Portrait of Rita

Portrait Of Rita

Rita by Lance Weisser

 

I received a small letter in my mailbox today.  The envelope was covered with stamps.  Wonderful stamps depicting the Queen Mother and a butterfly and ladybugs.  The return address told me what was inside.   It was a beautiful watercolor portrait of Rita from my dear friend, Lance.   Because I am shaky, I was careful as I opened it.  I couldn’t believe it.  It is perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  He captured that pinned eye and that attitude that I so love about her.  Ah, I finally have a portrait of my Rita, and it is Rita as surely as if she were standing on the door of her cage, puffing out her feathers, pinning that eye, and giving me her honest opinion.   It measures two inches by three inches.   And it is two inches by three inches of sheer power and personality!

 

Letter From Lance

 

Lance, please accept my apology for the quality of the reproduction here.  I could not capture the beautiful contrast or the effect of the piece with my camera.  When it is framed, I will try again, but I am just too excited to wait to show off my treasure.   You have touched my old heart with your kindness and your beautiful tribute to my Rita.  Bless you, Lance.

Lance writes a gorgeous blog where he shows his watercolors.  He recently posted an article from The Guardian about the poisoning of songbirds by Miracle Gro.  Please read it.  Thank you.

50 Comments on “Portrait of Rita

  1. I love the watercolor and the envelope! They both take us back to that romantic time when correspondence required postage stamps, which were themselves works of art. How thrilling it was to receive such treasures in the mail. Thank you for sharing this with us George.

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    • I know. I mailed a letter the other day and wondered what the postage rate is now and if the stamp (which did not indicate an amount) would be enough postage. It’s amazing how fast we abandoned handwritten correspondence. It’s a little scary too. Sometimes, I write stuff here that I would have amended if I had been handwriting it! 🙂 Lance is from that generation so he thought about the stamps. His may very well be the last real correspondence I get in this lifetime.

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  2. I had a cockatoo and I know how attached we can get to a beloved parrot. Rita is a beauty inside and out and you have one dear friend to capture her so well.

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    • Ah, a cockatoo. They are the most gently and demanding and sweetest of parrots. Rita is independent and opinionated and sets the limits of what she will tolerate. I offend her regularly with my disregard for her sensibilities. Lance captured those qualities that I so cherish about her. Lance is such a good friend to all of us here.

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  3. This is splendid! Lance did wonderful work. This spectacular miniature captures what I’ve come to imagine has Rita’s gigantic personality. 🙂 I just want to give Lance a BIG HUG for doing this for you, George. Thank you both for letting us share in the joy!

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    • I agree, Lemony. Lance is such a dear man. He did capture Rita’s gigantic personality as you said. He didn’t paint just a parrot. That wouldn’t have been Lance’s way of seeing a bird, any bird. I noticed how he gives personality to even the tiniest songbird. He is a gentle soul. And a wonderfully creative and talented artist. The painting is even more remarkable for its size. I think that’s what fascinates me. He is able to capture such a powerful image in such a tiny space. If you saw the actual painting, you’d see what I mean. This photograph of it doesn’t do it justice.

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    • Yes, Terri. The picture captured the true spirit of Rita. It is a real treasure from a good friend. I’m glad you like it.

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    • Thank you, Cat. I love Rita, and I love Lance for immortalizing her in his painting. He is a good man.

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  4. How wonderful for you that you got such a beautiful present. It is certainly a delight to meet artists through their blogs, to make friends, and to transcend what we thought were the limits of time and space. Lance has certainly warmed our hearts with his spendid gesture.

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    • Yes, Lance is a special person. He is always thoughtful and kind. It is remarkable, this new age society.

