Back in the summer of 2010, I owned and operated Art Affair Gallery in Sanford Florida. I had a gallery assistant, Jackie Miller, who in the process, became my closest friend. We were scheduled to have a two person show at the gallery, as I was her mentor, she my student. I was going to paint my trees and spend some time painting at a tree in her yard. In the process of all of this, she told me that she would never look at a tree the same way, since she had met me. We were well on our way to creating our exhibition when tragedy befell.
On July 20, 2010, Jackie was hunted down, followed, and brutally killed by her ex-boyfriend on her way to school. She had a restraining order against him, was staying in a safe house, but it was to no avail. A few weeks after he murdered her, he hung himself in jail.
In cleaning out her personal items, I found one of her blank canvases, her brushes and some small paint tubes. I thought this was perfect: I can paint a tribute to her. I went to the Daytona Beach Art League to paint this surrounded by friends. I painted it somehow in a style that is not mine. I also painted it with somehow entirely with my left hand (I am right handed, Jackie was a leftie), using her canvas, paints, and tiny brushes. It is a mixture of Jackie and my styles, and possibly channeled through me by Jackie, if you believe in that.
To look at this painting closeup, you can see figures in the darker trees that are sometimes ominous, other figures floating away. You will also find three hands in the branches of the trees, and several angels with wings. There are very large, feathery wings behind the central figure of Jackie being gently lifted heavenward.
I spot varnished the painting. The painting is completely varnished in matte or dull coating with the exception of Jackie and her wings, which are in gloss or shiny varnish. You can only notice the varnish difference from certain angles of viewpoint.
I love this painting and keep it close as a reminder and tribute to my very special friend. It was an extremely sad time for all who knew her. I ended up doing a series of twelve angel paintings during my grief, and exhibited them during what was to be our show., Entwinings, at Art Affair Gallery in Sanford. The paintings are a beautiful reminder of a special person who had no ill will toward anyone.