I've noticed that portrait art can hold a very special place in someone's home when the subject of the painting has already passed on. That's because when I create a portrait, I lift that person out of the memories and put them in the present moment, with eyes clear and alive, looking out--whereas a photo ties them to a moment in the past and thus reminds you that you are missing them now.
"This portrait is really quite extraordinary. It is like having him peering back from heaven. It is indeed an incredible bridge to him." C. E.
Many people feel this creates a very tangible connection with their loved one, as if the conversation, and thus the healing, can go on.
Many times, when I create a portrait, my heart wakes up to the person I am drawing. I often feel them influencing my thoughts and feelings as I work. I've had some amazing experiences while creating portraits, experiences that were then confirmed when I relayed them back to their loved ones. A few of these experiences are mentioned below.
Stephen was once my neighbor. When I heard the news that he had died, it had been at least 8 years since I had seen or heard of him. I got a very strong prompting to create a portrait of him, so it might help his wife connect with his beautiful soul. I set to work, without consulting his wife. I felt an immediate, positive connection with Stephen.
After I finished the portrait, I let his wife know. She was awestruck and said, "This is my postcard from Heaven!" She told me that although Stephen was a deeply spiritual man, when his death was approaching, he had no longer been sure he would live on. So they had made a promise to each other, that should he find himself living on, he would find a way to connect with her. The portrait was that way.
"Stephen did not expect to be able to contact me from the other side, but I told him—should he find out that he could—to please send me a postcard.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the divine artist through whom he could do so." C.E.
This oil painting was commissioned of me through the internet, by someone I had not met. After starting the project, I got a strong sense of Michael and his happiness and felt that was a very important message.
I also felt prompted to paint him in the stars, something I had not done before and which was a little out of the box for me at the time. I second-guessed myself about the setting quite a few times, but the feeling didn't go away.
After sharing the finished painting, his wife was amazed at how accurate my perceptions had been. She then told me of the poem that Michael had chosen for his memorial, from the Little Prince. It says,
"In one of the stars, I shall be living,
In one of them, I shall be laughing,
and so it will be
as if all the stars are laughing
when you look at the sky at night."
That was my confirmation that he had been involved all along from the hereafter.
Also, while I was working on the painting, I felt a strong prompting to listen to John Denver songs while I was painting Michael. Specific phrases caught my ear time and again, always about how "he loved his lady." I wrote his wife to let her know I felt this was Michael telling her not to miss him too much because he was still very much in love with her.
She wrote me back with tears in her eyes, confirming that each morning, unbeknownst to me, as she walked the dogs, she had been playing John Denver's songs, missing Michael and crying.
"I love and cherish the experience I had with Marie while she painted Michael’s portrait. We connected on so many levels, continually affirming the other’s presentiment. Shortly after she completed his portrait, she sent me a CD of songs that were directly connected to her illustration of Michael - the lyrics of most are a rendering of Michael’s words - more than startling!" M.R.G.
I painted this portrait as a gift for a friend of my mom's. Her husband had showed up in my dreams one night, holding a butterfly. He was radiant with light, and conveyed the desire to connect with his wife, who had been deeply grieving over his death, now two years past.
After I surprised his wife with the portrait, she broke down in happy tears. She confided in me that the source of her ongoing grief was her belief that her husband could not reach back to her from the other side because that would surely mean that he was a "stuck soul." She wanted to think of him as having safely moved "into the Light" which to her meant going somewhere far away. Upon seeing the painting, she realized that her husband had been close to her all along--and sending his love--through a white butterfly that had been following her in her garden for months...
"I cried when I held the portrait in my hands. You captured him
so well, I feel as if he is in the room with me again.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
On Wednesday night, when I got in my car, the passenger headlight started flickering hard for 20 seconds and then went out completely. I thought, “Dang, I'll have to get a new bulb.”
Next day, on Thursday, January 31, I discovered a friend's brother had passed the previous day, Wednesday. Shortly after, I felt his face come into focus in my mind’s eye. I felt his distinct energy coming with it, so I started talking in my heart to him. I said, “Hey Matt, what happened?” I saw him caught up in a gray-white fog and he said kinda matter of factly, “I didn’t like my life very much. It wasn't working for me.” I could feel some of the dark feelings that went along with those words and that he didn't have much self-love and self-acceptance going on.
I said, “What about Liam?” Immediately the fog lifted and there was clarity along with a strong feeling of love. He said, “I LOVE my little buddy. I sooo regret that I cannot be there for his life.” Then I could feel him conveying something like, “I love him like the sun and the moon, the sun for the daytime and the moon for night. I’m always going to be watching over him. I would like him to know that. I’ll still be with him.”
“How am I going to tell him that?” I thought.
Then I was bombarded with images of photos and portraits. I knew he wanted a portrait of him and Liam so that I could capture the feeling of the love and care that Matt still feels for him.
Next day, I remembered to stop at O’Reilly’s for a lightbulb. When I got there, the guys from the shop checked to determine what kind of bulb I needed. Turns out every bulb in my headlight was working fine. They even looked under the hood for a loose wire. Everything checked out.
Following day, I had a long drive again and my thoughts were settling on the events of the past few days. All of a sudden it hit me that this lightbulb thing and the passing of Matt seemed a curious coincidence. I turned back to my heart and asked, “Matt, was that you messing with my lightbulb? I’m challenging you to mess with the lightbulb again so that I can have my proof.”
Within probably ten minutes, on a smooth highway, the light that had been fine ever since Wednesday night, started to flicker again and went out. Shortly after, we got to the gas station in Livingston, the light was back on.
Even to a skeptic, where the logical explanation is a loose wire, I can say that the rest of the way, which was probably another forty five minutes, I drove over all sorts of roads, bumps, potholes and snow tracks. No light flickered even once…and hasn’t since.
I believe Matt got his message across.
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