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  5. Aww George…how sweet is that and from such a long way. People talk all the time about Twitter, and Facebook and blogging and how people are just sitting at home and staring at their computers instead of getting out and living. Well don’t get me wrong…I am all for getting out and going and intermingling with real people in real places rather than just “online”…..after all I am in Vegas right this minute. But in days past could you have made a friend from far away that understood your deep love for Rita and wanted to share his talent and create this beautiful gift for you? Only if you had the money to travel abroad….or could you become friends with a special boy that you and I both have grown to love who lives in Bangladesh? I love social networking…It is an avenue to make new and very real and good friends….and one never has too many friends. I love the picture…and what a wonderful new friend you have made….and how lucky you are.

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    • You are right, Sue. I am lucky to have met Lance. He is a gentle and forgiving soul, and you know how forgiving you got to be to tolerate me. Like you, I am constantly amazed by the number of good people there are here. If anybody needs confirmation of the fact that there are good people just like us all over the world, social networking proves it.

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    • Yes, it is amazing to receive a letter these days. I can’t recall the last time I corresponded by mail. My old friend of the long, handwritten letters, died several years ago. She refused to get online. She said that was one bridge she refused to cross. In every other way, she was a post modern woman. I miss her. Lance is a kind and generous man. I will treasure the watercolor of Rita.

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  6. What a wonderful world…. (remembering Louis Armstrong’s song too)…

    Two beautiful blogger friends, one of them is dear George, and the other one is dear Lance…. And I love both of them, and to visit their amazing and beautiful blogs… And now, I see that there is a wonderful painting flew to America…. Beautiful painting of Rita… Do you know (maybe strange to express like that but I will try to explain my feelings now) Rita flew to my heart too through your all amazing efforts… Thank you, for you both that you made me live these beautiful moments… This is the beauty of art and the beauty of human touches… Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

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    • You are right, Nia. I have thought about this post and these comments for a week. You and the others said it better than I could have. Lance is a dear man with a gentle soul who genuinely cares about all of us. I am speechless. I am not accustomed to having people respond the way you and Lance do with such acceptance and grace. You and Lance are kind in your hearts. What a beautiful thing to find in Cloud Land. I never expected to find people like the two of you. I would not have believed it if somebody had told me there were people in the world like you guys. Thank you for accepting this horsey old woman who doesn’t always behave. You are salve for our wounded spirits, Nia. Bless you.

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  7. I just left a comment, but my gravatar didn’t show up for some reason, and it came off as ‘anonymous’ (smile). Once again, thank you for your kindnesses to us George, for you’re daily putting them on our faces–and I am just so thrilled that you are happy with this little arrival. It was fun to do–and for some reason I knew you’d like a bunch of stamps on it. It looks like Elizabeth II is crawling with royal bugs!

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    • You left me speechless, Lance. All of our friends commented here and what they said is true. Your generosity of spirit, your gentleness, your concern for other people…it all comes through in every contact you have here on WP. I read your thoughtful comments on other blogs. I always think to myself, that man is not responding with some canned comment. He read this and thought about it. That is what community and friendship are about even out here in anonymous cloud land. You are the genuine article. And I love you. Thank you, Lance. I will treasure this painting more than all of my collection wrapped up in a bundle. Rita makes me smile every time I look at that powerful painting. It is little; she is little; they are both powerful and sassy to boot.

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      • oh my, that is very special to read from you, George. It speaks of just how dear this little darling is to you–her companionship and her wonderfully-annoying quirks. We’d all do with a little Rita, though I have to admit 24/7 of that penetrating look would turn me to analysis–I’d be in the waiting room with woody allen reading The Atlantic and muttering to myself. I do hope you find the moxie to trim that thing into a reasonable size. There’s no call for getting it custom-framed. If you have to trim it to the point where the signature is compromised, just mail it back and I’ll re-sign it and mail it back.

        Your own comments on others’ blogs are the definition of attentive care. I think you’re the soul of our little artsy gaggle, and love reading your pithy insights! Let me know what you decide about that little piece. Actually, here’s a link to some help in that regard: http://www.miniartsupply.biz/MiniArt-Frames-4.htm. She’s in Baltimore and has wonderful miniature frames from Italy, and they’re very reasonable!

