Welcome to my "meet the artist" blog; designed to couple with website AnOriginalHitt Latest In The News: Plein Air Magazine Outdoor Painter Featured Artwork You may become 'a follower' for updates. Questions? orighitt@gmail.com
May it be an UP day! k

Friday, June 16, 2017

Answering the Challenge & Hearts Call...

Today's share is being written from the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Area. For more from that journey #followanoriginalhitt continues as we HITT the Road @anoriginalhitt or my facebook page  & profile.  With that said, extremely limited wifi travels with us.  Hoping update uploads.

   First Answering the Challenge:
the answers to Last Posts 
  Quang Ho: 7, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20; Eric Rhoades: 4; Michael Godfry: 8, 17; Jill Carver: 2, 9, 18, 19; Velko Geurgevich: 1, 10; Jeremy Lipking: 5; James Gurney; Roos Schuring: 6;  
Jay Abraham: 3, 16; Mary Pettis: 13

Next: Hearts Call as an Artist & seeking to reflect it painting.

Two recent paintings attempt to do just that, and the stories that accompany the subject matter is very moving to these heartstrings.  Some of the story known before the subject inspired, some learned after the fact.  Why Paint?  My Artist Statement shares much of that for this artist personally.

As exciting as it is to see your work shared in the pages of Plein Air Magazine, what is even more exciting is getting to share that with those that are the subject of the painting.  The 'story' behind the subject that added an urgency to being sure to capture a subject, en Plein Air... while it was still here to capture.  I have yet to see the publication in hand myself, as we are on the road.  I had issues of the magazine shipped to rural Nebraska, where their town, doesn't even have a stop light.  Well, they  had one, then they decided they didn't need it, and they took it out!  Absolutely LOVE visiting this area.

I am so excited that Steve Doherty shared the stories behind the paintings in his article.  It is the June/July Issue of Plein Air Magazine if you haven't picked it up yet.  Lots of awesome articles this issue.  

Here is a even a little more on the story behind this painting, that unfolded as I was painting it.
Here is the post and picture Cindy just shared. This kind of stuff--The heart of the subject is why I paint!  Love it. Thank you for the update! Steve, thank you for sharing!

Here is Cindy's FB post "I just had to share this photo again.  It is such a blessing to be able to walk with my granddaughter in the same pasture that I played in as a child.  After I was married, our children spent countless hours there, too.  When our parents passed away, my brothers and I decided to keep the "home place". The horse in the photo is the last known direct descendant of my dad's stallion, Champ's Money.  Champ was a beautiful sorrel American Quarter Horse with a flaxen mane and tail. He was the most gentle stallion that ever walked the face of this earth.
 When I was growing up, Champ and I rode many, many miles together and most of the cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandkids had their first ride on him.  When Champ was 32 years old (very old by horse standards), my dad had to make the difficult decision to have him put down due to declining health.  Five days later, my dad passed away in his sleep.  I always have a vision of my dad and Champ together in heaven and know that dad is smiling down when he sees things like this photo."
And here is this little ones Grandma, in the painting shared in the article, she is the Lady, with the last two remaining Mares from the bloodline:
Our paintings are often times, much more than the painting.
Yes, we have fun and it is a huge blessing to be able to go out and paint on location with other like minded Artist as we do at the Plein Air Convention and Expo, as another article in this issue shares.  I am humbled and honored to be a part of a story.  By the way, Kathleen's story (whose painting is on the cover of this issue), pictured with Eric (publisher) and I below- Is amazing! If you haven't read it yet, or watched the pod cast, its awesome! 

So, getting back to the HEART of why we do what we do... Besides the fact that it is how we breathe, it is how we see... it is also how we are moved, and hope to reflect all in our heart
 'at that moment...'.

