Recently I received a request from a Maria Klawe to use several of my photos as models for watercolor paintings. For complicated reasons my reaction to such requests is usually lukewarm at best, but I had the time so I did a little research on Maria. The more I read the more intrigued I became.

Maria 1) is an educator, like me, and she’s a highly visible advocate for women in STEM fields, which I like. 2) she’s Canadian by birth – my mother was Canadian and I have a soft spot for almost everything “Canada”, and 3) she founded The Aphasia Project, a collaborative project to study aphasia and develop cognitive aids for people suffering from it. After a nasty fall and devastating brain injury (TBI), my daughter Shannon still suffers from aphasia, years later. So for me, #3 was the hook.

I responded to Maria’s request and we made a “deal”.


Part of the deal is that she would do a somewhat stylized painting for me of this Burrowing Owl photo. It’s one of my favorite photos but for some reason I’d never hung a print of it in my home. So my wheels started turning as I thought about the possibility of hanging a painting next to a print of the photo that was used as a model for the painting.



Maria’s 13″ x 18″ painting arrived yesterday. I love it, in part because it’s so very different from the completely realistic photos I’m used to. So at this point, it’s my plan to have it framed and hang it next to a print of the original owl photo. I already have a wall picked out for them.

Maria is highly accomplished in a variety of fields. If you’re curious about her as I was, here’s a link to her Wikipedia page.



PS – I learned a lesson while I was waiting for my painting to arrive. Maria sent it to me from New York via USPS Priority Mail. It was supposed to be delivered to my home last Thursday but it didn’t arrive until yesterday, four days late. It was obvious to me that during those four days the online tracking information was inaccurate, to the point that it was completely unreliable. Almost all of it.

I won’t be using USPS Priority Mail anytime soon. Priority? Yeah, right.


Autor Ron Dudley


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Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.


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