Mending Hearts: How art and LOVE helped to get me through tough times

Floating Hearts, acrylic, 11 x 14", Karen Gillis Taylor

“Katie’s Loovre”, (Floating Hearts), acrylic, 11 x 14″, Karen Gillis Taylor

Ten years ago, my husband and I were going through a difficult challenge about a contest between us and our insurance company. My husband had survived a major heart attack at age 38, in the “widow maker” area of the heart, and after months of deliberation decided to exit the brokerage industry so full of stress. When the insurance company denied our claim, and finances reached an all time low, I proposed to do a drawing, painting or print every day until the claim was resolved. It was my way of turning anger and bitterness into something positive I could live with and actually turn my frustration into a new purpose which embraces love. “Perfect love casts out fear.” I relied on God’s love and trusting him. A day at a time. Lots of drawings and paintings were produced! Lots.

Heart Monoprint, oil, and digital media on paper, KGTaylor

Heart Monoprint, oil, and digital media on paper, KGTaylor

Heart Monoprint is a valentine print I made for Rob a couple of years earlier. Later, it became a sort of symbol of getting through that tough challenge.

Hearts Afield, watercolor on gessoed paper, KGTaylor

Hearts Afield, watercolor on gessoed paper, KGTaylor

Hearts Afield is another of the works I made during that several month waiting period when we hoped the insurance company would acknowledge our fair claim and pay us what was in our plan before our funds ran out entirely.

Our prayers were answered in an amazing way. On February 14th, we were on the way to a medical appointment when I opened an envelope in the car. It was a check from the insurance company, no other letter or explanation. My website post said, “I am taking this as a good sign.” Ha! It was a GREAT sign! The timeliness of this check coming on Valentine’s Day was answered prayer for us. I still marvel at that to this day.

"Mending Hearts" quilt for class on designing with shapes and fabric, in progress

“Mending Hearts” quilt for class on designing with shapes and fabric, in progress

Tonight I am working on a small quilting project for an upcoming class I’m teaching about designing with shapes. The 2 heart shapes are cut in two and each put back together in a new way, with special stitching to connect the shapes, hence the “mending” reference. I can’t help but think about how our own hearts might need some mending now and then.

Since that challenging time of life, our family has gone through many other trials, who knew? In fact, it is the story of America and many countries today, as we experience economic and other difficulties. We are not alone, friends.

Here is another quote from my web post those years ago, which I’m glad to read again.

“We may not be “out of the woods” yet in terms of dealing with life’s problems, but I have learned one lesson over the past years: I can only live one day at a time and it’s far better to trust God than to fret and worry. He takes care of His children if we put our cares on Him, because He loves us so very much.”

I’m not meaning to be preachy here, just telling my story which keeps going on. Art is truly a gift for us to cherish and lift us up. Faith is the side that nourishes our spirit. When the two are combined, we can not only keep going, we can jump up into the heavens, and make a difference on earth.

Please share your story if you would like. “We are all in this together,” is what my sweet Uncle Bruce used to say. How true.

love,

Karen

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4 Responses to “Mending Hearts: How art and LOVE helped to get me through tough times”

  1. Becky Hulbert Says:

    Love this…Becky in Florida

    From: Hue Bliss: Color & Art notes by Karen Gillis Taylor >To: beckyhulbert@yahoo.com >Sent: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 9:47 PM >Subject: [New post] Mending Hearts: How art and LOVE helped to get me through tough times > >karen posted: ” Floating Hearts, acrylic, 11 x 14″, Karen Gillis Taylor Ten years ago, my husband and I were going through a difficult challenge about a contest between us and our insurance company” >

    Like

  2. karen Says:

    Thanks Becky

    Like

  3. nancyadair Says:

    What a difficult time your family has been through. I agree, art has always played an important part in helping me deal with life issues. Playing the piano, singing, writing poetry, and quilting have all been a great resource to me at different times in my life. The creative outlet for emotions, the self expression that is therapy, the feeling of being in control over something, and creating beauty out of turmoil–priceless.

    Like

    • karen Says:

      Well said, Nancy. You are fortunate to have tapped into those creative outlets. I like the thought that we can create in the midst of life’s challenges. It’s what we do, and sometimes the result is as wonderful if not better that when we create in times of calm, which may be a season of lull before the next “exciting” event. Life is not boring, that’s for sure.

      Like

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