Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman

Although I'm a little late on posting this, I read Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman for book club in February, and I found it incredibly inspiring. I think it about daily.

I never studied Van Gogh in college, and I really only knew that he was mentally ill, cut off his own ear and was friends with Gauguin. But the story that Ms. Heiligman has weaved together through the letters between him and his brother told of a kind, thoughtful and extremely hard-working artist. He was dedicated to becoming a better and better draftsman and painter, and he consistently sought his brother's feedback on how he could improve. I was surprised to learn that he struggled with color (as do I), and he worked diligently to develop and modernize his palette. I was so impressed.

This book has much to offer — it's a passionate tale and also educational and inspirational. I highly recommend!

The portrait below was my take on Vincent shortly after I finished the book.

Kendra Shedenhelm_Arteza_Van Gogh Portrait

Glazing bowls for the Empty Bowls fundraiser

Although we moved out of Brooklyn almost two years ago, I was thrilled to be able to participate in Bay Ridge's annual Empty Bowls fundraiser again, which is coming up on May 2nd. I didn't make it to the Brooklyn glazing party, but I went to a nearby DIY shop, had these fired there, and just shipped my bowls to the event.

We recently lost an incredibly special little girl in our community, and my son has been frequently asking questions about the afterlife. These questions were on my mind too when I glazed these bowls, and I've tried to incorporate a feeling of expansion and optimism.