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Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Burmese Temple, copyright Teresa ParodMy older sister, Teresa Parod, unveiled her new Web site tonight, with a URL of -- appropriately enough -- TeresaParod.com.

Teresa, an Evanston, Ill.-based artist and art instructor, has posted many examples of her oil paintings and drawings on her site.

Teresa has visited 31 countries on 5 continents, far outdoing her younger brother, who has only visited 3 countries on 1 continent. But I least I can say I've bicycled in more states and Canadian provinces than she has!

Her vast travels have influenced her work, as indicated by the painting shown at left, "Burmese Temples." But she also draws from influences closer to home, such as the Howard Street EL Station in Chicago and the Amtrak trains that pass the farms of central Illinois as they cruise between Chicago and St. Louis.

Teresa's travels to Indonesia influenced her to join the Indonesian Performing Arts Group in Chicago, and she has danced in many of the group's shows.

Some of Teresa's bicycling adventures are chronicled on this site, her 1985 trek on the Bicycling the Magnificent Miles of Illinois -- the first weeklong trip Teresa and I ever did -- and her 2004 trek with her two children, Julius and Sereana, on the West Shoreline Tour in Michigan. Teresa and Julius are planning to ride Bike Virginia this year, but I won't be able to join them this year.

Wesley, copyright Teresa ParodI feel blessed to have had two gifted artists in my family -- Teresa and my late brother, Wes Kramer, shown in Teresa's drawing at left. My younger sister, Karen Brooks, also can draw rather well, although she didn't pursue a career in the arts. While I cannot draw or paint as well as Teresa does or Wes did, I feel fortunate that God gave me enough of an artistic eye to take photos, design newspaper pages and create Web sites.

At least one of my friends have marveled how artistically influenced we were for being the children of a steelworker. Well, my late father, Henry "Gene" Kramer may have toiled for years as a blue-collar worker and on the family farm near Brighton, Ill., but he frequently drew and occasionally painted. My grandmother, Bertha Kramer, also was quite a prolific artist. They, however, did not have the opportunities that Teresa, Wes and I had. Even my mother, Jean Kramer, who often complained about not being able to draw, has an artistic eye. I remember a photo she took of a tree during the fall and how well-composed it was, even though she had never received formal education in the Rule of Thirds or other aspects of formal composition.

I hope you'll take the time to visit my sister's Web site and enjoy her work. I'm also grateful she included a link to my site, and I will insert links to her site on the BAMMI and Shoreline pages.

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