Intersections: The Street Portrait Series

This project was conceived in September 2015, and culminated in a show in March, 2016.  

Kate and myself, during the opening reception for our show in March.  Intersections: The Street Portrait Series.

This show is over, but we are happy to announce that we raised $300.00 for the Easton Area Public Library.  Thanks everyone for your support!

Our Manifesto

Intersections are formed when paths cross.  It can be a street corner or a river confluence.  It can be the lives of two strangers who pause in their daily journey to truly listen to one another. Sometimes, it's an intersection between two artists, and when that happens, a creative project is born.

"Intersections" is just such a creative project.  Two artists, myself (Lauren Kindle) and my friend, Kate Brandes, are working together to paint ordinary streets, often overlooked, with the intention of opening up conversations that might not otherwise exist.  Kate and I have known each other for years, but have only recently started collaborating.  One of the "intersections" we are exploring is our own, as friends and artists.  We try to push each other to develop our skills and move beyond our comfort zones.

Below is our description of our process for this project.  (Although phrased in the present tense, this project is now concluded, and Kate and I are currently involved in a new collaboration.)

While I paint on-site, while the interview is going on, Kate does most of her portrait painting back in the studio.  She spends a lot of time thinking about the people we meet, and allowing images to come to mind.  In addition to a representational portrait, Kate also paints an "interview-portrait," which represents her visual sense of what they had to say about themselves: a painting of our shared human time.  Inspiration for her "interview-portraits" are often based on her bond with the natural world.

Currently, we are focused on the community of Easton, Pennsylvania.  We meet weekly to paint plein air style on street corners.  While we work, we are usually approached by curious passersby.  Our hope is that people will want to stop, have their portraits painted, and share a little bit of their life stories.  We incorporate these stories into our paintings.  Our premise is that Art can break down the walls that keep us separate.  In the moments while we are painting, boundaries are lowered, and we can connect more deeply with our fellow human beings.

Proceeds from our show will benefit the Easton Library.  We've chosen the library because it's a public space accessible to all Easton residents, and offers valuable resources to the community.  And, as a building literally filled with books, the library is a perfect place for stories to be shared.  

Table of Contents

Kathlene

"Living in the moment is the most important thing.  Life is fleeting and changes moment to moment.  Having something like this (sitting for our portrait) is one side of the spectrum.  

Who knows what happens when I leave here?"

--Kathlene Mobley

"Kathlene" oil on canvas, 5x7''

On Tuesday, February 2nd, Kate and I conducted our final interview.  We decided to go to the Easton Area Public Library : a symbolic grand gesture.  Since the beginning, this whole project has been about honoring and benefiting the library.  Jennifer, the Director of the Library, gave us permission to set up near the circulation desk.

After we set up, while we were waiting for the right person to come along, I began to paint a little red book cart on wheels.  For some reason, I felt very fond of it!

"Little Red Library Cart" oil on canvas, 5x7'' (by Lauren)

 Soon, a dark haired woman approached Kate.  It was Kathlene Mobley, who had once been her neighbor, years ago, when Kate lived on College Hill in Easton.  Although they were acquaintances, Kate didn't know Kathlene very well, so we were excited to paint her and learn more about her.

"I love birds," she told us immediately upon sitting down on a chair beside my easel.  "I don't know a lot about them, but I'd like to know more."

Kate's watercolor portrait of Kathlene.

Kathlene talked freely, and it was a pleasure to listen to her.  She seemed filled with a real love of life, and a general interest in learning about the world.  She told us about her two sons, ages 16 and 19.  She happily recounted how her older son, Romare, would come home from college and start cooking family dinners!   Her love of art was evident when she explained, with shining eyes, that she had named him after the artist Romare Bearden.

A collage by the artist Romare Bearden.

Kathlene and her husband are both New York City natives, but had moved to Easton, attracted to its culture, affordability, and proximity to New York.  They both used to work in the film industry, but after moving to Easton, Kathlene started her own business.  She is an Integrative Health Coach and she helps people develop their wellness goals.  You can read more about that on her website, kathlenemobley.com.  She keeps a blog on her website, which she finds refreshing.  

"It helps purge your soul to blog," she said.  And I had to agree.  

(I've been keeping a blog of my own since September, and I suppose my soul is a bit purged because of it.)

Kate's watercolor "interview-portrait" of Kathlene.  The "interview-portraits" represent her visual sense of what the subjects have to say about themselves: a painting of our shared human time.  They are often based on her bond with the natural world. 

