Friday, June 5, 2009

All Creatures Great And Small


Recently Dr. Barron asked me to paint a folk art card featuring as many farm animals as possible. "Something like your Christmas cards, but with a sympathy message inside."

My initial concern was how to fit horses, cows, pigs, sheep, dogs, cats, llamas, alpacas, goats, chickens... all in one scene. But as that came together and I started painting I realized I was actually more concerned about how it felt to paint something, knowing the recipient was not going to be happy to see it.

My folk art paintings started out as a fun way to introduce some new animals on our farm and I thought it made a cute Christmas card. We'd put a diagram on the back with everyone's name and when they hit the mailbox, I assumed that was the last I'd see of them.



One went to a local folk art gallery though and she stuck it in a frame, hung it on the wall and sold it. Quickly. And called to order some more. I've been selling them ever since and am just blown away when people come into my Punkin's Patch booth each year to collect the new design. We've had a lot of fun.



This card however was not "fun". I'm a complete sap (especially over animal friends) and this card was sad. I talked to Saint Tim about it. How I wished I hadn't agreed to do it. How I wanted my paintings to all be happy.

But we agreed that life is not all happy. Life with animals especially is not all happy. Their lives are too short and no matter how much joy they bring us, we eventually end up with broken hearts. Always.

So, this card was painted with love. And some tears.

And the hope that none of us ever has to receive one.

17 comments:

Mistene said...

Your paintings are so beautiful. I'm sure the recipients will appreciate such a pretty card that was painted with love.

Camp said...

you feel that way. but i wouldnt..I would be very sad i lost my pet..but my day a little brighter that someone cared enough to send me such a beautiful card...and a scene where animals are healthy and happy living on the perfect farm..it must be heaven.

DayPhoto said...

I agree! When I lost some of my pets over the years I never got a card or a a mention. Then one day, after we had to put to sleep a special kitty of 14 years, the vet sent a card. It meant a lot! It still does. It meant that the Dr. recognized my loss and that he understood how much I cared.

Your painting a fun, an beautiful and special. I love them. They reflect who you are and the love you have for the life you live. They reflect peace a happiness and they reflect joy. What we all want for the short lives who help us in our lives.

Thank you, Sara! Thank you very much.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

I'm sorta new here and had no idea that folk art at the top was painted by you. Oh, how I love folk art and your work. I can only imagine how your card is going to brighten that persons day after such as loss.

Dianne said...

Whenever one of my vet husband's pet clients die, he sends a card to the owners and he often receives a thank-you card for his sympathy card....so I know that people really appreciate hearing from the person who helped care for their animal. Your card will make the gesture even more special.

Karen B. said...

Your cards are so sweet, and the new painting is just great! Will you sell this latest card? I love it!

Alice said...

You are so talented at painting so many different kinds of animals from all sides! I can think of several occasions for which to use these cards. Beautiful, sensitive, painting.

Deb said...

I would be delighted to receive your card should I lose one of my pets. Our vets office was great = they sent a beautiful card in rememberance of our Barney dog when he died.

Your work is very beautiful -

tonya fedders said...

Love the card.. and the person receiving it will love it as well. It's a really nice thing that you've done, and it will be a beautiful way to express sympathy. You shouldn't feel sad about it, but happy that you'll be a part of a warm wish being sent their way

Kara said...

Your work is so beautiful...you can tell it is painted with love. Do you ever do someone else's farm for a painting or a card?

Peacecat said...

Yes, please remember - the CARD isn't sad. The circumstances are, but the card is a sweet remembrance and will touch someone's heart. Anything that touches someone's heart is beautiful, and sweet.
One of my dear friends got a card from his vet when his pug Max had to be put to sleep. That card means so much to him.
Remember - your cards will do a lot for a grieving family as a representation of a caring veterinarian. That's wonderful!

Denise said...

The local vet med i.e. university teaching hospital makes a "paw print" remembrance for animals who go to the other side while in their keeping. It is very touching. We have more than one. It is one of the many ways we remember our 4 legged friends. Your gesture is very sweet and meaningful and the tears make it more special. I'm sure the recipient will appreciate the card.

VioletSky said...

I've never heard of such a kindness from a vet (maybe that is not a city vet thing?). So, I would actually be happy to get such an aknowledgement. And even more so to know that it was a card made by a fellow client of a shared vet.

flowerweaver said...

Very nice, but where is the iguana??

My vet sends sympathy cards, and sometimes even donates money in my pet's name to vet research.

I think your card would cheer the bereft. Good work!

Ed said...

Very cool!!! I did'nt realize you painted too, WTG!..:-)

I need orange said...

In my mind, sympathy cards aren't about sadness as much as about comfort....

I agree with Camp -- surely your picture is what heaven is like.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I've said it before; I LOVE your style!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin