first tribute painting,
was a gift to my best friend to celebrate the passing of his mother.
My mom died just after Denice had started painting again. I had asked Mabel (my mom) what she wanted me to do with her ashes: scatter them at sea; take them back to Hawaii where my dad's ashes were scattered; or some other disposition? Her reply was typical, "I don't care, I'll be dead." Well, I'm not the type who goes in for an urn of ashes on the mantle and was still trying to come to terms with my mother's death when inspiration hit--take some of her ashes and mix them with acrylics and have Denice paint some sort of tribute to her using the ash laden paint.
Now you have to understand that Denice paints by intuition--it's all about feel and seizing the moment and opening herself up to divine and cosmic forces. This may sound hocus pocus but I've seen far too many incidents of her 'connecting' to ever doubt the validity of her methods. So Denice is working on the painting (it's been several days now and nothing has felt right, numerous false starts and new starts and still the painting isn't right) and I start to tell her a story about my mom and dad and suddenly in the space of the story, some three or four minutes, the painting has taken on a life of its own and is finished. It's called Mabel's Ash, and if you look it's pretty clear that my mom and dad are dancing together in it and I know Mabel would love it.
She'd also be proud to have served as the inspiration responsible for all the other tribute paintings Denice has done, and will do in the future. I love you mom, I love you Denice.---Michael