So, this concludes our series of portraits for "Intersections: The Street Portrait Series."  Please come to our opening reception at the Quadrant Book Mart & Coffee House on Sunday, March 20th from noon to four pm.  The show will run through April 24th.  All profits will benefit the Easton Area Public Library.  (For sale will include: original paintings, art-cards, and a cool book that includes portraits and stories.)

Kate and Me, in front of the library.

Robin

"I love the mountains and the water.  Oh my goodness, I love the trees!  I would live in one if I could!  If you want to look for me, I'll be in a tree somewhere."

--Robin

"Robin" oil on canvas, 5x7''

On January 13th, Kate and I went to the Easton Post Office and set up in the spacious foyer.  It wasn't long before a woman came into the post office and tried to put a letter in the right slot.  She was struggling, and asked for our help reading the signs.

Here I am, all set up to paint in the Post Office.

"I'm partially blind now," she admitted.  She was very willing to talk to us, and eager to have her portrait painted.  "I've never had my portrait painted before!" she cried happily.

She told us her name was Robin, and she was 53 years old.  She moved to Phillipsburg from South Plainfield, NJ two years ago, after she went through a divorce, during which time she also began to go blind.  She had been married for 30 years, with five children.  She wept as she described the pain of divorce, even though she knew it was necessary.  Even her own children had begged her to get divorced.  

Robin, elegant in her pearls and pink lipstick!

Robin admitted that it was difficult dating again, after having been married for 30 years.  

"You don't need a man to validate who you are," she told us.  "You're your own person.  You have to love yourself first."

My easel, with P.O. boxes in the background...

Robin's children's ages are: 14, 16, 18, 20, and 27.  

"It took seven years to have the next baby," she explained, as she referred to the seven year gap between her two oldest children.  "Because we lost two after him." 

Robin was so willing to talk about her life, even the painful parts, and she cried several times during the interview.  The whole experience was very moving.

Kate's watercolor portrait of Robin.

Robin loves being a mother, and adores her children.

"They're beautiful," she told us.  Then she added, "I enjoy my life.  When I wake up in the morning, I appreciate every moment I have.  Every second of every moment.  It's a gift."

Kate's "interview-portrait" of Robin.

Kate

"There's a simplicity in nature, that, if you bring that to your artwork, it's what makes it sing."

--Kate Brandes

Kate and I had the idea that we should include ourselves in the project.  So we both painted ourselves, and each other.  In addition to that, we interviewed each other.  Click below to listen to my interview with Kate!

Kate's watercolor self-portrait.

Lauren

"I constantly fall in love with things. I’ve always been artsy. I’ve always done little paintings. I have some skill and can make things look pretty, naturally. But it hasn’t been until the last year, that I’ve stopped and really looked into myself and realized that I can push myself further."

--Lauren Kindle, from an interview conducted by Kate Brandes

Monochrome self portrait, oil on canvas, 5x7''

Kate's watercolor portrait of me.

Read Kate's interview of me.

Santos

"Your job doesn't define your person, as a human being...My experience--Spanish and immigrant--- you see how they treat you.  People should respect each other as a person, a human being, no matter what you do for a living."

--Santos

"Santos" oil on canvas, 5x7''

Today it was raining steadily when Kate and I drove up to College Hill.  Having had successful experiences in other Easton laundromats, we thought we would try our luck at U Launderit, on 535 West Monroe Street.  It's just around the corner from Giacomo's Market, the fantastic Italian deli.  Unfortunately, except for one woman who quickly left, the place was completely empty.  It felt a little eerie, and Kate and I fantasized about filming a horror movie, or maybe a zombie scene, in the bare, fluorescent-lit room.  

To pass the time, I started a painting of Kate.  It's still a work-in-progress, but here it is, so far:

"Kate-in-progress" oil on canvas, 5x7''

While I was painting it, Kate was recounting some deep questions that have been troubling her.  "Am I going to end up doing anything important?  Is my writing and my painting ever going to amount to anything?  Can I make a difference?"

"Am I going to end up doing anything important?  Is my writing and my painting ever going to amount to anything?  Can I make a difference?"

After an hour or so, we were thinking about giving up and going home.  Just then, the door opened and a middle-aged man stepped jauntily into the laundromat.  He was very friendly and inquired about our project, and he immediately agreed to participate.  

Kate's watercolor painting of Santos.

