Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Hello. I'm Dr. Lisa Belisle and you are listening to, or watching, Radio Maine. Today, I have with me artist Kim Case. Thank you for being here.


 

Kim Case:

Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Kim, you have been all over New England and also other parts of the country. You spent some time out on the West Coast and you're back here now. Why Maine?


 

Kim Case:

Maine is the best. My husband went to the College of the Atlantic and that was our anchor. Also, my parents happened to live in Cape Elizabeth (Maine) so that brought us north to spend some time with them.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

But you originally grew up away from the coast. You now live in Cape Elizabeth, near the coast, but you originally grew up in the mountains. 


 

Kim Case:

That's right. Central New Hampshire, the Moultonborough area.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Do you miss the mountains?


 

Kim Case:

Well, we were fortunate enough last year to purchase a home up there -  in Tamworth, New Hampshire. We've been spending a lot more time up there.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So, it sounds like you get the best of both worlds. 


 

Kim Case:

Yes. And it's great to introduce my son to more hiking and what the White Mountains have to offer instead of just the ocean.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Just the ocean… just that beautiful thing that most of us enjoy as we go up and down on our drives. Tell me about your son. How does he like living in Cape Elizabeth?


 

Kim Case:

He loves it. He loves the school system. He's now a soccer player. So that's a new thing for me as a mom being introduced to travel sports, traveling around, making team meetings, things like that. It's a whole other aspect of being a parent I hadn’t seen coming. It keeps you busy.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yes. Even at the age of 10, that can be a little intense.


 

Kim Case:

There's lots going on all the time. But it keeps things organized, right?


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yes. I think I remember.  As you and I were talking before, all of my children are older now. And so this is a little bit in my rear view mirror, but I remember when I first hit the childhood team sports era. I was thinking, they were just little, this is a lot of effort to keep things organized around them, you know, so that we can then go stand on the sidelines and watch them for hours while we're wearing our heavy sweaters. It's October, we have gloves on already.


 

Kim Case:

Oh, it's really funny. That's so true. You’re committed though. You sign up, you’ve got to show up or otherwise it's kind of not a great message for the kids if you're not going to be there as often as you can. But, the standing on the sidelines? It’s hilarious. We've all got our chairs. Now they make the chairs with the little hoods over them so that you can escape from the sun or the rain. And I've seen people with plastic, it's like a little tent that they set up next to a soccer game to enjoy it. 


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I guess I missed that whole era. We barely had chairs at that point. It would have been really nice to have something to hold the rain off instead of just an umbrella. So how do you balance full-time parenting with being an artist? 


 

Kim Case:

It was a lot tougher pre-pandemic when my husband was traveling and then I really needed to be a stay at home mom and would paint only while he was in school. The pandemic came and it all shifted. It became something different with his having to do remote learning. We chose to be remote learners. We were given instructions in the morning. And then, it's up to you as a parent to make sure that the actual schooling happens. So I learned a lot of math. And, I learned a new way to learn math which I had no idea they were teaching. And things shifted. I have a studio at the house, a small one, it used to be a pool house. My husband had transformed it into a little studio space. But I couldn't really work out of there anymore because I needed to be watching what was happening with my son before things got out of hand.


 

Kim Case:

If I wasn’t there. things would get really off track. So we created a school room out of my studio and one half would be where my son worked and the other half is where I worked. And that shifted things even more for me because I normally work in oil paints and I had to switch that up and use acrylics.  I didn't want my son breathing the fume.  I  kind of said, okay, I'm doing this. I had an air purifier in the room but even with that when you come in you could smell the oil paints. It's an artist's space so there were chemicals in the air. So I switched to acrylics which are much more mild. You still don't want to eat them, but they don't have the same level of fumes. And with that, I had to try something else because I found I wasn't able to paint the same subject matter as I do with oil. It just wasn't coming easily. I was fighting the materials too much. Since acrylics dry much faster you have to work quicker. I'd always been interested in doing some abstracts and that led to a different series down the line as I adapted or tried to adapt to the times.  

