Therapeutic Immortalizing

I recently created two photograph digital paintings that mean a lot to me. I took the first picture as a teenager; I noticed the bond between the two little ones. I loved how the older brother watched over his little sister. It was over 30 years ago. I learned this past week, that the little girl in the picture passed away (Christmas morning, no less). It hit me pretty hard; thinking about her family; her parents, two brothers, and her three children. It is a huge loss for all of them. I think she was a special sort of person. There was something about her; even as a baby/toddler; her smile, her spunk. I really liked her. I did not know her well, and now I really wish I had. I moved away when she was pretty young, but I did see her sometimes when I went back to visit. The last time I saw her was after my mother’s memorial New Year’s 1999. I think she was nine years old. I wanted to paint the image of her and her brother to gift to the family. I wanted to do “something.” And it brought me some sense of connection to do it.

Last night, (New Year’s Eve) was the 22nd anniversary of my mother’s memorial; and I painted a scanned slide that my father took of my mother and I. It is my favorite image of she and I; and I love it. I loved transforming the photograph; it was meditative; therapeutic on a night I was really feeling “loss.” It feels like these two losses are linked to me and it brought up a lot of emotions.

It also made me realize how much I would love to do this for other people; transform the photographs that mean the most to them; special family members; even pets; and turn them into paintings-or painting-like.

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