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February 25, 2013

Sister Wendy, Happy 83rd Birthday!

Sister Wendy Beckett (born 25 February 1930) is a Catholic nun, who was born in South Africa and educated in Oxford where she was awarded a first class degree in English literature. She has lived a life of solitude for almost thirty years on the grounds of a monastery in England.

(Please click the image to enlarge)

I never knew about Sister Wendy until I started painting in 2001. Our local library carries a very decent amount of books and DVDs. So, I go there and check them out often, I have found many art resources.

I did not pay too much attention to the stories behind each masterpiece before. I was more interested in learning the composition or techniques, etc. One day, I saw Sister Wendy on a cover of a DVD in the art section and just out of curiosity I brought it back home to watch.

That was the most remarkable experience I had ever had. I was totally moved by her eloquence and charm, her profound spirit, her passion in art, her rich knowledge and outstanding description of sharing her views on each masterpiece and history of art. I never thought that I would enjoy it so much... forgot about everything else, watched it again and again... It really inspires me to creating my painting that each work of mine has a story to tell. Thanks goes to the BBC for discovering her talent and bringing old masterpieces into our life!

And even more, she never watches TV, she didn't have a script when she was telling all these incredible stories in front of the camera. Her simple manner and clear communication conveys her ideas directly to audiences. Otherwise, I wouldn't think that I could be able to enjoy it so much since English is my second language.

After many years studying facial expressions, and after many hours of study on her (the movie was made when she was eighty-two last year), I am able to paint a portrait of Sister Wendy's expression as she is telling a story. I share it my way of expressing my thanks to her from the bottom of my heart with my greatest respect for helping me learn about history of art. Hope my sincere message could reach her and brighten her day in some way.
(from my research, the sources from:

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