Experiencing a Loss

When someone asks me to do a commissioned painting and it is of a loved one that has passed I am touched. I feel a great responsibility with this request. I always do my very best with each painting I paint regardless if it is a commissioned piece or not. But a loved one is even more important that each detail of that person is captured. Earrings, rings, hair style all has to be perfect.

So I was asked to paint Bill’s wife who passed away 3 years ago. I could tell the pain and sadness was still very close to the surface of the new life he was trying to live.

The photo he showed me was of his wife at 82. She was a professional ice skater in her youth. At 82 she was gorgeous. Tall black boots, tight jeans and a fur coat. Yep I want to look just like her. In the photo they were in San Francisco and had just seen a Cirque du Soleil show. She is standing in front of the programs banner.

Yesterday I gave bill his painting.

“Living the Life”. Watercolor 11×14

The Power of Art

Recently a friend’s husband died. She has waited a while for family to get organized before having his memorial service. His service will be this Friday. So what do you say when someone loses their spouse? I feel at a loss sometimes of finding the right words said in the right way that gives comfort.

My friend is nearly completely blind. She has macular degenerative eye disease. I thought maybe I could paint her husband’s portrait using texture so she could feel him on the canvas. I did some research and it turned out to be beyond my artist abilities. But I didn’t give up.

My friend has a very large projector that she can use to help her see just a little better. She can see some things from her side better then directly in front of her. So I painted her husband’s portrait thinking of colors that would help her see him better.

I surprised her yesterday with my gift. She had tears. She told us how hard this past week has been. She told us how lonely she felt. She has many friends around her but none of us can fill the void of the loss of her husband.

I sometimes get discouraged with my painting. I think I’m not that good and then I get a rush of joy when I see I’ve made someone truly happy. Art did that. Art can make a difference. Art has power to heal. I love that about art.

Remembering Gary

Painting the Barn

This is an old family picture. A friend of mine who is 79 said it was a photo of her in laws painting the family barn. Family projects are always a very involved endeavor.

I once helped paint a relative’s house. So many people showed up. Thanks should have been what I felt, but so many people without a leader doesn’t always give us the results we want.

Her house got painted and people got fed, but I felt a bit sad. Why sad? Sometimes people expect things to be done free. Sometimes people who do “good works” do it for the recognition and if they don’t get the “repeated” thanks. Well some get a little less humble.

Families are complicated. We should always help each other and when we feel unappreciated we should stop. We should stop, but then we should start again. We should not stop helping but sometimes we need to step back and catch our breath.

I believe in giving. I believe we give from the heart. I believe sometimes we just need to put our lives on pause and regroup. I believe in family and I also believe in following your heart. ❤️