View Full Version : Crystal Blue Persuasion WIP

07-16-2004, 02:43 PM
This is the third in a series of 5 or 6 still lifes featuring crystal in the sun. The second already has a home even though it was just finished yesterday morning- it's a near abstract crop of just the vases in the sun against this same dark grey background. Funny how with different items in the set-up it's the background which seems to change hues slightly more- I figured it'd be the pieces themselves, but it's the other way 'round, more.

Only the leftside bloom of hydrangeas is even *close* to done- it will still get overall adjustment once the entire bouquet is finished. I discovered working the first pieces, "doing the clear glass" requires me to have a "clean" ground to start- not white, but not messed up with earlier layers of over-all colour lay-in- so that whole area will be last.

Oh- and Art Spectrum makes some of the cleanest, clearest purples- beautiful things. BUT! While the sticks are very light-feeling in the hand, they do not seem to play well with others on the ground itself- they stroke nicely over others, but they seem to resist being stroked over themselves by other brands- no matter how soft. Rather a disappointing quality.

22" x 22", Wallis, toned with NuPastel (a la Deborah's lesson) a burgandy-ish hue since the hues are so cool.


(This one may take some time- it is big and nit-picky at the same time. It isn't that I am "going for detail", in fact, the flowers are done quite loosely. But each of them on the lit side need to be given individual little highlights and shadows so the whole thing will match the crystal when it gets done. If that makes sense. Plus, it's so big, even my drafter's chair doesn't go high enough for me to comfortably sit and work, which means I gotta stand- which is KILLING my lumbar spine. Me and ibuprofen are gonna be really good buddies for a few days, I think).

07-16-2004, 03:17 PM


Thas nice :) .... vely, vely nice ....... got myself a ring side seat already

Kathryn Day
07-16-2004, 05:38 PM
Julie, I love the blues in the flowers. I haven't tried glass yet, so will be really watching this one.

07-16-2004, 05:46 PM
lol Dawn- you should try this big- it's GREAT!

Thanks, Katy- contrary to popular opinion, I ain't crazy about flowers en masse, but these seem to be working out okay. The glass is an entirely different kettle of fish, and must be carefully laid in. This one doesn't feature the refractions, though, and that's helpful.

Tom Christopher
07-16-2004, 06:25 PM
This is going to be a beauty. The blue you chose is very appealing. I'll be standing by watching this one develop.....Maybe I'll even have to dig out and listen to an old Tommy James 8 track tape for inspiration... Love the title... tom

07-16-2004, 06:30 PM
I love what you've done so far. What are the white flowers? This is going to be very striking when completed...I'm sure!

07-16-2004, 07:02 PM
lol Tom!! Find it, turn it on, then crank it up- but don't play it over and over- I promise you it isn't THAT great a piece of music~ Hollies were bit better at complex, psychedelic-sounding bridges. Thank you, too, blue is difficult for me to work with because it seems none are "juuuu-uuust right!" and I have to use two or three to get the hue I want. Keeps me off the streets anyway.

Thanks Judy, the white flowers are some kind of yarrow-y thing here- a weed, in otherwords. It isn't really yarrow, instead it's made up of very tiny near-carnation-like florets, but I didn't want to get that nit-picky, so just left it yarrow-like. It goes to fuzz in the fall, and turns a nasty colour if you try to dry it. Works in a fresh bouquet, though.

07-16-2004, 07:25 PM
Julie..are you doing this from a still life or photo? Inquiring minds want to know!

Mikki Petersen
07-16-2004, 08:12 PM
This is a masterwork in the making! WOW! I love the title, too.

Pinecone Conniff
07-16-2004, 08:20 PM
Oh- and Art Spectrum makes some of the cleanest, clearest purples- beautiful things. BUT! While the sticks are very light-feeling in the hand, they do not seem to play well with others on the ground itself- they stroke nicely over others, but they seem to resist being stroked over themselves by other brands- no matter how soft. Rather a disappointing quality.

Very interesting experience you are having with the Art Spectrum pastels...What other brands are you using that they don't seem to get along with??
Oh & the painting looks amazing already!!...I'm getting an iced mocha so I can settle in to watch your progress! :D

K Taylor-Green
07-16-2004, 11:00 PM
Wow, Julie, love the blues. A winner in the making!

