"Jessica" by Beti Kristof, oil painting, 48" x 36" ~ Working title: She walks with Angels
This past Saturday, it was my privilege to present a painting that was commissioned by Baron Brooks for his sister Michelle, of her daughter, who had battled a very aggressive cancer a few years ago.
Her passing was a loss for everyone. Her peers at school, teachers, families and friends- hundreds- felt her loss. Her vibrant spirit and energy touched so many lives.
She was a beautiful teenager who was filled with the wonder of life and her impish smile captured everyone's heart immediately.
Her story is amazing and as an artist my goal was to capture her spirit in a way that immediately expressed that wonderful personality she shared with all she met.
The presentation of the painting was planned for several months, the oil painting took a few months to paint. Michelle, Jessica's mother, had no idea what was to happen when I showed up impromptu for her birthday dinner in Malibu last Saturday.
The journey for myself, as the artist , from conception to presentation was to be complete... I spent many months with Jessica on my mind- meditating on how she wanted to be remembered for her family. Call it what you will, but my intention was for the painting to be what Jessica would want and for it to be right for the Brooks/ Silver family.
On the way down from Las Vegas - to Malibu... I looked up into the clouds and saw a grouping of heart shaped clouds.. Three of them. First only one heart... Then a few minutes later, three.. Two together and one a bit separate... (Yes, I have photos! )
To me that was affirmation that Jessica approved and was with us the whole way! I was completely calm about presenting the painting from that point.
There wasn't a dry eye at the table, when the painting of Jessica was shown to the family. Michelle was so overwhelmed, as was I - we both wept and hugged.
It was more than I can express in words- it is such a blessing to touch this family's life in this way. Forever a memory and heirloom. Such a privilege as an artist, to have been entrusted to create such a delicate yet, enduring piece for a family that is all heart.