The Prescient Guardians


My first angel appeared in summer 1998: "The Angel of Free Spirits." At the end of that year, I retired as founding editor of Mental Health World, painting full time since then, and volunteering to help raise awareness of spiritual freedom through art and education.

My first Guardian angel arrived in December 2000, finishing in January. This guardian glides through heaven, hands clasped in prayer at his heart. Some have likened this angel to my lover in those years, others to Jesus Christ. Until they mentioned these "likenesses," I'd been aware only of the interactions of color, intersections increasing depth.

Between September 4, 2001, and November 28, 2001, lung cancer went through my sister like wildfire. Nothing was left unsaid between us, our respect, admiration and love for each other acknowledged. While my younger brother and I were losing her, I was painting full time, late into the night, as I had done since 1999. By mid-October, fear took away my breath upon awakening, until learning whether or not my sister had survived another night.

I discovered that painting absorbed crippling fear. I couldn't paint when lymphoma and breast cancer were killing our parents in the 1980s; that's why I lost my mind back then.

In the fall of 2004, I left Buffalo, New York, to be near my adorable, younger brother, who embodied the finest qualities of our parents and sister. We hadn't lived in this kind of proximity in 40 plus years. Figuring out my new home left me with enough energy to play with oil pastels on paper. Two more angels appeared in 2004: "The Dancer" and "The Hostess."

"Joyriding," white-haired and somersaulting against a sun-bright sky, greeted 2005. A woman bowed and kneeling in prayer came into being as winter gripped February, a new Guardian of Souls.

And then I was back on 48x36 canvases. As February ended, one horse’s head, with a grin like my brother Michael’s, filled the foreground behind which a river streamed; on the other side two hooded-messenger angels waited, wringing their hands; four more horses embraced by waving greenery in heavenly sunlight emerged above and beside them. As June neared July, the blue horses and the angels’ white robes turned into gold. “The Golden Rule Messengers 2005.”


Mid-July, while dog-sitting for Michael and his wife Karen at their perfect country home, a new angel showed up on paper in oil pastels. She had paused her upward flight to look down, as if waiting for someone to catch up.

August 27, 2005, my beloved brother died without warning. We didn't know that his heart endangered him. The shock of losing him like that suspended me in grief, knocking the wind out of me. When the pain of losing him threatened me, memory offered the small, sweet smile with which he greeted eternity. That same dear smile was his since birth.

When not with family and friends, I organized my art website, distraction 101. It never occurred to me to paint until the night of October fourth, his birthday. A new angel landed on paper, wings open, hovering upright, hands together in prayer, the last creation of that year: "Angels 2005: The Guardian." The angel that came to me in July became "Looking for Michael." And the 48x36 oil stick on canvas became “The Golden Rule Messengers 2005: Waiting for Michael.”

One last angel came to me on canvas in spring 2006, but after three different incarnations in need of further development, she has yet to lure me back to her.
Angels 1998: Guardian of Free Spirits
Angels 2002: The Guardian
Angels 2004: The Dancer
Angels 1998: Guardian of Free Spirits
Angels 2002: The Guardian
Angels 2004: The Dancer
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Critically Acclaimed Art by Colorist Patricia Obletz