Santos is an immigrant from Costa Rica.  He is 47, has two kids, and works for a landscaping company.  He lives in Forks, which is the suburbs surrounding the city of Easton.  He prefers the rolling hills and farms to downtown, because he loves the country.  After all, he grew up in the jungle, where there were poisonous snakes and coffee trees.  

"What wine is to the Italians, coffee is to us in Costa Rica," Santos announced proudly.  

He admitted to being homesick, especially for his mother, who still lives in Costa Rica.  "Homesick every day, every year," he said.  "For every single immigrant in this country, it's true.  We all left something behind.  It's normal."

Kate and Santos talk about what defines you as a human being: the way you treat others!

Santos talked about how people treat each others.  He experienced first-hand how some people treated him with less respect, based on the type of work he did, and that is just wrong.

Kate's watercolor "interview-portrait" of Santos: her artistic interpretation of our experience talking with him.


"Your job doesn't define your person, as a human being" Santos insisted.  "My experience--Spanish and immigrant--- you see how they treat you.  People should respect each other as a person, a human being, no matter what you do for a living."



Jason

"Have a blessed day, sister."

"Jason" oil on canvas, 5x7''

It was an unseasonably warm December morning (the 10th).  Kate and I walked along the Delaware River, carrying our art supplies.  The river's surface sparkled in the bright sunshine.  Our plan had been to set up inside the Liquor Store by the Free Bridge on Northampton Street, because of its nice big glass windows, which offered a view of the beautiful, decaying buildings across the street.  But the weather was so warm, we didn't need to go inside.  We painted outside.

I liked painting this building, because you can see the sky through the windows.  It's an empty shell of a building, but it's also full: full of sky!

"Roofless" oil on canvas, 5x7''

We weren't having any good interactions with people, so we packed up and headed down to the circle, hoping for something to happen.  It did.  Right away, as crossed the circle and went around the fountain, we saw that guy I always see.  I used to call him the "Angel Guy" in my mind, because I always sort of pretended he was an angel dressed up like a normal person.  He kind of beams with joyful love, and always tells everyone who passes by to "Have a blessed day, sister!"  or "brother."  I have seen this guy for years.  He always tells me and my kids to "Have a blessed day," and I always smile politely at him, and keep on walking, minding my own business.  But not today.

"Can we paint your picture?" I asked.  Kate and I were desperate.  "Angel Guy" beamed with even more radiance, if possible.  So we settled down in the circle near one of the bike racks, and began.  

Kate's watercolor portrait of Jason.



He had such beautiful eyes which kept crinkling up when he smiled, which was all the time, and he blushed and gestured and moved his head so exuberantly, that it was difficult to paint him.  "Stay still!"I pleaded.  

"Angel Guy" has a real name: Jason.  He comes from Alabama.  Now he lives in Easton in a tent by the river, near Wawa, and he has planted roses around his tent.  He thanks God for keeping him alive in his tent, even through the bitter cold of our last winter.

Like Audy from a previous Intersections interview, Jason seems to know everybody.  (He even knew Audy.  "He bought me a coffee yesterday!" Jason told us.)  Lots of people waved to him, even guys driving huge buses around the circle called out to him in a friendly way.  

Kate and I paint Jason, as he tells us a little bit about himself.  Photo by Scott Slingerland.

"He make happy everybody!" said Lupe, an elderly woman who happened to be passing by.  Lupe told us that she moved to Easton from El Salvador a year ago and experienced some very harsh difficulties when she first came to America.  It was clear she respected and admired Jason, and that he had helped her in some way.  

And I can understand why: Jason seems to exude friendliness, joy, and something of the divine.

Jason believes God is using him in Easton.  His mission is to hang out in the Circle everyday, rain or shine, and tell everyone who passes by to "have a blessed day."  He wants to make people happy, to bring them out of their sadness.  He wants to share his experience of God's love.  

"Angel of the Circle" watercolor by Kate Brandes

"God is love," Jason said.  "God kept me alive."

Quiet Ana

She didn't say a word, but only looked at us with her large, dark eyes.

"Quiet Ana" by Lauren Kindle, oil on canvas, 5x7''

On November 19, Kate and I went back to South Side, Easton.  We were still riding on our success from the previous week, and hoping to repeat it by finding another laundromat.  Eventually we chose Coin Laundry, near the intersection of Berwick and Valley Street.

Me and my easel....getting ready to paint!