Kathryn Wilson
07-16-2004, 11:12 PM
What a great series you've got going - that white pitcher is looking amazing already - love the way the shadows fall across it. I'll be watching the glass demo too - pulling up a chair to watch - :p

07-16-2004, 11:41 PM
Both, Judy- I have the set-up where the sun hits it in the morning, and I took refs of it before I started. I don't resize the refs, just up the sats a bit to show "true colours", and print the pic out in quarter sections on good photo paper. (My camera takes pics suitable for posters- I bumped it down one size, but they're still very big pics). I can paint from the photos and check what I've done against the set-up when the sun hits it right for that hour or two a day, and using the photos allows me to see more than a huge sparkle. Seems to work, anyway.

Thank you, Mikki- one of them just hadda have this title- now I need to download the song, eh? (not that I steal music from the web... :rolleyes: )

Thanks, Annette. I dunno, I'm using Rembrandts, Scminckes, Great Americans, Senneliers, Unisons- a whole mix when you get right down to it. But the purple and blue from ArtSpectrum are very- hmmm- gummy? flaky?? They leave little gobs easily- and if I try to layer over them, they seem "waxy" almost. Which is really odd, cause they're so light in the hand- not as dense feeling as, say, Schminckes. Then the one green of theirs I am using is going on nice and smooth. Go figure.

Thanks, Kate, I'll probably post a few of the reference photos to the library when I get through culling them.

That's what attracted me to this one, too, Kat- those shadows. Plus I like all the echoing shapes- all those "urn curves" in the flower bunches, the vases, and the shadows themselves. And hydrangeas are always nice flowers to include in a still life.

Done for the day- hafta wait till my back unkinks some, and for daylight again- this really needs true daylight, I think.


Quick check of grayscale values- the top right white flower looks a bit light in grayscale, but not so much in colour- see how warms and cools can work in place of values?

and a detail just for fun

Oh- and in this one? The pitcher is just about life-sized- and proportionally correct.

07-17-2004, 12:02 AM
sheesh, I'm late to this one (thanks Tom...couldn't remember who did that song!)
Julie! Very nice, really like how you work glass and flowers, gonna be a stunner. Can you adjust the piece down on the easel so you can reach areas easier? It helps to keep the area you're working on at exact eye level so you're not craning. And keep walking away...if you move more it's not so bad plus you can check for how it looks at a distance. I'm actually adjusting to standing and working, I'm starting to hurt more sitting hunched over a piece rather than vice versa. So hopefully you'll adjust to it and advils are mother's little helpers these days. :rolleyes: :) Will be watching this one...got any of those little quiche thingees to munch on meanwhile??? :D

07-17-2004, 01:09 AM
This is beautiful!!!

07-17-2004, 02:22 AM
Really nice...the glass is gonna be fab and what you've got is lovely! I'm with you...standing too long gets to me big time, though I'd prefer that if I could...gives one freer motion and better control, I think. At least if you work on it in the mornings mostly, that limits the standing to some degree.

Looking forward to the finish on this one!

07-17-2004, 04:24 PM
Thanks, Sue- I ended up putting my tabletop easel on a chair and setting the drafting chair to its highest setting- seemed to work but it was a bit late, by then. I get up and walk away every few minutes- mostly 'cause of my back, but I also do a circuit 'round the house and come back to look quick and see if anything jumps at me. *shrug* I just gotta accept it isn't going to be a pain-free process.

Thank you, Cindy- it's coming along, I think.

Thanks Sooz- yeah, old age ain't fer sissies, eh? I'd *almost* rather another fusion, just not quite. Yet. Gimme a few more years.

I finished the small right front vase and have laid in the major colours for the last one. Please note at this point values in the vase colours are not as important as hitting the hue right- to me, it is the play of all those spectabulous rainbow colours which "makes" it clear crystal, and doing these last pieces has shown me nail the colours, and the value adjustment is easy from there. Only major highlights are laid in- these help me track where which colour shape is; the minor ones (usually those small sparks on the front of the glass) will be brushed out using a tiny watercolour brush and then set in last.


and a detail of the last vase's colour lay-in:


Thanks for the encouragement, Y'all- I appreciate it!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

07-17-2004, 04:50 PM
You, m'dear, are going to be that..."you know...the famous lady that paints those gorgeous crystal vases!" You've really caught the fragileness and the colors to the nth degree and I bow to your expertise! I know you love your pitcher and flowers...but boy, nothing but these gorgeous crystal pieces picking up and throwing light would be even more awesome. The rest is superflourous (ok, sure that's spelled wrong but yanno what I mean, right?) Yep, I dub thee Julie Crystal! :D

07-17-2004, 04:53 PM
hmmm...all that glass and those curves are so sensuous! It's coming along beautifully.

