There is nothing more gratifying than creating mixed media art straight from the heart. I am sure those close to me are getting weary of hearing my story, but my illness from two years ago is a big part of me and defines me in a way. It has changed me so much. Since I was on the receiving end of so much love and support, I vowed to find ways to pay it forward and to share the love.
We received so many meals, etc. and I often pay it forward by making a meal for other people now who are going through a tough time. But cooking is really not my forte, so if I made you something and it wasn’t all that great…I am so sorry. It is the thought that counts, right. 😉 Maybe I should do gift certificates to local restaurants instead.
I decided to find another way to spread the love…and that is through art. Art is more my “thing!” My favorite is doing mixed media pieces that combine all different types of mediums. Sometimes there are people or stories that move me so much that I feel called to create a piece of art for them. Some are people I know very well, kinda know and some are total strangers. But lately, I have been creating pieces in honor of people who have gained their wings. My heart bleeds for the family and friends left behind who grieve the loss of their loved one.
My first “Art From the Heart” piece was actually a commissioned one a few years ago. A woman saw my work and asked me to create a piece honoring her sweet daughter who had passed. She was the same age as my best friend who died when she was nine so this piece was near and dear to my heart. I created it out of 100% love and through many tears after hours of looking at the inspirational photos and trying to capture her likeness. When it came time for her Mom to pick up the piece I just couldn’t put a price on it. So I gave it to her as a gift. It was the right thing to do and sharing the love felt so good.
My second piece was to honor a great man who died so suddenly. He was one of the builders that I worked for and he was truly admired by so many. We were in the midst of building a spec home when he passed. So I got to work with a team of builders and contractors to create this “tribute house” in his honor. I made this piece for his surviving wife and children.
It isn’t always a piece in honor of an angel who got their wings. I have also created pieces for some angels here on earth. When I was sick I had so many angels looking out for my young boys, but their four main teachers at school were a God send! They looked out for and loved on my boys all day long, as if they were their own, when I couldn’t do it myself. I am forever in their gratitude. I used the boys classroom photos as inspiration to capture their likeness to create something special to thank them for their kindness. If you live in Winston-Salem, I wonder if you can guess who these for teachers are!! Feel free to guess in the comments section!
This past Christmas, my heart tugged at me in several directions to create pieces for three more beautiful souls. Two had gained their wings and one is a sweet girl who is still fighting the fight. So for those of you thinking you were off my Christmas card list, you weren’t. I didn’t send any. I told my husband I felt my time was much better spent creating something that might help soothe the souls of these special families. One piece can take up anywhere between 4-8 hours so writing out 100’s of Christmas cards took a back seat. So, don’t take me off your list just yet! I love receiving your family photo cards each year!!
I made this particular piece for the kindest women and her son. They lost the love of their life and this was the first Christmas without him. This gentle man loved baseball so I was sure to incorporate that into this piece. My whole family delivered it in person since we knew them. I don’t often get to deliver them in person and seal it with a hug so this was a special treat. She later told me her son took it to church with him on Christmas. My heart goes out to them often! I know they miss “the bear” so much!
I have two young boys, and the tragedy of the loss of this young boy tugged at my heart so strong. It was all over the news and my heart ached for this family. I always research a little bit about my subject if I don’t know them personally, whether from obituaries, the news or from friends. This young boy had accomplished so much in such a short time. I know his legacy will live on through his family and friends who aspire to do good things too. His love of soccer was so prevalent. I had heard his favorite color was green, so I was sure to include that in my attempt to capture his likeness. I think of his parents often. I admire them for their strength and bravery as I get updates from mutual friends.
This was my third piece that I created at Christmas time. This sweet little girl is fighting the fight so hard right now. Her sweet smile captured my soul. Sometimes you don’t know what to do for people, especially total strangers, so I thought I would make a piece of art. It is therapeutic for me and hopefully for those that receive it. I don’t know them, so I just shipped it off and pray that it made it into their hands. I am still following her story and send love and prayers her way that she wins this fight!
I just created another piece and finished it today but I haven’t delivered it yet. This little angel inspired me to try something new and I will share it soon. So, even the souls of those that have departed still shine down here on earth and inspire me daily.
So, why am I sharing all of this? I actually debated whether or not to share this post. I don’t create these pieces for kudos or anything. They are made out of pure love. I didn’t want anyone to question my authenticity for why I create them and why I wanted to share this story. But, then I thought that is just rubbish. I can’t explain it, but sometimes I hear a story and my gut says to drop everything and just go make something for someone.
These art pieces and this post are nothing more than a way for me to spread the love. We live in a crazy world right now with so much hate. I feel that it is important to share honest to goodness, heartfelt things that mean a lot to us. My reason to share this is to truly honor those who have received their wings. I also want thank all of those who showed loving kindness to me and my family. I truly commend you AND want to challenge you to continue to keep spreading your love. There are soooo many good people in this world. I have seen it first-hand and I have learned from the best. Your kindness has inspired me to do things like these. I feel that we just need to remember that even during the tough times that Love Wins every time. Every damn time. Just keep sharing it and showing it! So please go find your “thing” and keep sharing the love! You are amazing.
~MB, Chief Bucket Filler