2023 Wreath Distribution at the Cemetery

December 16th 2023 On the oddest of all weather days in Minnesota, with rain falling, we headed out to the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls to be a part of hundreds of people that volunteered to place wreaths at the headstones of our fallen heroes who are laid to rest there. Unlike last year, there was no snow … Read More

The Best of Him Comes to My House

December 16th 2023 Nearing the end of the craziest two weeks the painting comes home for Christmas and to start the New Year. Not on just any day, but the day that we place live pine Christmas wreaths at the grave sites of the thousands of US Veterans laid to rest at the Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery Little Falls.I did … Read More

The Salon Was A Big Hit 2023

October 14th 2023 The Charles Kapsner Salon 2023 has officially begun. The opening night was simple, grand, and engaging. For one of the first times in my life, I was the first one there and got to watch as the food was crafted and laid out in the most artistic and beautiful way by a top food marketing expert and … Read More

The Best of Him at 15th annual Kapsner Salon at Great River Arts!

Opening Reception, October 13th 6 – 9 pm The Best of Him,by Artist Charles KapsnerCommissioned by JoyGenea Schumer Furnstahl, on display at the 15th annual Kapsner Salon at Great RiverArts! SPECIAL Opening receptionFriday, October 13th, 6 – 9 pm Great River Arts!122 1st St SE,Little Falls, MN 56345 Come join us for wine tasting, great food presented by Charles’s niece, … Read More

Time for the Varnish to Seal the Painting for Years to Come

October 5th 2023 I received this email from Charles yesterday. “I varnished the painting yesterday. Looks Fab. Cheers ????, Charles “ It is the last and final step in the whole process. He explained to me months ago as to why it was so important to wait to varnish it. I don’t recall exactly, but I will share what I do … Read More

Ground Breaking for the Minnesota Military & Veterans Museum

September 18th 2023 CLICK HERE for a PDF of the dedication ceremony program. This weekend I had the rare and unique opportunity to attend the groundbreaking of the soon-to-be-new Minnesota Military & Veterans Museum located in Central Minnesota near Camp Ripley. It was a lovely, sunny with a chance of a floating cloud covering the sun in the blue blue … Read More

Preparing to have it shown at the Minnesota Military Museum

JUNE 23rd 2023 To my total surprise and appreciation, I got a call from Charles Kapsner today explaining that his recent installation of the Women of the National Guard to the Minnesota Military Museum was complete and that he was talking with the director Randle about “The Best of Him” and how it would look nice at the museum.  They … Read More

Memorial Day at the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery Little Falls

It was a beautiful hot day, hotter than normal for Central Minnesota. My intention was to leave by 9:00am to be there by 10. Plans needed to change, due to the weather and my husband’s client schedules, so instead of him coming with me for the day, which would have been a long and boring day for him, he headed … Read More

The Best of Him brochure to print and share

The Best of Him Brochure to print and share CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRINTABLE PDF Page 3 – The Best of Him by Artist Charles Kapsner & Commissioned by JoyGenea Schumer Furnstahl A Memorial oil painting designed at honoring the brave sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, not only during their service to our country but also in … Read More

The Sign Next To The Artwork At Shows

The Best of Him by Artist Charles Kapsner & Commissioned by JoyGenea Schumer Furnstahl A Memorial oil painting designed at honoring the brave sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, not only during their service to our country but also in their everyday lives after their service has ended. The intention is to inspire awareness and open conversations about … Read More

Birthdays of the Gone – Celebration, Sadness, and Memories

This is the third birthday to come since his passing. I know for some people birthdays are really hard days. I am lucky, for me, they aren’t too bad. They are more of a reason to pause and reflect on him.  Really the only thing that is different now than before his passing is that I can’t call him to … Read More

It’s Here: The TAPS Box arrived for the Memorial Day Event

TAPS box image of outside front and front side

Today the mail person dropped off one of the most thoughtful and meaningful pieces of marketing I have ever received. The TAPS (tragedy assistance program for survivors ) box.  Look at this thing.  It is so beautiful that the mail person asked me about it. It really is brilliant on their part to have boxes like this. It reminds me … Read More

Sample of Painting in Frame

April 27th 2023 I got this email from Charles today. “Subject: TEASER Hey JoyGenea,        Here it is!!!!!!!!!!! It came yesterday.Cheers,Charles” And this image. In that moment seeing the frame was when I really could see that the whole painting is going to leave the studio and hang on a wall and look so different not sitting next to the items … Read More

Don’t Knock It Until You Try It

I believe in Psychics and mediums, so did my dad and so do most of my friends and family, mind you at different levels.  Me and all of those same people believe in God and an afterlife. And, in reality, some of my friends are psychics and mediums. That said, most of my friends, family, and my dad would not … Read More

Today’s “Stumble On” Award goes to the Modern Loss website

Are you ever going about your day and totally stumble onto something great that you didn’t know you were looking for? I did that just a couple of hours ago.  Through TAPS I had the opportunity to join a web presentation from the woman who runs Modern Loss. I had never heard of this website and now I wish I … Read More