It was a rainy day, so we set up our easels inside, and started painting the washing machines.  I really enjoy the atmosphere inside of laundromats.  They can often be very quiet, almost sacred places.  People enter in a humble way, and join in community with others, doing important work together.

There is this feeling that, yes, we are all doing this work, this time-honored task, that humans have been doing for thousands and thousands of years: gathering together, and washing our garments.

Kate's watercolor painting of the inside of Coin Laundry.

The whole place had a cool, vintage feeling.  It was like going back in time to the '70s.  I took a little break from painting to pose for this glamorous photo:

Lauren Kindle, romanticizing laundromats again...

Then I stopped being vain and got to work.  There were a few women, quietly folding laundry.  I tried to engage them in conversation, but they mostly kept to themselves.  I managed to do this oil sketch of them while they worked.

"Women Quietly Doing Laundry in South Easton" by Lauren Kindle oil on canvas, 5x7''

Eventually a family came in with a whole bunch of laundry.  A man and a woman (below) and their granddaughter, a little three year old girl with dark hair and wide dark eyes, who gazed at us solemnly from beneath her bangs.

Kate sketches some washing machines, while casually chatting with Ana's grandfather.

We chatted with Ana's grandparents while we painted.  They said they liked living in South Easton, and they really liked Cheston Elementary School (one of the Easton public elementary schools).  It has some special programs that their grandchildren need, that are not available in the public school in Phillipsburg, NJ, where they used to live.  They told us that their three grandchildren (Ana and her two school-aged siblings) lived with them, in their house just down the block from the laundromat.  I sensed a very happy and loving relationship between Ana and her grandparents.

 Eventually, Ana agreed to sit for our portrait.  She didn't say a word the whole time, but sat calmly, gazing at us intently.

"Abuela!" was the only thing I heard her say, after we finished painting, as she rushed to sit on her grandmother's lap.  The older woman spent a long time fussing over her granddaughter, brushing and braiding her pretty dark hair. 

Kate's watercolor portrait of Quiet Ana.

In addition to a traditional portrait, Kate does an "Interview Portait."  It represents her impression of the person we interview; it is a painting of our shared time together.  Kate's inspiration for the "interview portraits" are often based on her bond with the natural world.  

Kate's "Interview Portrait" of Quiet Ana.

 

"She said almost nothing to us while we painted her.  But as she chatted with her grandparents afterwards, my mental image was of a girl emerging within the spiral of family."  --Kate Brandes 

 

Ana sat on the floor next to us, and made a painting of her own!  

Marge

Marge Brown has worked for 60 years, 20 of those at the laundromat.  She was born on Christmas Day, just about 83 years ago.  She describes herself as fiery.  Her smile lights up the room!

"Marge" oil on canvas, 5x7'' by Lauren Kindle

On November 12th, it was a rainy day, so we decided to go to the laundromat on Northampton and 14th street:  USA Laundry.  With permission from the kind staff, we began to paint an interior scene of washing machines and dryers.  

Lauren wonders if she should have brought some of her laundry along.  All this painting has taken its toll on housework duties...

If you haven't been inside of this laundromat, you should check it out.  It's an old building covered in art-deco embellishments, little white angels in relief, and cool geometric designs.  Although past its prime, it is still an elegant building, with an aura of romance.

"Wash N Fold" by Lauren Kindle, oil on canvas, 5x7''

After painting for awhile, we naturally engaged in conversation with one of the employees, Marge Brown.  She was a friendly woman with a delightful smile.  "I'll be 83 next month!" she announced.  "On Christmas day!"  She described herself as being "fiery when angry."  But it was hard to imagine this small, sweet old woman with her fluffy white perm ever being angry!

Marge has worked in the laundromat for 20 years!  She told us that she is at a happy stage in her employment, since she can come and go as she pleases, without having to stick to any particular hours.  Marge has lived her whole life in Stockertown, and has been working for nearly 60 years: 20 years at the laundromat, 34 years at Tatamy Sportswear, and 4 years at Dunkin' Donuts.  

She comes from a large family.  "I had seven brothers and two sisters, but four brothers have passed.  They all had cancer."

Kate's watercolor portrait of Marge.

 Marge was very quiet about her own personal life.  She lives alone with no children or pets.  But she does enjoy making personal connections with all of the people who come into the laundromat.  Her other life pleasures include the game show channel on television, and listening to music.  She is living proof that tastes can change throughout one's life: "I used to like country," she said, describing her musical tastes.  "But now I don't like country anymore." 

