Farewell to Special Friends

Ellen, Karsten and Mary
Ellen, Karsten and Mary

Saying farewell to my mentors.
During 1981 Mary and I were blessed to spend time with Karsten Topelmann and wife Ellen Sprogo-Topelmann, highly acclaimed professional artists from the USA holidaying on the picturesque island of Cyprus. I was stationed at Episkopi and had the pleasure of their company and benefit of valued criticism on my efforts as an amateur painter.

Subsequently that lovely couple became my mentors; visiting us in Germany, Hong Kong and Scotland. Then, following retirement from the army, we spent time with them at their beautiful home and gallery in Ephraim, Door County….an artists’ colony on Lake Michigan.

Sadly Ellen died in August 2016 aged 90 and then recently we learned that Karsten, at the age of 92, had passed away in February. Together they were a great team living happy, colourful lives, doing what they loved most and through their personalities and art brought sunshine into the lives of so many others.

We all need and appreciate encouragement in our endeavours, whatever they be, although regrettably not everyone receives it. I can honestly say however that If it hadn’t been for Karsten and Ellen’s belief in me and their wonderful friendship, I wouldn’t be where I am today.