Now he's back in school and I can begin oil painting again.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

That's really interesting because those of us who don't spend time painting wouldn't necessarily think that the difference between the drying time of a paint would challenge you in ways that you're describing.


 

Kim Case:

Yes. So oil painting, like the one here in your studio, has multiple layers. There's the sketch underneath, they call it a grisaille, which is a tonal painting underneath. Then you're adding layers to create different effects of luminosity. So where I want to keep things bright, I don't have so much underpainting underneath. Whereas over here, I might've laid on the underpainting a lot thicker with acrylics. Acrylics actually can be much more opaque. I'm going to get myself into trouble here because I'm no professional expert on them. But they're much more pigmented. So what you lay down is what you get. I had a really hard time kind of picturing how that would work, where I'm so used to the multiple layers. I would try to work doing that, but then the paints would dry much more quickly before I had a chance to work in the extra layer that I was going to do. It was a fight. So I was like, this isn't going to work. I need to rethink this. How am I going to work with these? People do it all the time, but I wasn't able to make it work smoothly.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Looking at this piece that you did, I can see now what you're describing. I can see the difference of almost the dappling of light underneath the trees and the different gradations of tone that you're describing on the tree trunks. And, I can see how that would be challenging if you had in your mind how you were going to set that up, then are trying to use a completely different type of paint to make that happen.


 

Kim Case:

Yes. When you are an artist and you have essentially an image, a vision of what you want to communicate, the longer you work at it and become more familiar with your tools, the more quickly you can communicate what you're trying to get to. And the more successful of a communicator you can become. But, if you're trying new different materials you have to have a lot of respect for that new material and take it into account. You need to learn it. I used to be a photographer. That's how I first started out in art. Every time I had a new camera, I couldn't just assume that I could show up at a gig with the new camera and expect it to work for me. I had to really study it, learn it, and understand its quirks. Otherwise everything would come out a mess. You need to have respect for your tools. And so as when I decided to become an oil painter, I really had to learn that process, learn those tools. And then again as I started doing acrylics. I had to dig right in and learn something brand new.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Which of course wasn't really anticipated. It wasn't planned at all.


 

Kim Case:

No, not for anybody.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Did you take any lessons away from the acrylics that you are now using as you come back to oils?


 

Kim Case:

I have a deep appreciation for those who use acrylics regularly.  And I miss some of the freedom of it. It's paint and water, a lot like simple watercolors. You don't generally have to do so much underpainting, but yeah, I definitely have appreciation for those who can work with it easily.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Talk to me about the subject matter in this piece here in the studio with us.


 

Kim Case:

So this is right below the White mountains, and this is probably mountain pass. The Conway Chicara is probably off this way. This is a hillside farm that I drive by on my way to a cottage that my husband and I have up in Tamworth. I've just always loved it. My grandfather grew up coming to this area as a little boy from Philadelphia and one of his mentors in college was the man who lived at this farm. So there's always a little connection there actually. I've never been on this farm, it's owned by some other family now. It just has a special spot in my heart for that family connection and being able to drive by the whites, which I love so much.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So when you're describing which mountain, it's interesting to me. For some people all the islands look the same, but for us, of course, one island is not the same as another island. When you look at this mountain and this painting, does it make you think of the hikes that you either take now with your son and your husband or that you used to take before?


 

Kim Case:

Oh, sure. Yeah, I take some liberties with the mountains. So I'm not sure that anybody would come along and recognize them, but for me it has a definite recognition value. And yes, absolutely driving through, the first time we see Chicara there's a contest in the car to see who sees it first. We make a big shout out, you know, like “Chicara!” and you win five points.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Did you happen to have any sadness when the old man's face on the mountain fell off?


 

Kim Case:

Right, yeah! Well, I was living in Oregon at the time, Portland, Oregon. I was living in the other Portland. And I heard about that and, oh man, that was really sad. Have they tried to fix it? I don't even know if they tried to? 


