The first day of spring seems the perfect occasion for me to jumpstart this blog back to activity. Almost a month since my last post, my goodness. Well I’m still alive, dear readers, and as a true believer in seasonal affective disorder the arrival of spring works magic on my mood. To bid farewell to the winter, I’m posting perhaps the finest printmaking I’ve ever posted on this blog. No, not Albrecht Durer or Rembrandt. It’s my sweet cat Jessie! In the last snowfall of the season,  she left these beautiful paw prints outside my front door, and what an lovely work of art they are. Cats tread so lightly and elegantly. I think Jessie enjoyed the winter more than I did!

I suppose I should inform all of you that I’m in the beginning stages of planning for open heart surgery. It was inevitable given that I’ve had this aortic valve condition since birth. There’s much for me to prepare for and think about and it’s all weighing heavily on my mind: finances, recovery time and not being able to work, and the cosmetic issue of a heart surgery scar and it’s effect on my modeling confidence. But I’m in good hands with my doctors and am eternally grateful for the love and support of my friends.

I want very much to return this blog to its previous state of more frequent posting and more timely comment replies on my part. I apologize for allowing things to slack. Thanks to all of you who are still here!

31 thoughts on “Imprints

  1. Please do exhaustive research on alternatives. And second opinions. Instead of open heart surgery, can it be done laparoscopically? Tiny scars. Obamacare, I believe, has no
    preexisting conditions, so you should be able to get coverage to reduce your costs through the “health insurance marketplace”. I was uninsurable before Obamacare. If you have no insurance, many hospitals will give you 40% of your bills, if you just ask. I’ve done this successfully.

    On a happier note, I have pink/white scars (hernias, appendix, etc.) And no one gives them a second glance (except to draw them, of course)

    • artmodel says:


      Unfortunately, my procedure can’t be done with the TAVR. That would have been preferable of course. But thanks for mentioning it! I did go into all that in the meeting with the surgeon.

      You’re absolutely right that artists won’t care about my scar. The issue is in my head! I’ll adapt, hopefully …

      Thanks for your comments and your support!


      • I’m glad that you did your pre-surgical “due diligence” and grilled the surgeons for alternatives. Now, prayers are in order and you are on my list.

        Will you accept visitors? If so, please provide details! Either way, I’ll be pulling for you.

        Doctors seem to rarely think of this, but I understand that physical therapists can “work” scar tissue to make it more supple. Worth asking for a script for PT to minimize adhesions. Could make things better/easier for modeling and life in general.

  2. Grier Horner says:

    Dear Claudia, I wish you a successful surgery. I know with all your concerns about the operation, money, work and scars you have a lot on your mind. I am a big fan of your blog and the portrait I get of you through your writting and your subjects is one of strength, resiliency, resourcefulness and humanity. I’m sure that you will manage to get through all this. Yours, Grier

    • artmodel says:


      You are incredibly kind! I hope I’m as resilient as you say! I definitely have a lot on my mind. The surgery will be before the summer, probably June, so I have a few weeks to get prepared and organized.

      Thank you again, so very much, for your generous comments. Much appreciated!


  3. Irene says:

    If you’re having surgery at LIJ or North Shore University Hospital, you’ll be in good hands…the cardiac care is excellent. Wishing you all the best. Irene

    • artmodel says:


      Thank you! Actually I’m being treated at Mount Sinai. They have been really great with everything so far. I feel very confident with them, but there are so many great hospitals around here.

      Thanks again for your well wishes …


  4. Ron says:

    Claudia, The most important thing in life is your health. You are young and you will recover and continue to do the things that you love the most. I wish you a speedy recovery and many more healthy years of modelling and, hopefully, museworthy.

    • artmodel says:


      Thank you so very much! Yes the surgeon told me that my young age is an advantage with all this. So I have that on my side. I hope I do have a speedy recovery! The summer will be all about that.

      Appreciate your kind words …


  5. artmodelandrew says:

    Here’s the plan. Invite Larry Gagosian to represent Jessie the Cat and your financial outlook will turn around rapidly.

  6. Lucy says:

    Praying that your surgery is a success and you have a speedy recovery.

