I belong to a forum which was begun by the famous author/homemaker/home life blogger Rhonda Jean Hetzel. Last year we did a swap and I was fortunate enough to be paired with Rhonda herself. I think the theme of the swap was "something blue or purple..."? Not sure. Anyway, Rhonda had seen some of my artwork and she so sweetly and humbly requested that if it *wasn't too much trouble* could I *please* do maybe a picture of a chicken, or a cat?
Well...I managed to be very ill right around then (yet again) but I didn't want to leave poor Rhonda without a gift, so I did a very quick pastel portrait of her little grandson, as he was wearing an adorable blue Captain America outfit, which matched the theme! and mailed it off to her. But I filed the "cat or chicken" thought back in my mind for a later date as I really wanted to give her what she had asked for.
In return, I had received from her a beautiful linen apron -- made from linen she had used in the photos in her new book -- (A gorgeous book, may I add) -- and a quilted table runner with 8 cloth napkins, all lovingly and skillfully made by herself.
A few months later, I had recovered enough to get the paints out again. It had been a long time since I had painted anything by that stage, but she had a wonderful photo of their old white cat, who had recently unfortunately died, and as I was sure they might want something to remember her by, and the photo was so striking to me, I took it on as a challenge. I really wanted to get that white light and reflected lighting just *so*. I felt that I succeeded. Hanno's Hettie is my favourite painting so far. Maybe because I just got exactly what I was looking for.