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I would guess not. I don't know how you put rocks on a rock face.


 

Kim Case:

I thought there was some talk about trying to manufacture it back into place.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well now you and I will leave this conversation and go look it up and see if they put the face back on the man of the mountain. We'll Google it! 

I think that when I look at this piece, it's the swing that really speaks to me. This idea of a beautiful day sitting on the swing, just being a kid again, kind of free looking at what's around you, and not being needed anywhere. Do you find that when people look at your pieces that they will come to you with stories of their own lives?


 

Kim Case:

I think for sure people are drawn to things that echo for them. That's actually what keeps me painting, the stories that I make up in my head. I studied journalism at school which took me into photojournalism. I am always interested in people's stories. And when I make paintings, a lot of the ones that interest me the most and the ones that seem to move quickest, are the ones where you just have a feeling. Like somebody is about to turn off a light in the window or that someone's just walked along the path, or maybe they just left the swing. Or maybe they didn't just leave the swing and the swing has been quiet for a few years as the child's gone. So yeah, I’m full of stories like that. I think of things as they go and they kind of keep me engaged in the painting. Because painting, especially in oils this size, can be such a long process that I come up with all sorts of things that keep me engaged in the piece.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, it's interesting that you would say that because I hadn't really considered that before. But, when you paint, you really have to be intensely focused on something for some prolonged period of time.


 

Kim Case:

Yep.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

And that's not easy for everyone.


 

Kim Case:

No. I found talking to different people, and I'm sure you've heard many different people talk about their process. I have friends who listen to nothing. I've talked to people who watch TV while they work. Which, I can't imagine because I'm too busy making up a story with my own painting, I can't involve that. I listen to music generally to keep me going, or sometimes a book on tape, if it's getting really dry. Then I actually know that that painting isn't going to be very good because I'm distracted or I want to be distracted from it. So then it's like, ah, no, that's funny. I just realized that right now. That's a really interesting point. I really just realized that. If I'm listening to a book on tape or wanting a story as I'm working on the painting, it probably isn't one that I'm that engaged in and I'm probably better off just letting it go until I find one that I'm just happy working on for itself.



 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yeah. So the next time you're at an opening and somebody wants to talk to you about your painting. I hope they don't ask you if this one you were listening to a book on tape to.


 

Kim Case:

That's right. Then I'm in trouble. Of Course there are no hard and fast rules. I'm sure there's flexibility within that. But yeah, generally.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So when did you realize when you were growing up in New Hampshire that you are attracted to journalism and the visual arts, that you wanted to actually make a life of this?


 

Kim Case:

I have a really strong memory of my mother encouraging me to draw and of being successful at that. I remember they took us, we lived in central New Hampshire, but one weekend they took us to Camden for one of those sailing, overnight trips. And I was drawing as fast as I could, all the sailboats I was seeing and the sailors doing work. And one of the crew of the sailboat that we were on wanted to buy some of my drawings. I was maybe, I don't know, 12 or something. I had no idea that people actually could sell their work, if you weren't Monet. It  just kinda clicked from there that this was something that maybe I needed to take a closer look at.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

When you worked as a journalist and then also as a photographer, you did a lot of commercial work and you did a little bit of wedding photography?


 

Kim Case:

Very much. Yeah. I was a wedding photographer for five or six years. I had a studio on Newbury street in Boston, and I loved it. It was a ton of fun. I got to travel quite a bit and met amazing people. It was fun. I love pretty things. I love pretty flowers. I love the whole being part of somebody's love story. We see it everywhere now, but back then, there were very few photographers who were doing photojournalism and applying that to their work. And I was one of the first folks who was selling that as my genre. And it really resonated with people because it was all about the story. Again, the story, what is the story of the wedding? What's the flow of it, who were the characters involved? Then at the end, I would create this book that would be this beautiful, magical book of the photographs of them looking their absolute most amazing with all the people that they love most in the world.