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        • Thanks, Lance. I just have a “thing” about touching the painted area on a painting. It is just too hard for me to do! I order pewter frames from Danforth Pewter in Vermont. It’s an old pewter company. Really, I think Rita would look better in a gold color like brass. I will check this link. The Italians have a special, romantic, old world eye, you know. Their pottery is without equal in the world. I have bought some of their pewter too and it is substantial and really nice.

          “Pithy”, huh? The stuff I say sounds normal to me when I say it. Ah, the bane of my existence…my big mouth. 😉 I surely hope people understand that I am harmless. You are so genteel and kind. I try, but I just don’t have that “Lance” quality that I love so much about you. It just is not in me, I suppose. The worst thing is that, if I like a person, I really do say outrageous stuff. Thank you for giving me Rita immortalized!

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  8. I am very pleased it got into your hands and that you are so pleased yourself. You’re the one who brings daily smiles to all our faces, and gives a lift to our moods. Thank you for posting this. You’re our sweetheart.

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  9. What a great portrait of that funny Rita!!! I can just imagine how you must have loved receiving it. I can’t wait to see it “in person”!

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    • Rich, I think animals would be far easier because they do not dissemble. When we attempt to represent a person, often that person does not want to see himself as he is. Remember how Shimon said the friend of his told him he wanted to be seen as a kind and gentle person or something like that. Shimon was doing a portrait for the jacket for a book the guy had written. What I saw, was not a gentle man. The eyes were too powerful. There was nothing Shimon could do to alter that although he placed the man in the most benign posture possible. We could ask Shimon. He photographs Nechama and people! You ask him. 😉

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    • Thank you for that information. I did not know. I love the painting too. It is much more dramatic in the original. This is actually bigger than the original and shows too much of the brush stroke.

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  10. awwwww..such a sweet and wonderful gift…opening that envelope you not only took out a lovely, lovely picture, but the spirit of a lovely, lovely, person!

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    • You are right, Suzanne. Lance is a gentle man. He saw Rita in the photograph and understood her personality. He didn’t paint a parrot; he painted Rita. I smile when I look at it. I see both Rita and Lance. The secret to the human connection is something few people understand. You and the Mother Deer. Lance and Rita. Without that kind of soul, it would be impossible to present either Rita or Mama Deer in the way you guys can.

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  11. Sweet and mysterious…so many more stories tucked into that envelope! Beautiful art, great photography, intriguing stories. Lovely post, George!

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    • Yes, you are absolutely right. Lance is a master of watercolor painting, of course, but he is also a gentle and complicated man. We are always seeing facets of the man that we didn’t know. I suppose that’s the source of his creative genius and his humanity. Often, I think about what wonderful and interesting and creative people I would have missed if I had not posted that first awful post. Lance is a good friend. There aren’t an abundance of them in life. We cherish those whom we find along the way.

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    • I wish you could see it. This tells us something of how he did it that the painting, when viewed with the naked eye, does not reveal. It is a tiny painting with powerful contrasts. Lance captured the essence of Rita perfectly. I just stare at it and shake my head.

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    • I agree, Scott. Lance is a generous man. And a good friend to all of us. I will treasure that painting more than all of the etchings, watercolors, etc., that I have collected for a lifetime.

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  12. You sowed love, so you are harvesting friends who love you too! Love was inside that envelope! Enjoy it! You deserve it!

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    • Thank you, Ana. You sow love every day. I see you everywhere encouraging bloggers. That takes time and effort. Your photographs are wonderful extensions of your own happiness that you share with us!

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  13. This is very nice George; I would be happy for receiving something like this too.
    Love the photo of the envelop, I’ve tried it a couple of times but they never come out as well as this one.

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    • I’m glad you liked the envelope. Lance is clever. I know you’d be as happy as I am to have a gift like this one. You give us gifts every day with your view of the world through your lens. Don’t underestimate that gift. 🙂

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