In the middle of a difficult year, she said my painting was breathtaking

My friend Kim has had quite a year: in just a few months she had a baby, then a stroke, then broke her knee — twice. I admit that I haven’t been keeping up that well but I had some idea what was going on. We were in the same circle of friends in college, after all.

So I was surprised and humbled that when she saw a work-in-progress of mine on Instagram, it spoke to her in such a way that it summed up her life right now.

I had posted on Instagram a shot of a piece I had just signed and was debating whether to add anything else to it. Kim said to leave it alone:

Wow! That might be my favorite painting you’ve done. Breathtaking! Don’t touch it! It’s perfect!

She contacted me privately and asked about purchasing it. I gave her the price and she told me it was good, so I set up the Square link for her to purchase the painting.

As soon as the transaction completed, I took the painting to FedEx and set up shipping. She lives a few hours away so the painting was at her house the next afternoon!

She immediately posted a picture of the painting in her home, attaching John 1:5 to it. I love that passage, because it resonates with the side of me that sees the world as emblematic of something deeper and bigger going on than what we simply see. I always tell my children to be a light in the world.

This is when making art becomes tremendously rewarding.

When somebody sees your art and it means more to them than it could ever mean to you.

When you know it has touched someone’s heart.

When you’ve made something that resonates with a person’s soul.

It’s amazing and humbling and you want to do it again and again.

It’s always an honor for something I make to grace someone’s space. I hold that to be something sacred and special.


  • Lisa A Bohnwagner

    I love this, Brad! Both the painting and the story are touching and beautiful!

    • bradblackman

      Thank you for taking the photo that inspired it!