A few days ago Roger Ebert, whom I follow on Twitter and whose reviews I have enjoyed for decades, said that when he watches movies and they show books on shelves in the background, the shelves never contain any kind of film criticism. This immediately brought my Mabel painting to mind because an Ebert film guide is prominently displayed on one of the shelves. I belong to his online club, so I made the following comment to his latest newsletter:
Roger, in one of your tweets from the past day or two you mentioned that you never see film criticism books on the shelves in movie backgrounds. A few weeks ago I painted a watercolor of a little girl with excellent taste in books:
Your 1998 Video Companion makes a small but important cameo. :)
I love your newsletters. Long time lurker, first time commenter from St. Joseph, IL.
AND HERE IS WHAT HE WROTE BACK!!!
Dear Kelly: I visited your blog (linked by your name) and was entranced. I have a particular love of watercolors, especially by Edward Lear. I know a fair amount about the British watercolorists of the 19th century, and I must say I have never seen watercolors with the technical mastery you command. There is also so much heart, and such an embrace of color.
A London art dealer once advised me to try painting a few watercolors just to discover how hard it was, so much more difficult to control and correct than oil. I did. That deepens my respect for you.
I know exactly where "St. Joe" is, and have been there to visit friends. In my News-Gazette days I often wrote about Unity High School. I envy your students, and am cheering for your year of professional leave.
Club members, don't miss: [link]
And then he tweeted about it to his ***186,430*** followers.
Then he emailed me personally and said this:
I responded with much gratitude on the blog, and then tweeted your wonderful painting:
I have only 140 characters per tweet, room for "technical mastery" but not for "warmth and love" :(
My website is exploding now and I am bounding around the house. I was going to make some brownies this afternoon, but now I don't know if this will be possible. Thank you Melinda and Kate for buying that 1998 Video Guide. Thank you Ashley for taking that spectacular photo of Miss Mabel. Thank you, lil Mabel, for being my muse.
AND THANK YOU ROGER EBERT!