  7. Alan Appel says:

    Had quadruple bypass in 2017. The effects of anesthesia post procedure are important. Be prepared for constipation.
    A patient next to me had valve procedure that left no scar in center of chest. They entered his heart at his armpit and worked laparoscopically.
    GOOD LUCK!!!

    • artmodel says:


      I wish my procedure could be done laparoscopically! Discussed all this with the doctors. It’s amazing that they can do that these days. How far surgery has come! But I need a surgical repair of my aorta itself in addition to the valve replacement. So open heart it is.

      Thanks very much for your support! Glad you’re doing well after your quadruple bypass!


  8. kendall says:

    Good luck!

  9. scultore says:

    All my love, a strong soul like you will always triupmph, and you have our support. and Jessie is another beautiful muse!

    • artmodel says:


      Jessie is a beautiful muse! And a pure and unpretentious artist. Love her so much. And thanks for the support. I need it!

      I’ll see you soon at Minerva’s ..


  10. I’m sorry you’re having to endure this struggle on top of the many others you have posted about recently. I have been including you in my daily prayers and will continue to do so going forward. Writing this Isaiah 41: 10 comes to mind. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; stop being anxious and watchful, for I am your God. I give you strength, I bring you help, I uphold you with my victorious right hand. Please keep God close as you enter into this difficult time. It’s wonderful to hear you have lots of love and support from friends, but it’s comforting to know that Our Lord can walk further with you than your loved ones and friends can go. Please keep us posted. Pax P.S. I enjoy the photo you posted….bring in the warmth and sunshine.

    • artmodel says:


      I am moved and comforted that you are keeping me in my prayers. Thank you, from the bottom of my surgery-needing heart! There is so much wisdom and profound hope in the Book of Isaiah. One of my favorites. I will absolutely keep God close, and know that he walks with me. I appreciate you sharing this scripture with me. And I’m reminded that some of the most common refrains in the Bible tell us to “be not afraid” and “do not fear”.

      Thank you again Gregory. I appreciate your expressions of comfort and support ..


  11. johndrob says:

    Not sure what I could say that others haven’t already said more eloquently. Your friends will continue to pray for you. Be strong and stay optimistic.

    • artmodel says:


      Thank you so much! Surgery will probably be sometime in June. I wanted to push it until after the summer but the surgeon didn’t think that was a good idea. I suppose it’s just as well. Better to get it over with.

      Hope you are well …


  12. Peter D says:

    Best of luck!

  13. jiminalaska says:

    Hope all goes well Claudia, I’ll be thinking good thoughts at you from up here on top of the world.

  14. Jennifer Knight says:

    What delightful little footprints left by Jessie the cat! I will certainly be sending my thoughts and very best wishes across the ocean for a full recovery from the heart operation. Perhaps it will also heal some of the other rifts in your family, knowing that you need support. I hope so. But you have the support of good friends and your sister-in-law and niece to help you through the after days, and I’m sure that the surgeons in New York will be top-notch. And your followers on Museworthy will be pleased to hear from you whenever you have the time and inspiration to post – frequency doesn’t matter, we’re just pleased that you’ve kept us in your life for so long! Love and best wishes, Jennifer xx

    • artmodel says:


      I’ve been nothing short of overwhelmed by the support of my friends and the readers of this blog. It makes all the difference in the world.
      To your point about the world-class care here in NYC, it’s precisely for that reason that I’ve decided to get second and third opinions on this. So many experts and specialists in this town, and I’ve been getting all sorts of referrals from concerned friends. I will write another blog post about this to keep everyone updated. I won’t lie and say that I’m not totally terrified at the prospect of open heart surgery. My mindset is a huge issue right now. So let’s say things are ‘on hold’ for the time being.

      Thank you Jennifer for your beautiful words of support. It’s wonderful to hear from you, always …


  15. Dave says:


    I’ll be thinking warm thoughts about you until I hear that you’re on the mend. And then I’ll send some more warm thoughts from Michigan.


    • artmodel says:


      I appreciate all the warm thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes! As I commented above to Jennifer and Jim, I’m not scheduling surgery yet. Going to gather other opinions and assessments before I take this enormous step. Stay tuned for updates.

      Thanks for commenting!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.