One more story with a painting that shipped to its new owners this week, it should arrive on Saturday. Priority was to get it done, before heading to our next landing spot in the Yosemite area.
When I was up in the Apalachicola area first week of April, 2017, with a residency, to "Save The Shot Gun Houses" I received a phone call on one of my last days up there, completely out of the blue.  It was from a gentleman.  He inquired if I could paint a home while there, that they use to live in.  The catch, to paint the home as it was, not as it is now.  For you see, the home was burned.  Sadly Arson was suspect.  His wife, could not stand to look at the home as it stands today, and ironically, it was being sold the NEXT Day, for they were unable to rebuild it. The phone call came from out of state. Needless to say, I said, Yes, I will figure something out, so that I can get there to see their home, and how I will paint it for them.  Weather and timing of Residency, I got 95% of the painting done on location.  Because of travel, and schedule, I brought the work with me, along with others, to wrap up while on the road.  

at long last "240 Remembered- Home Sweet Home" is complete and ready to ship!
As this painting Ships... here is the story emailed to me from the owner of this beautiful little home on  
April 9th, 2017:  "So... here's the story in a nutshell. I grew up with a strong single mother from the age of 2... definitely was my best friend... she was diagnosed and died from cancer before I was 17. A real shock to life if you can imagine. My mom always wanted to take us kids all to Florida on vacation as we live in Wisconsin. She never had enough money to take us all... the only trip she was ever able to make was with my older sisters... it's all she could afford. I have always like a lot of midwesterners looked at Florida as Mecca of vacations!

My wife and I got married when I was 18... have 2 wonderful kids, Ethan 16, Maddy 14. We have always been self employed and always made family a priority. I of course work extra hard like my mom to give and give all the things my mom wanted to do.. but could not.  Life has been more than fair to us...

My wife, Melissa loves the sun!! Hates the cold... we talked about buying a place somewhere at some point.... for when we're old.. but wanted to do it while kids are still young enough that it's theirs too. I love New England... Cape Cod. I have worked out there many times in the past 18 years. But it's not warm there in winter.

One morning in 2014 while on our first family vacation in Mexico... I was able to see first hand my wife light up like no other while in that sun... she had traveled there many times but not together... so this was a first seeing this. We were at breakfast one morning and I was looking for a place in florida... a town really to begin looking for a place... I came across Apalach.. purely by accident. It combines my loveable Cape Cod Fishing Village vibe with all the perks of being in Florida!! I found this house in fairly poor order so it was affordable. But we buy and sell, rent and flip real estate all the time.. I do most all the work. So we negotiated a purchase and had under contract before the end of breakfast. I had bought a place in Florida for my kids, for my mom and most importantly for my wife... who loved the sun so much.

We bought it cash and worked on it every couple months over the next 2 years... spending every vacation balancing beach days with renovation days. My wife cried every time we left because she loved the people, the heritage, the house, St George Island and of course the sun! This was really her house... where she planned on growing old on the porch swing.

We were there for the last time 2 weeks or so before fire. I was awoke by phone calls and pictures of the fire consuming our beloved house. We were devastated... there is deliberation if it was arson or an attic fan that shorted. Either way our insurance company fought us and ultimately would not pay and dropped us from coverage. We gave up. My wife gave up. It was ruined for her.

She cannot and will not look at the pictures of after because she wants to remember it the way it was... like a passed relative. Every piece, that was savable, of furniture I brought home and they sit in storage until we decide what to do with them.

This painting is an ode to what was. Not what is... because I believe new owners are going to tear down. Not certain. But that sounded like the plan.

Thank you again for being a part by painting the cover to our story that was Apalach."


240 Remembered-Home Sweet Home- Plein Air 11x14 Oil On Linen, by Karen Ann Hitt for Dustin & Melissa

Yes, as before said: Our paintings are often times, much more than the painting...