Getting the word out on YouTube

April 20th 2023 The Best of Him painting a memorial to a Vietnam Veteran and Father by Charles Kapsner and JoyGenea Schumer This was going to be the title, but YouTube would just not go for it.  What the heck? I had to settle for: The Best of Him painting Today we are working on the website and getting that … Read More

Signing of Painting

The moment has come for Charles to stop working on the painting and sign it. To bring this chapter of the journey to a close. The frame will be here in the coming week and it needs to rest before the big show in the fall. The day is sunny and spring smells are in the air. We arrive at … Read More

Mr. Roberts the movie – communicating without words

April 15th 2023 I have a little side story I just wanted to share. Last night while I was searching through cable tv to try and find something to watch I came across the movie Mr. Roberts and went right to it. When I was growing up one of the ways my dad would connect with us kids was through … Read More

Time to sign the painting

April 13th 2023 I was standing on a hill in eastern Ohio checking out the cabin the Pennsylvania family members had rented for the weekend when my phone rang. I looked at the screen and it was Charles, I thought I wonder why he is calling? He’s back from his honorary guest invitation to Norway visit and has been working … Read More

Sitting in the Artist’s Studio

Paint on canvas brings more than just a story to life. It creates a connection. I’m visiting Charles Kapsner in his painting studio in Fort Ripley. I am taking in the depth of the atmosphere being here is full of. In some ways, it kind of feels like I am hanging out with my dad for part of the day … Read More

Inspired to bring the website and the story to life

Today the website goes LIVE! If you have ever built or had someone build for you a website, you know the exciting moment when you put it out into the world. I have decided that is today. I have a day ahead of me that I will be able to spend some time on building out more and more of … Read More

Treasure Quote

February 8th 2023 “When someone we love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.” –author unknown I have no time to type this up and engage with it, and yet I feel I must. This quote came up today and it just summed up this project so well. Those memories and even the new details I am adding to … Read More

Visit to Charles and Cemetery

January 14th 2023 I drove up to see Charles today.  We are just driving away from his studio and I am reflecting on what the painting looks like at this point and more importantly what it represents for me. Charles is in an excellent mode. He and Catherine are off to Norway soon to be honored and the women in … Read More

Do we ever really know our parents?

October 31st 2022 Recently I have had a question pop up. Is it possible to really know your parents while they are living? I have been asking a few of my friends who’s parents have passed away if they felt like they knew their parents more after they passed. The overall answer is, yes. I wonder why that is? I … Read More

Starting to find out how to get my dad these awards

October 29th 2022 Oh my GOD!!!  I was shifting and filing the office paperwork two portable file bins out of my office, since I am not having to look in them nearly as often anymore. As I was filing things, I was also assessing what information I had in there and what was important. In the back of the current … Read More

Framed drawing pick up

October 6th 2022 Tony from the frame shop called a couple of weeks ago to let me know that my artwork was ready to be picked up. My schedule has been busy with many on-site projects and weddings on weekends.  I have just been floating the note to pick them up. On Monday he called again and said Charles had … Read More

Some things are worth exploring further

August 5th 2022 Recently while going through my father’s final possessions and paperwork that I have been safely keeping at my house under a big brown piece of fabric I found a multi-page document from the Department of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, at the Pentagon. And in that document, they explain how they have denied my … Read More

The Painting Progress

July 24th 2022 It has been months since I have seen the painting, so much has transpired in my grieving process. I am at a point in this process where the painting brings me great happiness.  It really does feel like I am asking Charles to capture the best of my dad.  That time and the layers that it takes … Read More

The Family Disease of Alcoholism

While we may grieve about the past, we live in the present. The past few weeks have brought with it clarity and some small levels of heartbreak. One of my brothers has inherited the disease of addiction from my father.  Most of his life I have watched him fight to love himself, to find value in who he is and … Read More

My Father Died From

I don’t know if I ever shared what my father died from. I don’t think about it much or talk about it often, because for me I only lived with the knowledge of what that was for a matter of a couple of days and then he was gone. No time to do research, no time to look at treatments, … Read More

Notes from the end of TAPS weekend in DC

May 30th 2022 -Maybe my brother stayed sick and struggling, just to connect with my dad.  Just to keep us together. Dr. Phil has talked about how a person will do that in a family. I think that was what Nathaniel was doing. Now how do I share that with him? -The big question I am asking myself for the … Read More

May 26th 2022

Yesterday I asked my friend and wordsmith extraordinaire Michelle if she would help me figure out the title and write up the details for the painting when the time comes. She is amazing and said yes. Then I proceeded to tell her about where I am in the grieving process. What my recent thoughts and feelings are about as it … Read More

Visit to the Studio

May 24th 2022 This was a very impromptu visit. With the trip to DC only days away and having my father top of mind, it had been a while since I had been able to stop by the studio and see the painting and talk with Charles about the progress. When I walked in the door, there was a distinct … Read More

