne in particular likes his compliments on her cooking and baking. He is smart enough to know that this will keep it coming.

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