I have been asked about the inspiration for this project. Why do I want to provide free portraits for individuals who have lost someone to a sudden, unexpected or tragic death?
In the spring of 2012 my life was shaken beyond anything I could imagine. First, my closest sister Lisa was stricken with a malignant brain tumor. In five months we watched her decline and go from being a vibrant wife, mother and grandmother to an individual who could no longer walk or speak coherantly. She died on March 17th and I thought my world was shaken pretty hard with her loss. She was my best friend and closest confidant.
At the same time, my 86 year old mother was rapidly declining in health. After 20 years of being a pancreatic cancer survivor, she had lost the ability to digest food and was fed by a Jtube for 2 1/2 years, drinking only coffee and not eating. She had rallied so many times in the last five years that we doubted she would ever die, but after Lisa died my mother’s system was shutting down for good. She surrendered and died on May 8th. At the funeral onMay 12th we all commented that the following Saturday would be a good time to look forward to because it was my son’s wedding day. My world for sure had been rocked with this second loss.
On May 19th, the day of the wedding, my husband of 33 years and the father of our five children did not wake up. He died in his sleep. It was a huge trauma but we went forward with the wedding. Within 60 days my world had been turned upside down and smashed.
Out of these ashes a dream became reality with Face to Face Fine Art Commemorative Expressions. Several months prior to these losses I had decided to find a way to provide fine art portraits to individuals who had lost someone. I had been a portrait artist for over 40 years, and the most rewarding portraits were memorials that were commissioned by family members to commemorate the lives of their loved ones. I had prayed over those portraits, asking God to bless the recipients and help them heal from their losses.
After my own losses, I now know first hand what grief and the pain of a sudden loss are. Our hope, in providing these portraits free of charge is to aid and comfort the bereaved by keeping the memory of their loved one alive. We hope that the artwork will aid in the healing process.
Funding for this project comes from donations and grants. We appreciate those who have joined with me and my Board of Directors to help heal the broken-hearted and help them survive the shock and trauma of an unexpected death.