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09 August 2009

'Before Dawn' Equine Horse Oil Painting by Laurie Pace

'Before the Dawn'

5 x 7 inches
Oil on Watercolor Paper

Slip into a frame, no glass needed.

Contact me to purchase: Laurie

© Laurie Justus Pace Graphics One Design 2009

The Painting: I have begun to do small studies for color placement in larger paintings. These are wonderful small pieces that are easily framed in a ready made frame that can hang or sit. Glass is not needed or recommended. Each one is varnished and ready to go.

The Thought: Earlier this past week I wrote about friends in seasons in our lives. Some friends stay through all seasons, and walk through all pain and joy in your life with you. Some live far away and although they are not physically there, their presence is spiritually there.

Yesterday I learned of the passing of an old dear friend. She painted out those days of high school in the late Sixties with me, she was the flower child, I was the fashion model, and we both loved art. Ani did face painting and painting on rocks for the open house at school. I was VP of the art club. We called it the Arabesque. Don't ask me why now as I have slept since then.

Carol Ann Caver aka "Ani"

At graduation we both took off on our personal journeys and did not reconnect until 1995 at the 25th school reunion. Actually it was the six months prior as we began to put the reunion together. She seemed to live a dream situation to me on my side of the fence. I was teaching art in an elementary school, raising three kids and always stressed. She lived on an island off the coast of Maine during the pleasant months of spring and summer. She spent her days in her studio working and her off time kayaking around the island. During the cold snowy times she had a second home in the Carribean where she had a studio and a gallery. She had stayed true to her course as an artist first and last. Me, I had wandered off into modeling, commercial art, advertising, family, kids, church and the typical American life. She spent her summers in Switzerland and I drooled over every email and correspondence we had. My summers were here in the Texas heat preparing lesson plans at the time.

It was in 1996-97 that I left school teaching. I didn't want to go back. Dealing with 680 rotating students into art every two days that I was not allowed to discipline left much to be desired. I was a prime canidate for a nervous breakdown. I had a room in the house to set up as a studio. Terry bought me a huge old restored oak drafting table. He painstakingly drilled 120 precise holes into a board for me to put my Prisma colors into...each standing bravely before me. I had my paints, acrylics, oils ... all there. I sent the kids off to school and Terry off to work and there I sat. I had taught art for all these years, but I didn't have clue what to do. After a week of sheer emptiness I called Ani (aka Carol Ann Caver) and cried. I sat on the couch of our home overlooking 10 miles of countryside from our hill top and I cried in pain to her. I had forgotten how to find myself and do my own art.

It was Ani's mentoring over the next two years that ignited the passion within me to create again. We stayed in touch like "best friends" in that season for the next years. In 2000 another reunion rolled around and Ani jumped back into the planning frey with the rest of us, coordinating her end from her island in Maine. When she arrived for the reunion we were bowled over at how fabulous she shined as she made the guys eyes all pop out. Must be something to not having kids...she looked wonderful. That was our Ani.

She didn't make the 30th reunion. They were traveling in Europe at the time. I missed my friend and slowly after that our correspondance grew less each month. She left Maine and moved to Montana for a season or two, and then last year moved back to Taos to a lively art community. I felt her need to search and find something she felt like she lost along the way.

It was yesterday that I opened an email from a total stranger with the news of her passing. She had moved back to her precious east coast from Taos and had just settled into her new place. She ignored symptoms of health and she slipped away from this world, from her pain of searching.

Ani left a living legacy through many she touched in her short life. My artwork today is testimony to this. It was through God connecting us that I found my path back to my art. A few years later I was blessed with the honor of mentoring Debbie Grayson Lincoln back to her art. She was also part of our art club in high school. She had put her art behind to work in the everyday world and she was ready, ever so ready to paint and find her heART again. Debbie and I will continue to branch out inspiring and igniting this gift in others. Ani's passion will live on.

Mentor someone in your life today... pass on the gifts.


Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past."


lizette virissimo said...

Laurie, as i admired your beautiful artwork i couldn't help but read through your inspiring story.

Firstly, i'd like to say that i'm very sorry about your loss of a dear friend...

& now i'd like to share with you a part of my story.

i just graduated from university and was thinking of art education as a full time job. after much self debate over teaching or painting, i finally came to the conclusion that i want to paint full time because that has always been my true passion. reading your article truly spoke to me and has in a ways further cemented my decision to paint instead of teach :)

Thank You & God Bless

Roxanne Steed said...

Laurie, I was so sad to read of Ani's passing. But what a gift she was to you! Thanks for telling her story...and reminding me that we all have gifts to share as a mentor...even as we seek those with more experience to mentor us. Your blog & your work continue to inspire me!

dizzylettuce said...

Laurie, thank you for this moving tribute. I too often reference Ani's devotion to herself & to the Spirit of Creativity. much loving & hope to see you soon!
Jennifer Thompson Miller

Laurie Justus Pace Contemporary Texas Artist


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