Saturday, January 5, 2013

WHY? Press on...

Forewarning A TMI post:
In spirit and in work have been under a BLOCK and a nagging ‘why?’  
Why do I paint? Not in a pity party, just as a reality check, of there are soooooo many amazingly talented artist already, what I do is not needed. As an artist, perhaps a very difficult place to be, for it is not just a mood it’s who I am, and what I breathe in each day.  Especially in the perspective of the “God Breathed” way that I view the world and all that I see. “Majestic Sovereignty” is not just the name of a painting that I have painted, its how I see.
So the why paint is a bigger question… it’s a why exist? Why be? ‘Why try?’ Yes… simply ‘Why?’ has been nagging at me.

AM Not depressed, so don’t worry all of you that care about me, I am ok… great faith remains, GOD remains in control of my days, I am not going anywhere until HE says so. It’s in the passion of an artist I guess that I speak. Yes, a discouraged one at that. Have lifted this condition up to prayer a lot of late.  Pressures of life and expenses, and having a 50 book illustration contract canceled has taken a huge toll on my today’s over the past year and a half, and other complications that saying yes to such a contract meant too, by the canceling of all the other things that I do to in order to keep that yes.  A schedule that is booked over a year out, ends up un-booked.  The playing catch up for over a year now, because lost my job so to speak, not the kind you collect unemployment for; but battling back and reminding self that have not lost my identity…
Yet, how to fix this a constant question, and yes in it comes the ‘why paint?’ question. Or should I paint? Give up being an artist?  Dare I confess, haven’t been able to afford to even enter exhibits or shows for over a year now.  Only keep up my Oil Painters of America membership, we will see if will enter the exhibits. A student blessed me with art supplies. Behind/Upside down on expenses. Church helped me pay some past due bills. Short on gas for the Tahoe, then, just ride my bike. Thank God it’s something enjoy doing and CAN do too and am blessed to live in paradise.

Have just been keeping the faith, and keeping it all lifted up to prayer. Trying to ‘work hard with my own hands and minding my own business’ (context 1Thess 4:11-12) as it says in Scripture.

Pressures have added I’m sure significantly to the artist’ block plaguing my getting paintings done. A vicious cycle of which nobody sees from the solitary artist studio.  The others though, they ask, just the same question of me,  “why….____?” to an undone.

Well, think
Prayers were answered with clarification yesterday of what to do next.  No, I have not become independently wealthy over night, and no new 50 book contract showed up at my door…

Simply, received a Thank You note in the mail yesterday for the last painting I painted in 2012.  A portrait of a loved family member that nobody asked for just did. It and the thank you card, answered the “why?” tenfold.

Yes, Prayers were answered yesterday. Sadly, They came from a tragedy:
Very excited, JUST picked up my car from the shop after repaired, a women had ran a stop sign into me, been a few weeks waiting for my car back.  Just picked up a new license all just before Christmas, my Christmas present came early.  Received a phone call as was just driving off filled with Joy, thinking Merry Christmas thoughts.  All I could do was pull my car over to the side of the road and say ‘what?’ In disbelief of what had just been told.  As the updates came, only further shock and disbelief pursued.  On the other end hear them say “Murder…suicide”. My reply, ‘What? !!! No! No can’t be!”

Silence, anguish, tear, and yes, looking up murmur ‘what is a good here?’  For sincerely believe the most beautiful inside and out member of our entire family had just been senselessly murdered. A women who’s two favorite words were “forgive” and “hug”  I hear myself say, ‘Beautiful Patty, no, not beautiful Patty.’ Then the next thought, oh her poor mom.  This is no way for her to lose her youngest child, after losing her husband just over a year before.  No one should lose a child.  All I could think is have to do something for her, anything. With a strange peace was prompted, and knew, had to give to Patty’s mom, Patty’s beautiful smile back.  In this horrible time of grief, had to ask her siblings if they thought ok and if they had images of her to work from that they knew their mom loved, better than the pictures that I had. It was the least that I could do, to reflect her beauty… and share it.  Their answer was yes.
Received this news four days before Christmas that Patty was gone in a horrific way. Her funeral would be 2 days after Christmas.  I would give the painting wrapped to her mom then, after the service.  Prayerfully giving to her, Patty’s smile.
This time handicapped in numb, tears, shock,
A peace and absolute will, and must do… pricked every core of my being.  At this time, visualized for the first time, what grief looked like, to paint what brought tears when looked upon.