07-17-2004, 04:59 PM
Have to agree with Sue, think these glass pieces are stunningly beautiful, no wonder they are selling... :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

07-17-2004, 05:24 PM
I'm gonna be an answer on Jeopardy?!? This is GREAT! I KNEW I'd get on that show somehow! :D :D :D

lol- Thank you, Sue- I've always said I do "things" better'n scenes or figures or (shudder) landscapes. I like detailed studies- and I am a HUGE fan of the dramatic. I've ideas for a next series already- not glass, but more shiny stuff... and edible (well, kinda)

Yeah- those echoing curves are seriously eye-catching to me, too, Judy- I'm considering a slight right-side crop to really *pop* those curves, but really like the square format with this comp, so maybe not.

Thank you, Domi- I'm hoping they ALL find good homes. Odd, but once I'm done with a piece, I'm done- now it needs to go away.

Here's the second one- I never posted it because the pic was so horrible- I took it outside, with the board set up in a porch swing and I know I wasn't level but I tried. I have both bad photo skills AND parallellax going on I think, and it looks like it is seen through a funhouse mirror. Trust me, the vases are all *upright* in the painting! Oh- and the lefthand side of the right front vase's back ellipse was caught, and fixed.


about 15" x 8" or so, I think.

Kathryn Wilson
07-17-2004, 05:59 PM
This is breathtaking Julie - the vase laying down on it's side is smashing (not literally - :D )

07-17-2004, 06:41 PM

Ohhhhhhhhhhh ....... my mouth dropeth open ..... will say more when I can type

07-17-2004, 07:14 PM
No smashing my crystal!! I've lost enough good crystal from kids and moving hither and yon for 25 years. Had the most beautiful lead crystal Christmas ornaments- snowflakes and deer and bells- my sons decided to "play wiwth" the ornaments as toys- needless to say. I no longer have those ornaments. (However, one son has a small scar on his foot bottom where he stepped on a piece of one they'd chipped. Serves him right.)

Here 'tis, done as it will be for now anyway. I'll leave it like always and give it a glance now and again, but won't do more than straighten a line or such- it's done and the next one is clamoring in my head....

Thank you again- I'm pleased with the series thus far and hope to get two more out before I start hating crystal- lol


and a close-up:


and closer still:


07-17-2004, 08:18 PM
Boy I came in late on this one too. But, its kinda fun being late, I don't have to wait for all the progress, I can see you paint right before my eyes. This is a stunning painting! So crystal clear (ha ha) and amazing. Just love it.

Pinecone Conniff
07-17-2004, 10:44 PM
The court is in awe Lady Crystal...you are the Queen!! :clap:
I love looking at this piece...it is so fresh & every shadow & reflection is magic & demands attention!
Beautiful painting your Majesty!

07-18-2004, 12:41 AM
geez, you can't get sick of painting this awesome crystal...you'll never make Jeopardy!!! :p I hope you don't...it's the best glass painting I've ever seen...I mean I've seen some really amazing good stuff, but this sings with surreal color...love it! :clap: :clap: :clap:

07-18-2004, 11:41 AM
Thanks, Paula- I appreciate your compliments.

We've discussed this tiara thing, Annette- they mess up my hair, you know. (Wait- does it have *real* diamonds??) :D Thank you- I'm pleased.

lol Sue- thank you, I just painted what was there minus the fingerprints. At least one more for now, more an abstract, then might be time to move on a bit- not to mention I've lost the sun for the next few days. That's the way it goes up here- we don't tan, we rust. Maybe you should try one of these in oilies? I've got plenty of pics of the set-up in different configurations. Plus you know how to make torchons, errrr- tortcheons, errrrrr, tortillas- you know, those paper blending thingies for narrow lines now....

(Gotta tell you, though, I'm thinking of how crystal and copper would go together....)

07-18-2004, 11:51 AM
ya, ya...what was there...NOT. We'll have no pooh-poohing of obvious talent here young lady! Hey, Have you got a set up all glass nothing else??? I actually was invited to play with wet media (gouache) and do glass. I found a nice crystal in the library, but not with color like this...I'll make a mess of it though...can you use tortillas with paint? :p hmmmm....copper and glass... :D

07-18-2004, 12:01 PM
A few, matter of fact- lemme look through 'em- send a decent-sized one to you through your mail. You gotta take it into psp, though, and up the sats to see the colour (don't use "adjust red/green/blue levels"- that lightens it too much and blows the highlights) and then clarify at about a level 1.5 or so.

