About "Spirit In The Sky (Beautiful Tammy)"
It’s difficult to write about “Spirit In The Sky,” as it is difficult to explain all the thoughts, reflections and tears of remembrance that went along with the creation of this very special painting, which was made to honor one of the greatest mentor’s of my life, Tammy Cunningham, who left this planet on August 9, 2019, just a couple months shy of her 60th birthday. Too young, too soon. Too many words and never enough to explain my love for her and how deeply I appreciated all the learning she brought to my life, about life and everything beyond. I met Tammy in February of 2008 while live painting at an benefit in Denver, Colorado, for the Shining Stars Foundation. I was hired to paint for her restaurant, Strings, and she introduced herself to me and thanked me for being there that evening. We ended up discussing not only art and live painting but also the Cunningham Foundation and the work she and her husband, Noel, were doing in Ethiopia to help build libraries and schools for those less fortunate. She wrote her name and number down on the back of a business card in her beautiful script handwriting, and asked me to call her to discuss traveling with the foundation to Ethiopia as their team’s art therapist. And that was the beginning of it all. Two trips to Ethiopia, one to Peru and many more healing and compassionate adventures and endeavors, traveling and learning with Tammy made my life whole and complete. She taught me about chi and energy and reiki healing. She taught be about the endless compassion you can have for a cause. She taught me that I was deserving of a beautiful life, at a time when I most needed to understand as much. When I think about her, I can only smile, and my heart is deeply filled with gratitude for having known her and for her taking me under her wing when she did. To this day, I owe my realized happiness and joy in my life to her. I know in losing her, the best thing I could do, to not only honor this most beautiful soul, but transform my own personal grief, was to make a painting about her. I know she would tell me to do the same, in her sweet bubbly and bright voice.
You can watch the evolution of the painting in the time lapse video I created. The importance for me in capturing the evolution is to acknowledge those parts of her life that I witnessed, those that I did not, and also to translate where I think she may be now. Everywhere, nowhere, a beautiful Spirit in the Sky.