God, sincerely interceding peace:  I now know what peace beyond understanding looks like too.

Taking the time pressure off of getting done by the funeral, her sister sent a note sharing that Patty’s birthday Jan. 13th would also be a good day to give the gift to their mom if that helped. Relieved with that bit of news, simply prepared to paint in 3 days what usually request 4 weeks minimum to do… heart knew wanted her mom to have her babies smile back at the funeral. 

God works in mysterious ways, as to why was compelled to paint and all… for a day later received more news of the details. One is gruesome… precious Patty was shot in the face.  I now know exactly why God pricked my conscious to paint her beautiful smile to give to her mom, and there is more…  a note from another sibling sharing the pixels in the photos were not enlarging very well, and asked if the painting could be placed on an easel in the front of the chapel for her service. Because making it similar in size to a painting the family already owned, it was not large, but I had a beautiful classic gold frame could put it in that would make it lovely on the easel in the chapel. Replied yes, it will be done.  Peace of God in the reply.

Literally stayed up with all nighters for three days.  As painting the final details… kept praying that God simply reflect her light please in these last strokes.  The ‘light bulbs’ as call them to students in the final stages of a painting… took on a whole new perspective as watched Patty be formed on the canvas.  She always was an inspiration and source of light to all …an extremely beautiful person inside and out- An encourager.  A still small voice whispered God’s peace, literally blanketing me and my work, and the TRUTH whispered, “She is home, at peace, shining brighter than ever before – all is well.”
  We were leaving for the funeral at 8am… put painting wet, into a frame at 6:30am  Only pictures of the painting, taken with my camera phone… not the best.  This painting was not meant for anything but to give a mother her daughters beautiful smile back.

Received the thank you card yesterday…   This in part: “…you did capture ‘Our Patty’ and she deserves to be framed in gold…. She hangs in the kitchen nook area where she can be part of the family gatherings and mom’s everyday life.  We are all still in shock and do not know why we did not see this coming.  …She truly had a kind and loving heart and always had time to listen.  There is a whole in each of our hearts that will remain always open, unable to heal… she sends hugs and kisses and would say- ‘my sweets, I’m happy and at home’ …xxoo …The Hitt family.”

This tragedy remembered shouted out:
THIS… is why I paint.

It’s the gift given and meant to share forward.  We all have at least one.  If we allow it to be buried in the weeds of life, then the enemy wins.  Work through the tears. Press on.  ‘Press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of you for’ (Phil 3:13-16)

 Thank you GOD, that by your grace we all are able to apply your gifts and your talents given, in a manner that they may multiply tenfold for Your Honor and Glory. Patty’s two favorite words, ‘forgive’, and ‘hug’.  May they be continually applied.  The families wish in lieu of flowers that donations be made to: in her name.

Patty Diane Hitt
January 13, 1957 – December 19, 2012


1 comment:

  1. Karen, I hear you. The frustration and the fear not unique to an artist. Weariness from the less than tragic circumstances of life, relentless obligations combine with new challenges demanding resources not yet evident. i know your genuine desire to much more than satisfy requirements, but to please.... all to often have results that fall short of that desire.

    The tragedy of Patty's death, the forced acceptance that people we think we know were caught in such extreme pain and confusion is foundation shaking. Karen your spontaneous desire, your decision to help, to contribute to the much needed and ongoing healing, did not fall short! It exceeded all obligations or requirements. Her image lovingly brought forth on the canvas will last longer than all our lives.It lets the family know, not only was Patty loved, but they are. In the desire to comfort, you have bestowed blessings, as only an ARTIST can do.

    your sister


Thank you for sharing your thoughts, God sent, Godspeed.