Maybe I'll do a lesson on clear glass for Deborah's classroom- when winter closes in....

07-18-2004, 12:22 PM
thanks, Julie...got it and it's a great ref! hmmmm....will be taking notes and trying to work it out in OPs for a classroom there...we have clouds and then trees first :eek: Nice huge file....may go for a non-literal crop :D

07-18-2004, 01:49 PM
Whatever works- it's definately a good idea for a class in "painting what you SEE" rather than what something *is*- since a good crop would nearly obliterate what the figures actually are.

The sun peeked out for about 4 and a half minutes- I may have gotten a few with brass, and a few against a seagreen backdrop. We'll see.

07-18-2004, 06:25 PM
ok,,who has taken over Julies body and what do you want??? :D

You have hit a new plateau in your work...words can't express it so I won't even try....but your knowing your personality, I shall hence forth call you ...
The Crystal Pistol!

07-18-2004, 08:12 PM
Great work! I love absolutely everything about it: the reflections and shadows of the glass, the choice of colors and the whole composition. Very well done. Keep on doing such nice things!


07-18-2004, 11:33 PM
Oh Julie, this is another incredible painting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES! YES! YES! A lesson would be great!!


07-19-2004, 11:15 AM
Wow! YOu are definitely the Queen of Crystal! THis is gorgeous...you have that glass technique down to a science. Just beautiful!


07-19-2004, 11:18 AM
Im still utterly bowled over....... and stumped for words.... lol, so will leave it to Preston..... :D

You have hit a new plateau in your work...words can't express it so I won't even try....but your knowing your personality, I shall hence forth call you ...
The Crystal Pistol!

07-19-2004, 12:11 PM
Can someone please enlighten me. ... what does "up the sats" mean?

hmm ...sunlight...what's that? We are having the LOUSIEST summer here. I know what you mean about rust.

I am sure you will find lots of customers for these kinds of pics, such lovely colour, they have a very particular appeal. Well done to work thro the pain, too.


07-19-2004, 01:52 PM
Yanno... coming in here and being called names could be a shattering experience (haha- get it? shattering? *wink*wink*), but since I've never been one to indulge ego problems, I'll just take the names and run with 'em. Well, I say run, I mean more lurch at high speed with a slight drift to the right and a trail of sotto voce curses 'cause running isn't something I do at all anymore. I'm old- I prefer the idea of a motorized wheelchair. With overdrive.

Thank you Preston- let's hope it's a plateau which has a level or three above it I can climb to yet, eh? Prolly need some ropes and pitons, though.

Thank you, Dirk- while I don't feel the need for photo-realism (mainly 'cause it's too blasted time-consuming and I'm lazy) I certainly enjoy making a painted object jump off the 2-D plane and grab the viewer. And some challenges just have a great deal of appeal to me- one of those subjective art things, I s'pose.

Fine, Gwen, lemme get this last one (at least) done and I'll see what I can put together for you- I know you can do it because I saw what you did with Kitty's water piece- the principles will be the same, I think, and putting it into words is a great way to solidify the "how-to's".

Thanks, Sandy- I'd tell you it's not that hard, but you'd never believe me. So, I'll tell you it's just like painting anything else: What you see.

lol Dawn- be careful or I'll hafta come up with a name for you- but I'll wait until I'm tired and those unconscious word-plays rise to the top.... Thank you. :)

"Up the sats" means to increase the saturation of colours in a photo-editing program, Jackie- since most of the hue shapes in clear glass are simply "light" or "dark" and some varying shade of the background, increasing the saturation of the picture will show what colours are making those shapes. It also brings out the hue variations which are present in glass and crystal according though their own chemical make-up: Lead crystal sings with many more "rainbows" than, say, regular silicon glass, and vaseline glass has uranium added, which makes it glow a yellow green. Ruby glass (not flash- that's something else) has gold added- it turns the glass red- and on and on. It's the same reason some old glass bottles left on a window shelf will turn purple, and some will turn green- it's what was added to the silicon base.

Alors! I'm giving a chemistry lesson and I haven't even finished my first cup of coffee- bad idea. But yes, I'm sure these will find good homes- solid work usually does. Thank you.

