Have I got a story for you!

Recently I heard a story that reminded me how much we touch one another’s lives, and are often completely unaware of it. It’s a good one and I couldn’t resist sharing.

It started about eight months ago when some clients came to our private art oasis and we were shopping my website for additional works for their home. They fell in love with a piece by Carol Bennett, though the piece was still in her possession on Kauai. I reached out to get it sent over.

A few days later Carol touched base to say her husband, for the first time in 20+ years, has decided he wants to keep it. Given he’s her crate maker and packer, it was going to be very difficult to get it past him. It’s an unusual piece, painted on a used painter’s drop cloth with footprints and holes that she’d titled Burden of Brilliance as part of her Pau Hana Series. Something about the random spills, overspray, adhesives and plaster drips inspired Carol, and apparently her husband.

It was a bit embarassing, but I informed the clients, who were of course disappointed, so we asked if she’d be willing to make them one on spec. She agreed.

After visiting the client’s home, it was clear the original would have been too small so a larger piece was needed to compliment their space. Carol agreed to paint a similar piece at the scale they required and offered the option of painting on a used painter’s drop cloth like the original, or on a clean, fresh canvas. The clients chose the drop cloth for all the texture it adds. We figured the lead time would be about two months.

Carol got to work sourcing the drop cloths (which involved reaching out to a paint contractor friend and rummaging through his old, retired drop cloths under the house). Fortunately she found one she really liked for the project. She then power washed it as the first step to prepare it for painting, and was a bit silly—only wearing slippers—and accidentally got her foot with the power washer. Needless to say, it did some damage so she ended up at Urgent Care to get it fixed up. 

After getting it wrapped up, keys and purse in hand, and though she felt fine, she asked the doctor, who happens to be a friend, if she would, “take a look at this lump on my throat.” 

The doctor did and within days she was off to The City of Hope for treatment for a rare thyroid cancer. She learned that her numbers we climbing rapidly so finding out when she did truly saved her life.

After a month on the mainland, she returned and is now in remission. 

Over the last few months, she got the drop cloth stretched and painted a new Burden of Brilliance. She finished it up just as the clients were returning to their home here so we coordinated the delivery and installation of this special piece last week.

Although I'd known about both Carol's foot injury and her time in the City of Hope, it wasn't until we were coordinating the delivery and Carol said, "That painting saved my life," that she told me the story of how the two connected. It was a total chicken skin moment! Grateful for wonderful clients and her husband for refusing to sell the original! What a fortuitous series of events!

Keep connecting with art you love. You never know how it will touch lives!