When our bodies betray us what works suddenly fails. It leaves frightening, crippling, questions and an uncertain future. A hole in the heart chambers mixes oxygenated red cells and de-oxygenated blue cells and causes fainting, weakness and an erratic heart beat. The brush with the unknown couldn’t be unthinkable death?
And modern medicine is the answer. Heart surgery, an ablation procedure and a little synthetic fan-like device can re-gift a healthy life, strength, a rhythmic heart, a singing open spirit, laughter and revived perspective.
But more, a perceptive soul listens closely to a failing heart. It speaks and wisely leads the way to a renewed identity of meaning, humanity and faith.
Watercolor 16″ x 12″
This painting was custom work for Kristen Johnson who asked me to paint her heart. The 26 year old had two heart surgeries to fix the hole in her heart. After her first surgery at 22, she woke and knew that her future needed to be helping others with heart problems. As a result, she finished nursing school and is now a cardiac ICU nurse. This commission is one of the first gifts she has given herself with a “real paycheck” since becoming a nurse.
Creating this painting was a mutual gift. It was an honor and joy to celebrate Kristen’s story.
“I have to say -I got it home and read the thing (story card) and looked at the painting and cried a good little cry. It is perfect. You did an amazing job and I love it.” Kirsten Johnson.
Kristen sent me the following images to work from.
After reflection, I sent Kirsten a quick watercolor sketch of where I wanted to take the image.
Upon agreement, I began the painting process, updating her everyday with progress reports.
Until the final one emerged with a lovely glow than rightfully matches Kristen’s spirit.