8x8, oil on panel
Karin Jurick is an amazingly gifted artist. Simply put, she renders the human figure to perfection: accurate yet sympathetic, simple yet complex. In a way like Norman Rockwell, Karin rarely paints a person the viewer doesn't immediately connect with and feel a kinship to. Part of this is just plain talent and, I think, part of this is Karin's work ethic. Both attributes should be recognized and honored.
That said, one of the great projects Karin has done as an artist has been her Different Strokes for Different Folks blog. I've talked about DSFDF many times (click here, here, here, and here for starters) but basically, she posts one photo with an open invitation to artists around the world to interpret that photo in their own way. She offered a new image at 2-4 week intervals for several years and in the process, Karin created a vibrant and close-knit community. And once a year, at Christmastime, members of the community painted each other's portraits. Remember? This was mine.
This year, after the portrait-swap project was posted, artist and DSFDF participant Jill Polsby secretly asked all of us to paint a portrait of Karin. This was a huge undertaking on Jill's part as I believe well over 100 artists participated. Jill has compiled these portraits into a coffee table-type book and sent it to Karin today, with our thanks. Click here to see the portraits. Jill has a link on her blog to see the actual book via Snapfish.
This comes at a good time because DSFDF has grown to become more of a project (read "work") than I imagine Karin ever guessed it would and so she has announced that she is - at a minimum - taking a break from the blog with no return date specified. She wants and needs to, you know, paint and work. Completely understandable. So, thanks Jill. And thanks Karin. It has been a pleasure!