Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Birth of the SPIRIT ANIMALS | Atlanta Artist

The post came through my Facebook news feed. One of my closest high school friends, Bianca, was grieving her Pomeranian, Alexa. She sent me a text message; I could feel the pain of her words through the screen. She couldn't talk, didn't want to talk. I respected her wishes, but offered my willingness to pray or anything I could do to help. Bianca sent me a few cell phone pictures and asked if I could sharpen, blow up, and re-color the images of her precious fur baby. I loaded them to Photoshop and attempted my best photograph restoring efforts. I stared at the pictures my friend sent me. What can I do? I sent her a text message apologizing that the cell phone pictures were just too dark and grainy to restore. The disappointment was evident in her response..."Oh, okay."
What can I do to comfort my friend? I asked this question over the next few days trusting that God would lead me to the answer. Then the idea came to me. I'll paint her. I ran to Michaels on my lunch break to pick up the supplies. With a trip I had planned with my boyfriend, I'd be seeing her soon, so I had to make the most of my creative time.

The preliminary sketches got me so excited to lay the background color. Bianca loves pink and Tiffany Blue, so I incorporated these into the background colors. Painting is a process, the artist works through many phases, ugly phases that make the artist take a step back and wonder: What the...?! The forms shift and change with each layer of paint, each phase. The ugly phase isn't something to be fixed though, it is definitely part of the process. I took some iPhone snaps of this process with my painting of Alexa. She is the only painting I have given a name. I had no idea that my painting of Alexa would be the birth of the Spirit Animals. Despite the sadness of my sweet friend's dog passing, I am so thankful to be able to give her something that will remind her of Alexa. Bianca, thank you for allowing me to do this visual tribute for you.
Below are the iPhone snaps of the process.

The beginning phase of Alexa.

The eyes and the nose came through first during the next phase along with some faint defining shadows of fur.

(Alexa, February 2016)

Alexa is ready to be hand delivered to my friend in Florida. 

The Collection I created for my friend. 

Alexa is solely for my friend, but you can find the Do What Makes You HAPPY print in my shop. 

Thank you, my friend, for allowing me to be part of this grieving process with you. Sending love...

Proverbs 12:10 "Good people take care of their animals.."

God is Good. Love is Life.

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