I performed this sketch of Mary Playing the Violin at the Lowcountry Orphan Relief Gala, last evening, where it was auctioned off to raise money for first responders in cases of child abuse here in Charleston. I was given the opportunity to speak to the audience from my easel. I told them that part of my mission as an artist is to encourage anyone who might be complacent about child abuse to speak up, not only about the loss of innocence and the awesome challenges of surviving abuse but also to take a stand that survival is possible and that happiness and success can happen, even to those who carry this deep wound.
This painting is a celebration of the surviving spirit and is dedicated to those brave souls in every stage of their journey and to the important mission of LOR on behalf of children. The music must continue to play and the voices of children must sing out no matter how difficult the challenges placed before us.
It has taken me years to accept myself as a beautiful person, a child of God, not because I have suffered, but in spite of it. But I also realize I am not somehow more beautiful or entitled than others who seem not to have suffered as much or appear less beautiful than I. We are all one in God’s eyes.