She was happy to sit down and pose for us.  It was the first time in her life ever having her portrait painted!

"Winter Light" watercolor: Kate's story-portrait of Marge.  


Albert

"I'm an artist to an extent.  I don't produce as much as I'd like to." 

--Albert

Lauren's portrait of Albert, oil on canvas, 5x7''

On October 29th, Kate and I went up to College Hill and set up our easels right outside of the Wawa.  "Whether people like it or not," Kate told me, "Wawa is the heart of College Hill."  There is some truth there; certainly the parking lot was buzzing with cars coming in and out, and all sorts of people went in and out of the Wawa building.  

This is me, beginning my oil-sketch of Scully's Seafood.

 

While we waited for a potential interviewee, Kate and I painted Scully's Seafood, the fish market across the street.

Scully's seafood, oil on canvas mounted on board, 5x7'', by Lauren Kindle

Watercolor painting of Scully's Seafood, by Kate Brandes.

It was pretty cold, but we stayed outside.  Eventually, an employee came out of the Wawa on his break and approached us.  His name was Albert and he told us he was an artist, too.  He was a friendly young man, and he was willing to sit for us during his break, if his boss would let him.  Luckily, his boss agreed, so thanks to the generosity of Wawa, we were able to conduct our interview.

Albert was born and raised in Easton, although he lives in Wilson now, on 23rd street.  His has lived in Philadelphia and Austin, TX.  He talked to us about the several jobs he had, at Wawa, and as a cook at a restaurant downtown, Blue Sky Cafe.  He seemed a little melancholy and resigned.  "If you're a college drop-out like me," he said, "You usually end up in the service industry."

Kate works on a sketch of Albert, a Wawa employee, outside of the Wawa on College Hill.

Kate works on a sketch of Albert, a Wawa employee, outside of the Wawa on College Hill.

 

Albert had a bunch of interesting tattoos on his body.  When Kate asked him about the small black heart near his eye, he shrugged.  "I got it at a really bad college tattoo shop in Austin, Texas.  It's just a decision I decided to make that day."

Kate's watercolor painting of Albert.

Albert had the French phrase, "C'est La Vie" tattooed in cursive across his neck.  "It was one of the things my grandfather always used to say," he explained.  "After he died, me and my brother got it tattooed on ourselves."

"What does it mean to you?" I asked.

"Tomorrow is another day," said Albert.

"Do you believe that?" I wanted to know.

"I live by that."

Kate's story-portrait of Albert, a painted topo-map, based on her impressions of how Albert described his coming-home to Easton, but still trying to find his way...

Nobody on South Side

"What the heck do you want to paint on South Side?"  --cynical South Side pedestrian

"South Side Garage" oil on canvas-paper, 9x12'' by Lauren Kindle

On October 22, Kate Brandes and I decided to give South Side, Easton a try.  We spent almost an hour driving around, looking for a place where it seemed like people were hanging out.  We were unable to find anything very promising.  We finally found a spot with a few pedestrians and a bus stop on Centre Street and West Berwick Street, across from the South Side Garage, and we set up our easels and started to paint. 

Kate often does a pencil drawing before she gets out her watercolors.

Kate often does a pencil drawing before she gets out her watercolors.

Unfortunately, we were unable to spark anyone's curiosity.  Usually when we set up and start painting, people congregate around us, and it's easy to get a willing person to pose for a portrait.  In fact, we usually have to turn people away.  Not in South Side!  Pedestrians would cross the street and go to the opposite sidewalk to avoid us.  No one was unkind; people just really minded their own business.

I'm starting with a little burnt-umber sketch.  Is my cool hat driving everyone away?

I'm starting with a little burnt-umber sketch.  Is my cool hat driving everyone away?

We got a little desperate as we started painting.  One elderly woman walked by us as fast as she could.  She did pause to ask, brusquely, "What the heck do you want to paint on South Side?"  

"You!"  we called out, but she was far down the block.  "We want to paint you!  We want to paint the people of Easton!"  but she was gone.

 

So, I'm ending with a plea:  please help us find a good location to paint in South Side, Easton!  Is there a spot that has a community feel, where people like to gather?  And, not only for South Side, but also for Downtown, College Hill, and the West Ward.  All ideas are welcome.  Thanks!