07-19-2004, 03:11 PM
Boy Julie...you have quite a vocabulary. I'm lucky I can say anything at all with words and make sense. I'm just not good in that department. You have a gift with your art and with words. You're funny and smart...a winning combination!

07-19-2004, 03:20 PM
;) Judy- if it ain't fun, why waste energy on it? Some things are ick and you just gotta do 'em anyway, but there's no sense feeding the ickiness- save that kind of nurturing for the good stuff and milk every drop of joy out of it you can.

'Least, that's my take on life....

07-19-2004, 03:27 PM
;) Judy- if it ain't fun, why waste energy on it? Some things are ick and you just gotta do 'em anyway, but there's no sense feeding the ickiness- save that kind of nurturing for the good stuff and milk every drop of joy out of it you can.

'Least, that's my take on life....
I definitely agree with having fun. I am good in that department.

07-19-2004, 03:30 PM
Oh- and I meant to tell you, Jackie- I'm up in the northwest corner of the US- this area has been compared to Scotland weather-wise: Basically, a nice day is when the drizzle lightens enough so you can see the lighter spot the sun makes behind the clouds. That's not quite true, o' course, a good summer up here is absolutely gorgeous- heavenly weather. Nice and warm during the days with lots of sun, and a refreshing dip back down at night so you can open the house and sleep cool. Summer is when the tourists come and decide to live here, move on up in September or so, and then the weather closes in, and it rains for the next seven months.

Popular myth says we have a higher suicide rate than elsewhere in the US, and that'd be easy to believe given the number of sheer gray days. If it were true though, it'd probably be more directly attributed to the depressing irony of building a Starbucks inside a Starbucks, and the new heights of stupidity environmentalists can go to while driving to protests in their Birkenstocks and Beemers. ;)

Perfect, then, eh Judy?? lol

07-19-2004, 03:47 PM
Popular myth says we have a higher suicide rate than elsewhere in the US, and that'd be easy to believe given the number of sheer gray days.
We visited my cousin in Seattle a few years ago and I do have to agree the weather can be a bit depressing. But the trees are huge and the flowers are an amazing color. Probably due to the constant watering. It's really a beautiful part of the country.
While there we visited Puget Sound, Pike Place, U. of Washington and few other interesting sights. Oh also..Boeing. Boy big hangars there.

07-19-2004, 06:38 PM
*snip*..Boeing. Boy big hangars there.

You know what that means, right??

Big planes with big wings....

07-19-2004, 09:17 PM
That is really beautiful, Julie. I love it. Did you get it out of the RIL? I really want to do some more glass, but I can't find anything that really suits my fancy. I can't do it nearly as well as you have, though. I just like to play around.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how beautiful your piece is! Great job :clap: :clap:

07-20-2004, 12:41 AM
Ms. Crystal Pistol--as others have said (far better than I can), simply stunning!! I look forward to your lessons!
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Stoy Jones
07-20-2004, 01:11 AM
SBJ, I stopped in to take a peek, didn't read the whole thread as I don't have time to meander anymore, but I gotta say, I'm floored!! :clap: Stunning work! I may have that terrible song stuck in my head from now on, but it was worth it! :) The contrast of the soft velvety petals and that sharp crystal-like glass is perfect! Keep up the beautiful work!


07-20-2004, 04:39 PM
Thank you Michelle, and Libby, and Stoy- I'm glad you like the work. I'm mulling an article- we'll see what I come up with.... ;)

07-20-2004, 05:25 PM
Sweet Baby, this crystal is so stunning. I am drawn to the green swirls in the crystal. you have done a wonderful job. You would never know we don't get sunlight up here...LOL..THanks too for your comment about stopping a painting if it isn't making it. I threw one away about 3 months ago and it still calls to me. I was doing an oil painting. I have decided to take it to the 2nd time around forum and try it in pastel. Than it will be happy with me. OH the haunting that these pics can do to us. LOL.

07-20-2004, 08:30 PM
Yeah, well, I'm lazy and would rather put my energy into something which has a shot at succeeding rather than just being a waste of even learning what NOT to do. If over half of a piece succeeds, I feel it was worth the effort, but some just aren't ready to be born yet. S'pose that's why I've always compared painting to labor and delivery- it's a lot of work and effort and pain- but when it all comes together, it's worth it.

