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Hello! It’s been a minute. I’ve spent the last four months adjusting to a new work position, as well as becoming enamored with a number of other personal interests. Making art hasn’t taken a total back seat, but the amount of time I’ve been devoting to it each day has been less than the usual.

To get this blog up to speed, here’s a summary of my last four months:

While I’ve never aspired to be a manager, I’ve somehow randomly ended up as a manager at the company I’ve been working at for the last 6 years. I can’t say manager duties are my ultimate passion, but I do enjoy working with people and resolving interpersonal conflicts, so overall the job has been satisfying. It’s also been a bit more demanding intellectually and emotionally, and I feel like I’m still learning how to balance those demands with the demands of my personal life.

If there’s one thing I know I enjoy doing, it’s a bit of amateur “detective” work. Starting last fall, I got really (like REALLY) into genealogy and spent god knows how many hours researching my family roots. It’s been a fun rollercoaster ride. I am especially proud of myself for finding my most elusive Finnish paternal great-grandmother, Marion. It took researching many records, family trees, and DNA matches of my uncle Bob (my dad’s brother), but I finally discovered her to be from the Torne River Valley region along the Sweden-Finland border in Lapland. My other paternal great-grandmother, Helen, was also from the Lapland region (Sodankylä), so it was very cool to see how deep the Lapland influence goes on my dad’s side.

Disclaimer: I’ve always been a bit into Finland. My dad’s side is almost entirely Finnish. Back in 2015, when I first learned I had this much Finnish heritage, I became nearly obsessed with the country, and I tried to teach myself the Finnish language. I learned how to roll my Rs and a few words here and there, but eventually gave up. Over the years, I’ve revisited learning this language, and recently I’ve reached a newfound level of commitment and momentum. I’ve been practicing every day these last four months, and I have signed up for a Finnish class, which will start late March. 🙂 I am SOOO excited!

In addition to researching my dad’s side, I’ve also looked more deeply into my mom’s side. There isn’t much, if any, research left to do on my mom’s side, but during these last four months, I discovered a bunch of photographs of family members that I have never seen before. These family photographs inspired me so much that I ended up returning to work on my Family Drawings series and completed a new drawing for it. Posted below is a drawing I did of one of my maternal great-grandmothers, Evelyn Carrie Kozirok, who by all accounts I’ve learned was a lovely person and an excellent sewist. 🙂

“Evelyn Arriving (or Leaving)” (graphite, 8 x 10 inches)

❤ For my birthday, my partner so generously gave me an N64, which has resulted in my going down a rabbit hole of nostalgia as I’ve revisited some of my old favorites: Super Smash Bros 64, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart, Kirby 64, etc, etc… This nostalgia has revived my interest in video games, and so I have been playing more video games in recent weeks, too.

LASTLY, I completed the two cat dolls and the boreal owl drawing for my Taiga Series I’d been working on. Posted below are those dolls and that drawing in completed form:

“Owl Music” (graphite, 9.5 x 6.5 inches)

Phew, well I think that’s all I have to share for now. I am hoping I’ll have more to show soon. I am currently in the process of sketching for another Taiga Series drawing and another Family Drawings drawing. So, my next finished piece will be for one of those series.

See ya soon!


Published by Steph Kunze

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