This brings me to the next Chapter, the next season... as my husband and I just finished touring the Gentle Giants with my son, my son has headed back to his home, as we are about to take our home away from home to its next site just outside of Yosemite National Park.  We will meet up with his family on the other side of the Sierras in a few weeks. A dangerous heat wave is predicted for the area, this week, several days with temperatures over 103 they say.  We shall see what THAT feels like!   Remaining so very thankful to God that we get to do what we do.
A long story, in a nutshell, getting to the next heart of all ahead: 
  Our first year of marriage, Gary and I experienced more than most do in a lifetime.  We had a 5 month Honeymoon, May- Oct. 2015 touring in our House on wheels,  the USAHoneymoon we called it. I highly recommend to all that get married in this season of life, to go take off in a 45foot motorhome for 5 months, you are either going to make it or break it.  We are loving it!  It truly helped prepare us for what was to come. I Returned Oct. 25th.  My beloved sister, best friend, second mom,  went down with a massive stroke on Nov. 3rd.  She passed on the 6th. Her memorial the 9th.  My husband had a heart attack and was bayflighted on the the 11th.  The same day my eyes were measured for eye surgeries. Three days later, we, yes WE walked out of the hospital together, he with zero damage, and three new stints.  My eye surgeries scheduled the 5th & 15th of Dec.  Alas, we were not done yet. Day after Thanksgiving, while going through pictures with my mom, received a return phone call from my doc, results from a check up... when i heard her words, excused myself from mom, so she wouldn't here them too... 'it looks like lung cancer' she said. SO added to the schedule, a lung biospy inbetween my two eye surgeries.  Surreal World being lived outloud at this point.  Understand, i do not smoke, and i take zero medications on a daily basis.  Walking around is simply a comfortably numb state. Unable to share with grieving family my news, or even my husband for that matter, for he has just recovered from a heart attack!  This enough for now on that year.  Long and short, MISS my sister more than words can say, Husbands heart is GOOD, My new eyes are GOOD, and I HAVE NO LUNG CANCER, they don't know what i do have, just what i don't, No TB, or some other bad thing they tested for, or Cancer, so YAY.  This past winter our life, not to mention my painting season was completely disrupted again, with another return phone call from what was a routine visit to the dermatologist. That spot on my foot, Needs to be treated like a Melanoma.  Dr. almost didn't let me leave the office, to schedule the appointment down the road, she wanted to take care of it right then.  So my first Mohs Surgery scheduled, the kind where the biospy is too major for in office, it was overnighted somewhere and i went back the next day to be sewed back together.  I managed to keep most my schedule, with compression bandages etc etc etc.  PAINTING in general though, all on my heart, to try to keep up with the task on hand... again not painted.  NO more melanoma threat there. I have a big red scar on my foot, BUT i have my foot.  Get tested my friends.  I can't yet wear a lot of my boots or closed toe shoes, but we are getting there.  Hiking boots work at long last! Anyways,
of this TMI post-- guess what ?
NOTHING is more important than keeping priorities in life straight.  For this heart they are:
God has blessed me with work that is sincerely a blessing, a gift, a passion, and YES how i breathe in all of His God breathed before me every day.  He even blessed me with New eyes to get use to,  to see it all anew with.  Life is hard, God is good.  JOY abounds.
This year i am doing something that i have 
I did NOT turn in a teaching schedule to my Beloved Venice Art Center.  Also, I did not turn in a teaching schedule to beloved Boca Grande Art Center.
I received an email on my birthday of all days... I have been invited to be a part of a group show.  (more details to come )  It opens in January.  
There are a LOT of paintings on this heart longing to paint, I have been blessed with an opportunity to focus on them, especially the ones that i am behind on painting, etc. etc. etc.  And Guess What?-- I am simply going to enjoy my family and breathe a great big THANK YOU GOD!  mind you i tend to breathe with PAINT and i have been blessed with a husband that understands that!  He also likes to travel.  SO we shall continue to 
with that said, our next destination, who knows if I will have a signal or not.  So, today, we HITT the Road to a few hours north of here.  Gary has never been to Yosemite.  Rock Slides and Record High Temperatures await us.  I am thinking record snowmelt continues up there too, and amazing river ways, and waterfalls.  I will try to keep you posted...