Do you remember the day you were born?

Do you remember the day you were born?

My mom asks me this question almost every year on my birthday. My response has always been “yes!”, followed by some fictional memory of the day. My answers have become less wild with age. But, what if we are born with all the knowledge we will ever need and forget it slowly as we age?


My grandmother has Alzheimer’s. There have been times that she’s the woman I’ve always known and other times when I see her struggle to remember a name of a long-gone family member in a scrapbook. I told her once that she could make up a name if she wanted and I wouldn’t know the difference. This was followed by a wry glance in my direction.

She asks me the same questions about my life each time. Did she miss my wedding (I’m not married)? How about my son (it’s my cousin’s son she means)? She has on a few occasions thought I was her oldest daughter, though she remembers quickly with a blush when I tell her my name again and says, “Oh I know that.”

She and I have never been especially close. We lived in different towns and she still worked odd hours as a nurse when I was a kid. Our time spent together has been centered around holiday meals and intermittent visits.

The thing about not seeing someone with greater frequency is that the differences in awareness and behavior are more apparent at each encounter.

Someone who does see her regularly is my mother. She’s very middle child this way and was¬†“the parent” long before I was born. My mom has taken on the task of caregiver and it’s both exhausting and amazing to watch. Caring for my grandmother has become a full time job for my mom even with help from aides and other resources – her whole, often hurting, heart is in this all the way and I am in awe.

I struggle with feeling like I’m not doing enough to help. I duck in an out for quick visits with my grandmother before work and make the occasional grocery trip or other errand for her or my mom, but is that enough? I’m learning as much as I can about Alzheimer’s, but is that enough? I sit and I listen to my mom and my step-dad (who is also caring for his mother) talk about their days. The mothers are always discussed: how they did today, what is the next course of action, can we have a date night to ourselves?

My goal at this point is to be a caregiver to the caregivers. So I will listen and I will give hugs and I will pick up dinner and run that errand and take that “thing” off the plate whenever possible. Taking care of each other is what we do, even when we don’t know how.

Let’s bring this story back to art, because this is a blog about my art after all:


On Saturday, October 10th, I’ll be participating in the Monument Circle Art Fair. It’s also the day of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Indianapolis. The Walk will pass by my booth and if you’re so inclined, swing by for a high-five or a hug, because you are amazing.

I’ll be donating 15% of my sales for the day, both at the Fair and online at my Etsy Store, to the Alzheimer’s Association. For those participating in the Walk, show me your shirt or registration info and receive 10% off in my booth. It’s not much, I know, but I want more money to go to the Association while still showing my appreciation.

I’ll see you on October 10th. The Monument Circle Art Fair is 10-5pm.

Sketchbook Sunday: Sketch to Chalk Art

For this edition of Sketchbook Sunday, I’m revisiting last week’s drawing of a peony-filled Indiana outline. It was the jumping off ¬†point for several new pieces and inspired the new chalkboard art at Silver in the City.

Peony Drawing


Silver in the City is Indiana proud so this seemed especially appropriate. I change out the chalk signs every few weeks so swing by from time to time to see what’s new, both in art and in the shop.

Sketchbook Sunday: Peony Project

Every year in mid-May, peonies pop up all over my garden. I keep splitting them and adding more. They’re the state (Indiana) flower and the subject of a new series of watercolor and ink paintings that are set to become the latest in a line of postcards.

Here’s how the first the series turned out, from sketch to completion. Happy #sketchbooksunday!

Peony Drawing

Peony in progress


New events this week

This Friday’s Broad Ripple Gallery Tour is all about Kate! Just kidding, kinda.

The Fall Broad Ripple Gallery Tour takes place this Friday, September 18, 2015 from 5-9pm and I will have work in two galleries on the tour.

The first is a solo show at the Playful Soul. This one features a mix of old and (mostly) new paintings and drawings centered around the theme of openness and space. Breathing Space has about twelve pieces, several utilizing the white ink drawing over dark blue watercolor backgrounds that I’ve been so loving lately.

KO Playful Soul

The second show is Drawing Conclusions at Ashland Gallery. With over forty established and emerging artists showing off their drawing skills, I’m in good company.

“We’re all made of stars”, graphite on gesso’d canvas

Each show is about a block from the the other so I encourage you to see both, along with the many artists throughout Broad Ripple.

Weekend Wrap Up


Between my day job and client work, there will be times that I disappear for a bit. The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind of commissions (thank you!), varying work schedules, making time for friends and carving out time to work on my own projects. This past weekend had it all.

Creative Mornings, a breakfast + lecture series in 120+ cities around the world, kicked off my weekend with some much needed motivation and the chance to catch up with other Indy creatives.

I work in a sun-lit arts, cultural and event venue, complete with a Saturday evening wedding. This was followed by “cake night” at a friend’s house with a goal of bringing a bit of cheer to friends after an especially trying week.

I then took Sunday as all mine in the studio. No client work, no commissions – nothing by my own passion projects and prep for my upcoming September show at Playful Soul in the Broad Ripple.

How was your weekend?

KO Playful Soul


This is to distract you from the fact that I haven’t posted anything new in a while…

Kitten 2

Kitten 1


KITTENS! A friend is fostering and hand feeding a litter of three and I held this little one for HOURS last weekend. She’s three weeks old and milk-drunk in the last photo. I swear I’ve been making art this week too, but… kittens.

I’ll be back to regular updates soon.

Work in Progress: Red

The working title on this is Red. I’m not sure yet if I’ll come up with something better.

I’m a big fan of seeing the progression of other artist’s work. I like to see where it came from and that so many go through what I call the “ugly stage” – that point where you as the artist know what it’s going to look like, but you have to go through several more steps to get it there.

The third in the new series of small portraits, all that’s really left for Red is some minor detail and the addition of flowers in her hair.

Red Sketch


Red 2

Red is 7 x 5 inches, acrylic on wood and will be available, along with Blue Tattoo Girl, in my studio this Friday during IDADA First Friday at the Harrison Center for the Arts. If you can’t come see her in person, look for her in my Etsy Shop next week (unless she finds a new home on Friday ;) ).