 

Kim Case:

I mean, who wouldn't want to be part of that, right. It was just astounding. In addition to being paid really well to do it and getting to travel to these gorgeous places. I also got to know Cape Cod really well. So yeah, I loved it. Eventually when I got married, it became really challenging. It takes a ton of energy to show up and be your best and have all your equipment working perfectly. At some point I realized I had had enough of that kind of life and was ready for something new. And so I eventually went into art and publishing from there. 


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So tell me about that epic of your life, the magazine piece and how you applied your skills in that setting. 


 

Kim Case:

So there was a transition point between being a wedding photographer. I was living in Portsmouth, and wasn't quite sure what was next. I knew I loved art. I knew I loved photography and I had a vision of opening a photography gallery where most of the work would be photographs. Unfortunately, my timing was really bad and we had that tech bubble that burst and the market was really struggling. I found I wasn't able to sell the photography of all my friends' that I was hoping to move along, and I wasn’t selling so much of my own work as a photographer. But art was selling, paintings and drawings, people were still investing in that. The gallery I had was called the case gallery on market street. Portsmouth had lots of art, and that was my first real dip toe dip into the art business, and the art world again.


 

Kim Case:

So I plugged away at that for about almost two years. But I was not a retail person, that  just takes a certain kind of mindset. And that was just not me. So someone walked in, offered to buy it, and I couldn't resist. It seemed like the answer to a lot of things. And then almost within the same week, someone introduced me to the new publisher at accent magazine in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was looking for someone to take over, running her magazine as editor. The relationship started as a conversation. And I thought maybe I would just come in and help her on the creative side. But she liked what I had to offer. And she liked that I had a lot of contacts in the community and that I had a lot of energy and was really interested in working with, and, and exploring this new field for me. And she said, you want to run this thing? And I said, let's do it. And so we started off and I had a blast. The people were really great. It was a lot of getting to know the entire state of New Hampshire, and getting to know the sea coast. Yeah, I'm not sure what else to say about that. It was great. 


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So how did you get from there to then doing what seems to be a much more solo pursuit?


 

Kim Case:

That was a more practical experience. When we moved up to Cape Elizabeth I, we went primarily to be closer to my parents who were having major health problems. They're better now, but at the time it was looking kind of iffy and like they might need a lot more support. So when we moved to Cape, I thought I would continue in publishing in some form, but my husband's career, working for a software company out of California, at that point was really taking off and required a lot of travel. And he had been amazing and had built for me, many studios. He had built for me the gallery. It was time for me to slow it down and let him fly.


 

Kim Case:

So I decided I was going to work on my art and see where that led me, work on being a mom, see where that led us, and yeah commit to that for a while. It actually has been wonderful. It's felt really fortunate that we're able to support each other this way, and that it's worked out so well. That he's able to do what he needs to do for his work, and I'm able to actually stay at home and work on my art and raise my child at the same time. It's been a real blessing.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Do you miss this other aspect of your profession that is more kind of outward facing and connecting with the community and having lots of conversations? I mean, what you're describing is kind of the extroverts dream, I think, and then you moved into what probably is more of an introvert's dream, I would guess.


 

Kim Case:

Well, all of that is absolutely true. Yeah, the community, the constant conversations, the excitement of getting a publication out the door in time, very intense, very exciting. And you know, when you're sitting alone and it's just you trying to make that one painting come to life, that's another whole experience, but I actually have found a more introverted side of myself. It's almost now a push for me to get in the car and go to the gallery opening because I need to be there to support other artists and to put my face forward. But I was like, oh, I'm more of an introvert than I thought I was in some ways. So, yes, I definitely miss the conversations and the engagement when I came to Cape, but I took on what was pretty much a volunteer role as being publisher for the local newspaper there, the Cape Courier, and I'm still on the board, so that kind of keeps me aware of a little bit of what's going on and keeps me a little engaged. But it's not the same kind of huge push.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So would you consider yourself to be more, by nature, extroverted or introverted?


