(recent painting. “it was the brightness in her life that she held close.” original sold, prints available here)
every once in awhile i receive an email that takes my breath away and births a major awakening in my life:

My husband died 9 months ago. We were together for 10 years, married not even a full year. I am 27 years old and live in Wisconsin. On what would have been our first wedding anniversary my girlfriends took me to San Diego…to “get away.” I often wonder if one day, I will be able to get away. On my trip I saw one of your prints; I bought it, a gift to myself from my husband. My husband was a graffiti artist, and appreciated all art.
I call it my anniversary painting. I recently bought two of your original paintings! While I don’t have a lot of money, I was determined to do whatever it took to purchase your paintings. I just received the confirmation that they were sent and for a moment… I was happy.
Know, in my sad gray world, your paintings bring beauty.

Thank you for that moment of happiness,

in the very instant that i finished reading sarah’s email, i realized something hugely important (in between tears): i create art to heal the pieces of me that need nurturing. and in turn, my healing experience (the actual art) becomes a portal for someone else’s healing experience. and it goes on and on like a circle of healing…from one person to the next.
it was an aha moment i had to share because this is what we’re all doing out there in the world with our gifts and our art and our words and our beings. we are nurturing and healing ourselves with our various work/craft/being which then goes forward out into the world to become a part of someone else’s healing experience. i can’t think of a better way to live…we are indeed all connected inside this deeply meaningful circle of of giving and receiving. it gives me chills.

my friend andrea often talks about how we each bring our own medicine to the world. i love this concept and i suppose reading sarah’s email awakened me to the perspective that my art is the medicine i’m giving to the world. it’s a medicine that i can offer up only because it’s healed my own broken pieces during its creation. that’s what art is. whether it’s writing, crafting, or creating a life lived well by loving well, then it’s art. and art saves lives (as jenny wrote so eloquently about on her blog recently). then, like grace itself, the art you put out into the world not only saves and nurtures you while you create and live it into being, but then it becomes a medicine for the world, for someone else to receive for their own healing. i can’t tell you how deeply this has rocked my world – a deep aha moment for me, for sure. thank you, sarah. so much.
of course, i responded to sarah’s letter and we’ve exchanged a couple of emails telling one another our stories and both thanking one another for the other’s medicine (she gave me permission to share her email with you). i wish her eons of comfort and love during her grief journey and i am deeply honored to have played a small part in offering her a moment of relief and happiness with my art.
so today, more than ever, i’m aware of my medicine. your medicine. and how it creates a wide circle of healing and nourishment for one another as we go about our days, some of us in the very center of the hardest part of our journey. i am so thankful for all of it.
it’s the brightness in our lives that we hold close…..

Hi, I'm Kelly Rae Roberts!

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed.

Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore and nourish their creative souls.

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