Nice today- and blazing hot Sunday- they keep predicting rain but so far, we've not gotten any down here near Oly.

07-21-2004, 03:51 AM
Julie, your painting is simply stunning, as is the previous one. I do hope you write an article, I'm sure I could learn a lot from you. And thanks for the tip on 'upping the stats', would never have thought of that but it really shows up the colours.

07-21-2004, 12:07 PM
Thanks, Joy- I'm considering it, but have to do it soon 'cause I'm getting tired of crystal FAST. lol

07-21-2004, 12:39 PM
Thanks, Joy- I'm considering it, but have to do it soon 'cause I'm getting tired of crystal FAST. lol
I have some Waterford Julie. I wonder how that would look with bright light pouring in on it. I have a feeling I would be pulling my hair out trying to paint that! :eek:

07-21-2004, 12:50 PM
...I wonder if my oh-so-snooty youngest sister would send me some of her Lalique? 'Course, that would entail actually speaking to her- not something I enjoy.

I'm always surprised she doesn't have a "servant's entrance" on her phone....

Kitty Wallis
07-21-2004, 06:07 PM
The snottiness of so-called friends and relatives transforms magically when the artist begins to make money. Which just shows how wallet-deep those attitudes are.

Sooo--- Julie, Are you taking these pieces to that gallery I mentioned?

07-21-2004, 06:15 PM
...I wonder if my oh-so-snooty youngest sister would send me some of her Lalique? 'Course, that would entail actually speaking to her- not something I enjoy.

I'm always surprised she doesn't have a "servant's entrance" on her phone....

sibling rivalry is such a tricky arena. I watched my mother and her sister, and now I watch my two daughters, and see it in action. I have decided that a lot of it is to do with jealousy ... one sister feeling inadequate . I wonder if your sister actually envies you your talents as an artist. If she doesn't have something special to call her own, (of this kind), she may well find it really, really hard to cope with your abilities and her lack of them.

Just ignore my potted psychology if I am way off the mark here ... I just think it is such a shame when sisters don't get on. I wish I had sisters to get on with but am also glad I don't have sisters I dislike.


07-21-2004, 07:55 PM
I've been in touch, Kitty; Tom sounds like a very nice man, and Leslie is supposed to be in touch by the end of this week. I'm planning a trip up just before they open.

My youngest sister, (I have three), has always, always been venal- she broke up with a guy one year because he got her "the wrong watch" for Christmas, and besides, she didn't like his car. She is very, very succesful financially- wildest dreams stuff- and cannot understand why everyone in the family can't just drop everything and join them in Florida for a week long Disney cruise. When we were all kids, she had a fun sense of humour and was "part of the gang"- the last few times I've seen her, she rarely smiles and doesn't laugh at any of our antics. I am nearly 7 years older than she, but most people think she is older- her face is pinched and her expression closed and guarded.

All six of us kids have *something* artistically- whether it was in the eye or in the hands- we each have "something". My brothers both can work wood as my father did, one sister is a nationally recognized woodcarver, another has that "decorator sense- interiors make sense to her. This youngest sister was good with colour and pattern- some of the abstract work she did in high school was amazing. I've seen or heard nothing of such work since. Her house is perfect, her hair is perfect, her car is perfect, her job is perfect, her furnishings are perfect- and she pays plenty to see they are kept that way. Apparently, though, money didn't buy her happiness, just financial comfort. Sometimes I wonder if, for her, that is the same thing. She collects LaLique and "opalescent vaseline glass" (and whatever car is a must have each year), be sure it is opalescent, or she will actually send it back to you with a note explaining where you went wrong (this happened to another sister- she sent a gift certificate instead). One sister can be- hmmmm- friendly with her, the other is like me- we only speak when spoken to, and my two brothers let their wives handle it.

She once told me it was too bad I had married military, and we moved so often and the pay was so low. I just smiled, while thinking: "I've had lunch in Paris, I've been to the Louvre, I've toured St Peter's and explored London and Spain- you have your name on a board of directors- tell me who is richer?"

After this many years, and this many snubs, most of us just accept she is "different"- but that doesn't mean we go out of our way any longer to be friendly. Some brick walls aren't worth trying to beat down with your head. I can promise you, if my work ever became a "must have" of the art world- she'd have it, but until then, it isn't worth even a glance to her- it hasn't been "approved" by her caste-system.

On the other hand, the rest of my siblings wish I'd again send works for Christmas gifts... It evens out.