Sunday, August 17, 2014

Case Study #13 - Honor Dipping Guacamole

"Honor Dipping Guacamole" 30" x 24" oil on canvas
I met Honor a few months after the Cupid Undie's Run in Omaha. She lives in Council Bluffs and has NF. She participated in the race with her niece and together the two of them raised over $1500 for the Children's Tumor Foundation. It wasn't until she saw the Omaha World Herald article that Casey Logan wrote about my painting project that she connected with me through Facebook. We met for dinner at La Mesa's, a Mexican restaurant near my house and enjoyed enchiladas and margaritas. It was nice to meet someone who understood and who has lived with NF. Someone you can swap local neurologist and neurosurgeon stories with.

About a month later, she dropped me a line and we met for dinner at Chili's. I cajoled her into the idea that I should paint her portrait in oil. Although, I didn't realize when I proposed the idea just how much she enjoyed fresh guacamole dip. I had originally planned on painting her doing something else like reading a Stephen King book or something. She then mentioned that the guac dip was the real reason for meeting at Chili's (my company was most likely second to the fresh guac dip! haha). I told her to eat naturally as I started clicking pictures of her dipping tortilla chips into the bowl. The people around us started murmuring wondering what I was doing and what was going on with all the photos. I had to get out of our booth and walk around getting all sorts of different angles of her dipping the chips. Our waiter seemed to think I should want to paint his portrait as well or maybe that is just the way waiters try to get better tips. I just smiled and joked "Maybe some other time, for now, I'm interested in Honor and that dip."
Here is the main reference photo I will use,
although I'm going to turn her head and have a more 3/4ths view.
Please note the margarita--I think I will omit that in the painting...haha.

We both talked a long time and enjoyed our dinner. Additionally, Honor is planning on joining my Many Faces of NF 2015 team next February and already has ideas about what our costumes should be. I'm going to let her coordinate that...and I'll just keep painting and just wonder what in the world I shall embarrass myself in next winter!

About NF in Honor's words:

I was diagnosed with NF when I was six years old.  I didn't really start having any problems with it until I was in my 20's, that's when the tumors started showing up. When I was in my 30's I had to have a surgery on my neck to remove one particularly large tumor that was growing into my spinal cord. What started out as a 6 hour surgery turned into a 10 hour surgery as the tumor was much more involved than they originally thought. But they got it all and I haven't had problems with my neck since then. In the last year I have had 5 surgeries to another large tumor that was growing on the outside of my shoulder and several small tumors from my hands, arms and the bottom of my foot.

I'm lucky enough to have an amazing group of family and friends who have been very supportive through all the surgeries, MRI's and many doctor appointments.

Even with all that, I've still had lots of fun, like running in the Cupids Undie Run which raises money and awareness for NF. Together my niece and I raised $1,500.00 which I was really proud of. Plus the added benefit of making new friends. I can't wait until next year, I'm already planning my crazy undie outfit.

I also love to travel. I've been to Minnesota, Savannah, Lake of the Ozarks and New Orleans. My favorite place was Estes Park in CO where I got to attend the Shining Ball at the Stanley Hotel over Halloween weekend.  I think I even heard a few ghosts.  But my dream trip would be to Ireland. We have traced our family tree on my dads side back to County Sligo and I would love to go see where it it.

Overall I dont let my NF get me down, I just deal with any issues that come up because in the end NF is what I have not who I am.