Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Who is the most persistent person who has ever lived?

Above: "Amontillado I" c. Portia St. Luke, 1997
(Pastel and charcoal on paper)
Slightly before 1960, Dashrath Manjhi's wife died without any treatment, because the nearest town with a Doctor was 70 km away from their village in Bihar, India. Unfortunately, most of that distance was over a hill in between the village and the town. If it was removed, the trek would have been one-tenth of the distance. Dashrath did not want anyone else to suffer the same fate as his wife. So he did the unthinkable: he single-handedly carved a 360-foot-long (110 m), 25-foot-high (7.6 m) and 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) road by cutting a mountain of Gehlour hills with a hammer, chisel and nails working day and night for 22 years from 1960 to 1982. 

This hand-chiseled passage reduced the distance between Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya district from 70 km to just 7 km.

In 1979, in northern India's Assam region, after flood waters had receded, Jadav "Molai" Payeng, only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life. The teenager began re-seeding the barren sandbar. 30 years later, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acre of jungle that Payeng planted single-handedly.

22 others, including Cambodian Aki Ra, who personally removed and cleared over 50,000 land mines by himself from Siam Reap region of Cambodia, and Simon Wiesenthal - the Nazi Hunter who dedicated most of his life (post WW II) to documenting and helping hunt down Nazi criminals from all over the world - comprise a list of the most persistent people to have ever lived.

Each story told is amazing, and speaks to the power of perseverance and the will of the human spirit. To read their stories, and vote on which one(s) you feel to be the most persistent person (people) in the world, I encourage you to visit Quora and read the answers to the question, "Who is the most persistent person who has ever lived?"

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