Gena

Gena was the third person who approached us.  Oct. 5, 2015.  Still outside of the Quadrant and Subway on 3rd St., Easton.  As we painted her, she told her story, which was filled with sadness and violence.  Despite her mother's recent death, and a harrowing prison experience, Gena radiated with gratitude and joy for being alive.

"Gena" oil on canvas board, 9x12'' by Lauren Kindle

"Every morning I look at myself in the mirror and smile. I think I'm handsome as hell." --Gena

This is Kate's watercolor painting of Gena.

Johnattan

Johnattan was the second person we painted.  It was Monday, October 5, 2015. The location was third street in Easton, just outside of the Subway. 

"What would I like to change about my life? Myself and the society around me." --Johnattan

Some Publicity!

Emily Paine, a photographer for The Morning Call, came by and took our picture!

Nelson

"Nobody helps me.  I have to help myself."

--Noslen deJesus

"Nelson" oil on canvas, 5x7''

The original title for this post was: 

Easton Speaks:  Painting as a Doorway to Listening

Yesterday (September 24th) was a fantastic day, and the beginning of a new art adventure.  My friend and fellow artist, Kate Brandes, met with me to go plein air painting in Easton, the city where I live.  The past couple of weeks, she and I have been talking about an idea that is slowly forming between us.  Our idea is to meet weekly and paint parts of the city that might be under-appreciated, street-corners and buildings that are taken for granted, and cause people to look at them with new eyes.  We hope to ennoble our subjects by painting them.  

This photograph was taken by Emily Paine, a Morning Call photographer who happened to be passing by.  She was interested in our story, and it might make it into the paper!  For all of her photos, click this link.

This photograph was taken by Emily Paine, a Morning Call photographer who happened to be passing by.  She was interested in our story, and it might make it into the paper!  For all of her photos, click this link.

But Kate and I want to take it a step further.  We don't just want to paint beautiful, interesting cityscapes.  We want to connect with the people of Easton.  We want to expand outward from our small circle of friends, and get to know more and more people, and listen to their stories.  I am absolutely inspired by Humans of New York, the amazing photoblog, created by photographer Brandon Stanton.  Stanton combines his street portraits with moving interviews in a way that breaks down barriers, and makes us feel connected to others, on a human-to-human level.  My belief is that people really want to tell their stories, and that the telling of stories has benefits for the teller and the listener.  Walls can come down, and empathy arises.  

"Noto's Deli" oil on canvas, 8x10"

This is a quick oil sketch I did of Noto's Deli, on 930 Northampton St., Easton, PA.  A few teenagers were happy to sit at the table under the red umbrella and pose for us.

But how would we get passersby to interact with us, and open up to us?  

"I think it will be easy," I told Kate.  "People will see us painting in their neighborhood, and they will be curious, and come up to us.  Then, if they are willing, I'll ask if they want to pose for a small portrait, and we can interview them."  And that is exactly what happened!  

Kate's watercolor painting of Nelson.

One of the people who approached us was Noslen DeJesus, who prefers to be called Nelson.  He came up to us and told us he was an artist, too, and showed us some of his artwork on his phone.  He was happy to sit for a portrait, and while he sat, he told us a little of his story.  He was born in Puerto Rico, but at the age of 14, he had to escape.

 "People were going to kill me," he said.  

Nelson was put on an airplane going to the United States.  A woman was paid to watch him on the airplane, but she left him alone at the airport when they arrived.  Nelson has lived in Easton ever since, but he has had a difficult time, struggling with homelessness and drugs.  From the age of 14 until now, age 25, Nelson has been on his own, without any support.  "Nobody helps me," he said more than once.  "I have to help myself."  

photograph by Emily Paine from The Morning Call

photograph by Emily Paine from The Morning Call

I'm so grateful to Nelson for sharing his story, and this experience has reaffirmed my faith in the power of art, and how it can be used to break down walls and connect people, even strangers, on a more intimate level.  Kate and I are still figuring out where we are going with all of this.  Even our name, "Easton Speaks," is a working title.  (Update:  We are now calling this project "Intersections.")  We have a vague ambition to have an art show of our work in early spring.  We would like to work with some other organizations and perhaps raise money towards making Easton a better place.  (Update:  We plan to raise money for the Easton Area Public Library!)  

Kate's "interview-portrait" of Nelson.  The "interview-portraits" represent her visual sense of what the subjects have to say about themselves: a painting of our shared human time.  They are often based on her bond with the natural world. 

Photograph by Emily Paine from The Morning Call

Photograph by Emily Paine from The Morning Call