 

Kim Case:

I think more of an introvert. I am very happy spending time alone. I'm very happy thinking and working on things and being hyper-focused on what's in front of me. I don't necessarily need other focuses, input, or energy around me to keep me going through the day, which I understand is what an extrovert is about. Actually, a phone call with a friend more than keeps me going while  if I go to a party, I'll have a good time and then I'll want to sleep for a week. So, yeah, I think that has worked with the work that I do. I'm not sure how an extrovert could really survive all the intensity of being alone day after day working on painting, but I'm sure there are plenty of folks who do that. 


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, the reason I asked this is that there was a book that was published within, I don't know, the last 10 years, something like that, that was about introverts. I consider myself to be an introvert by nature, an extrovert probably by training. And I think a lot of us felt validation with this particular book that was written about being an introvert. A lot more people are accepting that being quiet with your own self is really okay. There's nothing wrong with you. It's just who you are, and that's fine. But what I've been fascinated by just in my own life and my own trajectory, is that I actually do get joy from both. Exactly as you've described. I really enjoy talking to people and in my job I've kind of trained myself to do that better, but I'm also perfectly happy to be completely by myself for hours at a time. And I think that that's one of the things that maybe gets left out of the conversation. You can go through phases in your life where one is more than the other. You can train yourself to be a little bit more one way or the other. 


 

Kim Case:

Absolutely, and I think what you say about the stages of life is really true as well, because as a younger person, I think we're just set up hormonally to be constantly energetically searching for your community, and for your partner. And so spending time alone kind of creates that anxiety feeling like I should be out there, engaging, but as we get older and those things become more settled, those questions become answered. I think who we really are, as people, emerges with maturity.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, I do think that that's something that many people struggle with over time, right. What's the core and elemental nature of ourselves? And is it something that we had when we were younger and somehow kind of paint over and then have to sand away to get back to when we're older?Are there pieces of a puzzle that start to fit together in some way? So I enjoy talking with people who have gone through a process like you have, because you obviously started when you were 12 with a sense that, okay, I like this, this draws me in and also other people value it. And then you've kind of had a curving path that's led you back to that 12 year old self.


 

Kim Case:

Yeah. It's amazing how many artists I've talked to and met who have had an aha moment at some point early on, you know, and that's not just artists, right. It's many people who are kind of like, oh yeah. They kind of had this little window into what calls to them down the road. And it is amazing what kind of trajectory you can have,  sometimes in the direction you think it will, and other times you end up in Portland, Oregon. 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, how did you end up in Portland, Oregon?


 

Kim Case:

There was a boy involved. I was actually in Washington, DC. I was working for a magazine doing photojournalism for them, but missing my college boyfriend and I called up and he said you want to come out, it's great out here? I had been offered a full-time position at the magazine at that time. I'd been working as an intern, but I couldn't even begin to pay for an apartment on what you would get for a photojournalism job. So that sounded pretty interesting. So I headed on out there.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

It's funny how many stories begin with there was a boy or there was a girl. It's not an uncommon to hear.


 

Kim Case:

Well, it's one of the most powerful as a young person, one of the most powerful pulls, right. We're looking for that partner. We're looking for that place in our world. And who are we going to make that place with?


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

And yet you did not end up with this college boyfriend.


 

Kim Case:

No. He was a true wild spirit. I met him when I was working for the Appalachian Mountain Club up in New Hampshire. And I loved hiking, but I learned to really love hiking with him. He was just fearless and would get up at the crack of dawn and hike all day, every day if he could. And so he wanted to experience bigger mountains, bigger vistas out in Oregon after the Whites. And so we had a ton of fun exploring the wilderness out there. But that wasn't meant to be. I wasn't making any money trying to find work as a photojournalist in Portland, Oregon. I actually found it a really intensely male dominated world that I was having to fight a lot. So I took on a job at fidelity investments in finance of all things and was making my way up through finance. And that was the antithesis of what this boy was interested in, but I needed to put a roof over my head. And so yeah, he went the other way and I eventually met my husband.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, that was what I was going to get to next is you didn't end up with one boy, but you ended up somehow with this other man, the man that you were meant to be with, apparently.


