Barbara Andolsek and Claudia Ward
"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" said Rick (Humphrey Bogart) to Captain Renault (Claude Rains) at the end of the movie "Casablanca" (1942) as they walk off into the fog - one of the most memorable moments in movie history. Rick and Louis were an unlikely pair to become friends - an American expat nightclub owner and a corrupt Vichy official, and yet, they join forces at the end creating a friendship that could make positive things happen.
After I was "retired" from my job in banking in New York, I was encouraged to start this blog and began to follow several others to learn and for enjoyment. Through these channels, I came to know a wonderful painter who lives almost 3, 000 miles away in California, named Barbara Andolsek. (Read the details in the "Someone Painted My Picture!" post.) Barbara and I chatted like pen pals for several years. We've shared our work and lives, reveling in the unlikely friendship that developed solely through the internet. In December 2013, we spent Christmas in southern California and afterwards drove up the coast to San Francisco to celebrate the New Year, on the way stopping just outside Los Angeles to meet Barbara and her husband Tim. What a treat that was for us all, to finally chat face-to-face - you couldn't shut either of us up! And here we are now another three years later, still sharing and caring, despite the distance between us.
This "unlikely pairing" between Barbara and me has also been serendipitous and productive. Over the six years that we've known each other, Barbara has used twenty of my images as the basis for twenty of her paintings. Being one who always wanted to paint but couldn't, I love seeing Barbara's paintings ... they fill me with immense satisfaction and joy. Recently, I created a slide show of my photos and her paintings for us to keep, and we agreed that I would share it here as well. We feel so fortunate to have this "beautiful friendship" and hope you enjoy the show.
Photos & Slide Show by Claudia Ward
Paintings by Barbara Andolsek
Music: "Friendship" from "Anything Goes" - Piper Tracks