turtles, art and friendship
He passed this love of reptiles and amphibians on to our children.
When Son #1 was 7, he met artist Karen Bell at an art fair. Karen is a sculptor and former art educator who creates sculptures of bats, turtles, frogs, toads, lizards, armadillos and insects in their habitats in glorious detail. She was kind and spoke to Son #1 at length. Son #1 was fascinated by her and her work and was determined to buy a sculpture.
After a year of saving his money, he did.
So did we.
Son #1 is an artsy guy, a gift he inherited from his grandfather. Karen was inspirational too. See the turtle on the wall in the background?
Note the influence.
Fast forward 15+ years.
Son #1 is now a young man, studying art in college. We visit with Karen every time she is in town.
For my husband’s 50th birthday, I commissioned Karen to create a Missouri three-toed box turtle, like the ones his family had when he was a boy. He is a stunner.
And Karen gave me this piece after I admired it and told her how our beloved dog, Carl, who died last year, used to eat cicadas on his summer walks.
As a small thank you, I made this keychain for Karen.
You can read about Karen in Sunshine Artist. She talks about her work and her evolution as an artist–and she even tells the story of meeting Son #1.
It is remarkable how seemingly small moments can have a huge impact on one’s life. Our family’s meeting Karen was a small moment that led to a marvelous friendship.