Charles Kapsner Painting Visit

February 23rd 2022 from Charles Hey JoyGenea,Since you would be walking in the door right now here is where things are at. Needless to a say very tedious! I am having a great time!We are completely snowed in at the county road level; I suspect tonight they may plow it. We have to keep the snow blower going to stay … Read More

Correspondence- February 17th 2022

February 17th 2022 from Charles Hey JoyGenea,Here is how it starts on the panel; very tedious measuring using a plumb line and measuring stick.Cheers,Charles PHOTOS

The naming of the project

February 15th 2022 Charles has pointed out that a piece of art like this gets named.  We are at that place. He said the naming of it is my search, it is part of my journey.  Once it is named, the name becomes part of the project.  The naming helps him with the feeling of the painting.  I can see … Read More

Meeting and Review

Meeting with Charles Feb 13th Our meeting had to be rescheduled due to hazardous winter conditions twice. As Tom and I bobbed through the snow on a Sunday out to Charles’s studio I wondered what awaited me. February 14th 2022 from Charles Hey JoyGenea,Thank you for the visit and keen eye yesterday! Here is the cleaned up compositional sketch for … Read More

The Start

January 13th 2022 The visual part of the project starts. Last night I dove into the pile of important items that are currently stored at my house. The items that we didn’t want to leave in the storage unit, in case there was to be a break-in at the unit.I was on the hunt for a few more things to … Read More

Correspondence- December 29th 2021

December 29th 2021 from Charles Hey JoyGenea,I hope you had a good Christmas; and a quiet one. Ours was low key, just the way we wanted it.I have my last model coming back on Friday for her portrait. Finally!!!!!!!!!!! She had been in Africa and started a new job; that made scheduling rather difficult. I will be able to start … Read More

Henry Memorial Project 2021-12-21

I am days away from Christmas and I can feel the pull of the holidays on my heart and mind. The fun part I am enjoying about grief is that for a little while here I seem to be mostly focused on the positive memories with my dad. I can’t say I was good at that while he was living, … Read More

Dec 9th 2021

The day has finally arrived to sit down with Charles and deliver the bulk of the items I am hoping tell the story of my father’s life. The bag has been packed for a couple of weeks and now I bring it up into the kitchen to make sure that it is ready to go on the trip to the … Read More

Picking the Items

Nov 20th 2021 Early, during the quietest time at our house in the morning, I went to the stack of my father’s most valuable belongings and I I started to sort out the items that would be part of his memorial painting. I was asking myself questions like, who was he, what are the objects that demonstrate who he was as … Read More

Written Dec 20th about

Nov 20th 2021 Early, during the quietest time at our house in the morning, I went to the stack of my father’s most valuable belongings and I started to sort out the items that would be part of his memorial painting.I was asking myself questions like, who was he, what are the objects that demonstrate who he was as a … Read More

The Best of Him- Each Item Details

May 27th 2021 The meaning behind these items for JoyGenea 1     Savage 12-gauge pump action shotgun One of the things my dad did with each of us kids was to bring us to the wild rice paddy fields on the weekends. That was when he had to go check the pumps and make sure they were still working from the … Read More

Correspondence- Starting Concept and Size

September 18th 2021 from Charles Hey JoyGenea,How are you all doing these days? Hard to believe it is the 18th of September already! My out door painting of the house is about to come to an end; we got the ramp moved on Monday allowing me to reach the high points on the north side of the house. With the … Read More

Correspondence- Medals

June 10th 2021 from JoyGenea Charles, I think this will be helpful in figuring out the medals or at least some of them. I will continue to send you emails with details in the coming week. I am going to be focusing on moving this aspect of the funeral. It will make it easy to pass along details. Thanks,JoyGenea Attached … Read More

Dropping off Items

June 6th 2021 Drop off of items for Charles to start looking at and getting an idea of how to start this project. I brought with me everything I thought represented him. I brought his uniform, I brought some paperwork. There were two garment bags and a box of items.Most of it was military The meeting went well and Charles … Read More

Correspondence- May 29th 2021

May 29th 2021 From Charles Hey JoyGenea & Tom,Just checking in. Here is the latest; not finished, since you like flags I thought I would send a shot. Enjoy the Holiday weekend!!!!!! I am sure Hawaii was good!Cheers,Charles June 3rd 2021 from JoyGenea I love it.The frame looks great with that. Your right…I love the flag. Hawaii was wonderful and … Read More

Correspondence- The Beginning

May 10th 2021 Charles, I have had an idea rolling around my head since we met at your studio and I want to share the concept with you and find out if it inspires you a little too and if you would like to explore the idea more. I don’t know if you do commissioned smaller pieces?  (I mean smaller than … Read More

Where the Inspiration Started for The Best of Him

2021-04-03 I have wanted to purchase one of Charles Kapsner’s original paintings for years. Each time we would go to another one of the presentations at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls for the giant murals he was painting to commemorate each branch of the service I would be reminded how I wanted a piece of his work … Read More