 

Kim Case:

Yeah. So my boyfriend at the time was very good friends with a man who was on the East Coast and when the boyfriend left, I stayed friends with this man Mike, and he introduced me to the man who would become my husband back on the East Coast. And yeah, so I got to keep the friends and met my husband in the process.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yeah. And the first boyfriend not only gave you all these great experiences, but somehow led you to the person that you would end up having a future with.


 

Kim Case:

That's right. It's funny how, if I hadn't been out there, I would never have seen the picture of my husband, Tim, on the refrigerator of this friend's house and say, oh, who's that? And I literally shivered when I saw that. And I said, who is that? And he said, oh, that's my friend, Tim, you don't want to meet him. And I said, really, why not? He's like, oh, because then you'll fall in love and then you'll break up and then I'll lose you both as friends. So no, you can't meet him. I said, what? But he was serious. Until my company  eventually ended up moving me to back to Boston. Maybe a month after I returned, Mike was out there on a business trip and Tim was giving him a ride to the airport and they said, Hey, you want to have lunch? I said, really, you want me to meet your friend? And he said, oh yeah, sure. That'd be fine. And man, we really hit it off and spent every weekend together for a year after that.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So there's a kind of a theme here. This unavoidability of something that's meant to happen. I mean, not only for you as an artist, but also for you in finding this very special person in your life.


 

Kim Case:

Absolutely. Oh, there's a definite river of fate running through life, I'm sure. It's almost like magnetic poles in different directions and to fight the magnet feels disruptive. I feel like we almost kind of bounced from pole to pole as we go through life, in big ways and small.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Are there other big ways that you can think of in your own life?


 

Kim Case:

Nothing's really coming to mind, but you certainly know that when you hit them right? Naming my son, Finn, I had no idea where that name came from. We'd been talking about other names, but when I was in labor, the name just kept coming to me. And I finally had to write it out just to be sure. And that was it. It was, I said, I'm sorry, honey. I know you don't like the name so much, but this is it. This is what he wants to be called. And he got on board eventually, but it is a little weird having Kim, Tim and Finn in your family dynamic.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Oh my goodness. I hadn't really even thought about that.


 

Kim Case:

Well, actually it was really funny because I did get to meet Barack Obama at one point before he became president. And Tim was with me and he said, ah, Kim and Tim, very cute.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I guess you mixed it up a little bit by naming him Finn with an N, instead of something with an M. 


 

Kim Case:

Yeah. That would have been bad. Definitely bad.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So thank you for that, that small amount of distraction, I guess, from the theme


 

Kim Case:

And technically it's Finnegan, so,


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Okay, all right. So that's good. So you did, you moved off oils to acrylics for just long enough, with your child and his naming. When you look at Finnegan, and by the way, that's my nephew's name, also an interesting coincidence, as it's not a terribly usual name. But when you see him as a 10 year old, do you ever wonder what his pole will be, what kinds of things he will encounter that will become something that he'll maybe stick with, maybe come back to? 


 

Kim Case:

Absolutely all the time, you know, as you watch the move from thing to thing early on, it's very predictable, right? First, it's trains. No, first it's dinosaurs, then it's trains and then it's Legos and we're still in the Lego's phase. And we're slowly moving into, well, not so slowly, we moved into Minecraft last year. So these things are, these steps so far are pretty pretty standard. So he hasn't shown me yet what that thing is that is going to pull him into his passion. It's going to be very interesting to see where that direction comes.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yeah. Well, we happen to be recording this on my son's birthday, which is October 1st. Obviously this will air far in the future, but it does make me think of him. He's older than Finn by a fair margin, but it does make me think of when he was younger and the things that I would see in him that I would wonder, because, you know, as a parent, you're always thinking, oh, you want to do soccer, let's do soccer. You know, you, you want to draw, okay, let's be an artist. So you always want to open every door for them, but you don't really know which door they're going to enter, which door they're going to enter right now. And so, especially with having three older children, kind of seeing where they're coming back to is really very fascinating,


