Recognition Always Feels Good

To be recognized for what I’ve created always feels good, but it isn’t why I paint. I paint because it makes me feel calm and happy inside. Seems like the reason should be more complicated but it isn’t. In fact as I look back on my life the reasons I’ve made a lot of life decisions have been pretty simple. I love him; I want to be a mom; I want to help others; I want to make you smile.

So this award humbles me. I’ve said that before and it still applies now. Each day that I can get out of bed, enjoy a cup of coffee with my husband is always a good day. It is the peace I feel each morning and I am glad I’m here. So I ask myself what can I do today to make it better or fun? Never forget fun.

Anyone who is creative knows there are good days and bad days. Sometimes the brain isn’t communicating with the hand that’s holding the brush. Sometimes the brush wants to fly maybe to the other side of the room. The hand holding the brush gets frustrated but the brain knows this will pass. I’m thankful that I have more good then bad days . I’m glad that my art can give joy to another. I am thankful for this talent God has given me.

I thank the Association of Wisconsin Artists for my award. I saw the other paintings and this was a hard competition. My painting called “Sunday Best” reminds me of a young boy who is on his way church. Mom wants to take a picture and he isn’t all that thrilled to comply but he does. I look into his eyes and I wonder about his future.

I’ve heard it said, but I’ll say it again – “All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.” Let’s pray for our nation.

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