Finding peace at the end of a long journey

Being an artist can be a rewarding but yet disappointing adventurous roller coaster ride though life that sometimes doesn’t seem worth taking. This past week has proven to me that the ride is well worth the effort after hearing a story that has given me inspiration that will last a life time. I had created a piece of art to put in a contest that I knew I had no chance in winning because of the nature of the contest, but I entered it because of who was judging it. I didn’t win that contest, but I did get the opportunity to help someone else with this piece, and for that I won the ultimate prize.

I put this painting in a gallery about three weeks ago to see how it would do in an exhibit. To my surprise, this older gentleman stopped in and it caught his attention, He asked the gallery curator if it would be OK to sit down and look for a while. The curator said “sure that will be fine, take your time” and he did just that. This man would come to the gallery for over a week and sit down and look at this painting , he seemed to get lost in time when visiting this piece of art.

A week has passed and the gentleman seemed to disappear from the gallery. I hadn’t heard from the gallery at all in this time frame, but then a few days ago the gallery curator called me. “Hello” I say, we had some small talk then she proceeded to tell me that”this young man stopped in today and inquired about that painting”.”Wow” I thought , there is another person wanting the same piece, but then she said “he is the nephew of the older gentleman that was here last week”. The nephew explained that the older gentleman had been coming in to see this painting was in the hospital. He has terminal cancer and is in treatment at Birmingham Hospital and would like to purchase this painting for his uncle. The nephew continued to explain “my uncle finds peace in this painting, when he looks at it he forgets about having cancer and his pain seems to go away because the man in the painting is in much more pain than he is, and I would like to take this to the hospital to help relieve the pain”.

While on the phone with the curator she ask me if I would sell this piece at a lower price, and I said “yes of course I will”.  The gallery curator explained that the young man would be back in the morning to hopefully get the painting for his uncle and she would call the next day. After hearing the story, I am filled with honor that this man would find peace in a piece of art that I created, but sad at the same time for his condition.

The next day, early afternoon the phone rings. “Hi” she said , the gallery curator on the phone says that the young man stopped back to get the painting. “Great” I replied, not knowing what was to come next I am happy that this piece has sold. The curator continued ” the older gentleman passed away early this morning, but the family took delivery of your piece because they say that it helped their uncle find piece before passing on and they want to display it at the funeral”. Now my emotions are mixed at this point because I am so honored that my work could help someone else find piece, but at the same time I am sad that he lost his battle with cancer. Even though I have never met this man, art tends to bond people together in one way or another and I feel I have a bond with this gentleman. Knowing his story I feel like I have lost my uncle, knowing the love that his nephew has shown toward the gentleman, he could only be a great-uncle.

A few days have gone by now, I reflect back on the story and realize what the older gentleman has left behind for me. He has given me a gift from his life, honor and achievement of helping others. This is inspiration that will push me in creation to climb the highest mountain and swim the deepest oceans, he has giving me a sense of self-worth in helping others though art and imagination. For this I would like to thank the older gentlemen that I have never met and will never have the opportunity to meet, your spirit lives on though me and my work.

REST IN PIECE  6-20-2012

“Dark Shadows” by Mark Moore

This story took place at Bucks Art Expo in Priceville Alabama , the family ask that their names be withheld

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22 Comments

  1. Mark,

    Thanks for sharing this brother. This entire event could have easily happened without you being made aware of the impact that you were having through your art. The fact is, however, that you were made aware of how much your art impacted this man. There is a reason for that.

    I have known you for a long time, and I can honestly say that I have always known that you are a special person who has been put here on the earth for a significant purpose. I see who you truly are. I am glad others are seeing as well. There is much more to come in the future. The Lord’s plans always come to pass:)

    Love you bro,

    Jamal

  2. Thank you Jamal , I had to share this story because it was so moving , maybe others like myself could find inspiration from it

  3. What you just described is a treasure of the soul… that surpasses material gain. Money comes and goes quickly.

    I’m a musician and artist. On two occasions, for reasons that are a mystery to me, my work literally moved someone to tears. A humbling experience. But, like you… life transforming. I almost considered the idea that the purpose of my artistic life was converging on those moments.

    Sounds a little out there… but that’s art.

    I found you at Artist/Photography Buyers/Collectors/Curators Group at LinkedIn
    Thanks, Larry Capra aka zenabowli

  4. Thank you Larry , moments like these do have a major impact on lives they touch, as for me I will carry this always

  5. rosestrang

     /  June 24, 2012

    What a beautiful and moving story Larry. It’s very special and you must still feel very emotional while at the same time feeling honoured that your work helped someone cope with the last days of their illness.

    I used to work as an arts manager in Birmingham hospital (I’m now living back in Edinburgh) and I was often made aware of how powerful art can be in helping people to cope with illness. We can never underestimate how important the arts are to our quality of life – helping us to find meaning and reminding us of the best aspects of human nature.

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring and moving story

    Rose

  6. Thank you Rose , I am honored to have this opportunity to share the story

  7. What a beautiful story! I can’t think of a better way to be honored. Giving a soul peace at the end of their life is just beautiful.

  8. Thank you Debraann , this is a honor that I will cherish forever

  9. Taking the art materials and shaping them with not only your hand but mind and spirit; the non-material is passed on through imagery to the conscience of another person . It is the power of art that gives it it’s value; and great during these times that it wasn’t “all about a dollar” from your gallery either.
    Peace

  10. soulartist2

     /  June 28, 2012

    Great tale and well told, too.

    FYI: Years ago I replaced disappointing with that’s revealing, which opened up new pathways for the artist.

  11. thank you taking the time to read this post , moments like this is worth all the sacrifices that artist give

  12. thank you very much , I hope this story inspires you as it did me

  13. I truly enjoyed your story about how the old man found some ease of his pain through your art! As I read, I was hoping that you would display the piece for us to see. It turns out that it is one of your works that stands out in my memory of looking at your web page. It has been a few months since I visited your page, and the man with so much sadness evident, radiating from his eyes and turned down mouth, touched me also. I can empathize with the old man finding some ease from feeling that he didn’t perhaps have it as bad as the man in the painting. Yeah, I feel it, too.

    What a moment for you to carry with you into the rest of your life! And, I also liked that the gallery was as feeling about the situation, and helpful to the nephew.

    I hope that someday I touch a person with my art half as deeply. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  14. thank you Cilipower

  15. What a fantastic account! The randomness of life makes itself known when we least expect it.

  16. This story made me stop and think about my own life , thanks xavierjoseph

  17. A s you say a very inspiring story

  18. I think a lot of artists struggle with self worth or the value of the struggle. Funny that just one person connecting with a piece of work can make all the difference!!

  19. I never thought of it like that, but you are spot on ,,,,Thank You

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