 

Kim Case:

It must be so cool to look back to see and be able to have the trajectory and the story is not finished. If there's more to come, more families and things to engage. Who are going to be their partners, what are their children going to be? Yeah. I had a story. I kind of lost it, but yes, you make a very good point for sure.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I can grab that story and like pull it out of you. Because I’m sure it’s such a good one.


 

Kim Case:

Yes. What you're talking about, the children revealing themselves, really resonates. Also one of the things I'm learning 10 years into the process is not to over encourage, you know, that he'll show a little interest in something. And I used to be like, here are five new Lego sets of that kind of thing that you're now interested in or here's, oh, you're interested in that kind of math. Well, let's do that all night long. And what I'm discovering is that if I create a little bit of resistance to that, or if I let the resistance to learning, that's already there just be, he will walk through the door and enjoy that process so much more than if I presented it to him and gave him what I can already see, he will get to.


 

Kim Case:

But if he discovers that himself it’s so much the better. Even thinking about that as a child, my dad was very indifferent to my art and my mom was slightly encouraging, but they sure didn't make it easy for me. When it came to choosing a college, I had to fight to get to this art school and to make that worthwhile. And now one of the things I'm most proud of in my life was finding a really good art school that did both. I attended the museum school in Boston with their joint program, with Tufts university. Finding something that both satisfied my parents' desire for me to have a liberal arts degree and got me into art school where I really wanted to be and knew that I would be most at home. Even to this day it is a source of pride, because they sure weren't putting up with it before.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So note to all parents, try not to make things too easy for your children, because it's not going to get you what you think it's going to get you. And this comes from Kim Case.


 

Kim Case:

That’s right, the professional, the pro of parenting with one 10 year old.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, I think what you're describing is not that different than the idea that if you have a boyfriend and your parents don't like them, they should never say, I really don't like your boyfriend, because that means that you will like that boyfriend forever and ever my parents never said anything about any of my boyfriends and I would make choices that made the most sense for me. So I think that what you're saying lines up properly with a lot of people's life experiences.


 

Kim Case:

Yeah. Not only is it the discovery, but there's also the aspect of we're built to resist our parents eventually. Right, in order to launch. I think Young talked a lot about how you have to kill your mother, you know, essentially to get yourself born into the world past that desire. So a lot of teenagers spend so much time, it feels like a waste of time, you know, all the fighting we do with our parents, but eventually it's all in the aid of figuring out, as you were just talking about who we are, who the heck are you? And a big part of that is, well, I know I am not my parents, They’re older people. I am a young person. I know I'm not them. So how do I figure out who I am? And that's the first thing initially is to push against that? I think.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, I have learned a lot from our conversation.


 

Kim Case:

Thank you.


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

It's been a lot of fun. I really enjoy your work. It is wonderful. It's been interesting to talk to you as a non painter about the difference between oil and acrylics. I think a lot of people who listen to the podcasts aren't artists themselves, and to know more about the process is interesting. You have to have synergy with your tools or else you're not going to be able to succeed. People who are interested in seeing your work can go to the Portland Art Gallery which I encourage them to do. And Kim has said that she goes to the art openings. So this will be her extrovert side. I encourage you to go visit with Kim at the art openings at the Portland Art Gallery. No pressure Kim! Now she's going to have to show up. 


 

Kim Case:

I have to go to every single one for the rest of my life. 


 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

You will see artist Kim Case at the Portland Art Gallery, either in her painting form or her human form. I encourage you to spend some time getting to know her either way. She is delightful. It's been my pleasure to talk with you today.


 

Kim Case:

Thank you, Lisa.