Last year about this time, Allison Evans of South Central Health Care Foundation contacted me about something called Art of Healing. It is an auction and exhibition open to those who've been touched by an illness of some kind. Through Art of Healing, the Foundation offers those in the community the chance to experience healing through art. She asked if I might be willing to donate a piece in remembrance and celebration of someone's life.
Of course I said and yes and I painted some tulips in honor of my grandpa Walter Kenneth Farnsworth who meticulously removed all traces of dandelions from his yard and bordered it on all sides with tulips. Grandpa died in 1993 after a battle with cancer. I remember his last few years well. Even though he was in midst of treatment, he came to almost all of my (and my cousin's) junior varsity volleyball games.
I really enjoyed making the piece in honor of someone and so this year when Allison contacted me, it was an easy yes again. This time I already had something in mind. I added some gold leaf to it and altered the color to be a bit brighter and bolder. Just because art is in memory of someone doesn't mean it has to look sad, I think.
This piece is in celebration of my aunt Dorothy Gamblin Dothage. She passed aways from a massive stroke in October of 2012. I feel lucky to have seen her and hugged her just a few weeks before. Aunt Dorothy was my mom's oldest sister. At first she was sort of my mom's second mother and then later became her very best friend.
I have many memories of Dorothy. Growing up, she was often at our house and we at hers. There were games of pinocle where I quickly learned not to grab someone's coke and take a drink. (Those weren't just cokes!) There was talking and teasing and laughing always. There were nights when she was still there long after I went to bed. She had many collections including owls and a glass cabinet completely filled with salt and pepper shakers of all kinds. She often had a sort of stern look on her face but a smile was just lying underneath. She had fair skin and red hair. At the reception after I was married she wrote some of the best advice ever:
She is dearly missed here on Earth.
If you are interested in being a part of Art of Healing more information can be found here.