Restoring Paradise: how one artist depicted chaos to bring comfort

When artist Kathleen Denis returned home to the Keys it was dark and she couldn’t initially see the damage the hurricane had brought, until the next day – when she decided to go for a ride.

The first house she came across that impacted her significantly was a home in her neighborhood, which belongs to a friend who suffered extensive damage to his carport.

“He’s a charter boat captain who may be out of work for a while because the charter fishing industry in the Keys has been decimated,” she said. “I knew I had to paint it, along with other disaster scenes, and give 100 percent back to the victims. My place was safe, but I knew others needed help, and I couldn’t think of a more rewarding way of helping others than with the gifts I’ve been given.”

So Denis auctioned the painting, titled “Upside Down and Inside Out,” on her Facebook page and donated the proceeds to him. Her next work, “Shredded But Not Destroyed,” sparked even more interest.

“This is Wahoo’s at Whale Harbor Marina. They were hit really hard and many charter boat fisherman will be out of work because they can no longer have their boats there, not to mention waitresses and other employees, as well as the owner had tremendous hardship,” said Denis. “As I drove by I saw this shredded American flag and knew I had to paint it as well.

She was able to snap a shot of the flag before being advised that the upstairs platform was a bit too dangerous to traverse, so she finished it in her studio.Kathleen Denis has a God given talent Anyone that has had the pleasure of viewing or owning her art know the love and dedication that she puts into each of her pieces. I was not surprised when Hurricane Irma changed many lives that Kathleen stepped up to use this talent to help others. She is one special lady we all need to follow her example and give of our time to help others .  – Cheryl Anderson

Two more works, “Still Standing” and “On Top of It,” were soon completed after Denis visited an affected trailer park and a neighborhood in Big Pine Key.

“Before the Storm” was started months ago in the same trailer park as “Still Standing”. After the storm passed the two owners of “Standing Still” trailer believed it had survived with less than 50 percent damage. However, later it was revealed their trailer suffered floor damage and was a loss. Denis will be giving them the painting of their trailer and also intends to give the proceeds of “Before The Storm” to this couple as well.

“On Top of It,” is the fifth of ten paintings in Denis’ Restoring Paradise painting series. This depicts a former home of a man in great need and how many are helping the others in this community. Find and bid on Denis’ work at www.facebook.com/kathleen.r.denis. With every sale, Denis also gifts a Bible Promise Book to help guide those affected in these tough times.

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“On top of it” is inspired by Arkansa hurricane volunteer Sid Langley and his chainsaw skills on Big Pine Key. CONTRIBUTED

 

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