Monday, May 3, 2010

Sara's Snowbird

A couple of weeks ago, someone sent me a photo of the cutest baby snowbird and i immediately had the desire to paint him. he spoke to me of innocence and charm. after i finished the painting, i kept going back and re-visiting this little guy and adding simple touches and a little wax for texture. i knew that he was special and that i was so drawn to this bird not only because i was inspired by the photo but that it brought me something that i could not yet put my finger on. one day, as i strolled into my studio after a run, i immediately thought of Sara.

Sara was a flight attendant on flight 11 on 9-11. This was the first plane to crash into the north tower.

Sara and I ran track together in our hometown of Batesville, AR and we ran on the same relay team together (the 800 meter relay) I remember how brilliantly fast she was and totally admired her quiet confidence and poise. She was a cheerleader and I a basketball player........i had a friend describe Sara as one of those cheerleaders that didn't run out of the way when a loose basketball came hurdling in at her. Sara was an amazing runner and the most beautiful person inside and out. I will never forget the time when Sara and I were warming up for a race in the infield of the track and i expressed how nervous and unsure i was of myself and she looked me straight in the eye and simply said, "Mindy, there is no reason you should be nervous! you are gonna do awesome!" It was a simple statement, but when i saw that look in her eye of the confidence she saw in me, i started to believe it myself. I remember her smile and that day like it was yesterday.


50 percent of the proceeds of this print will go to the Independence county humane society (in batesville). you see Sara had a real love of all animals, as do i so i found it only fitting to give to those animals that are in need.
The Sara Low Pin came about in 2004 through the Family Assistance Foundation and is worn all over the world by military, flight attendants, and other people that want to remember.

That day upon returning from that run, in that snowbird painting, i saw this pin. The soft blues and whites and knew that the Low family would own the original. I had been wanting to paint something for them for a while, but I didn't know how to express my feelings of sympathy to them through paint. keep your hearts open. you never know where inspiration will take you. i didn't realize or expect it....i just knew that i was drawn to him.

A lovely sweet customer of mine, Melanie sent me this photo. Thank you Melanie!
 (source of the photo is here)



Sara Elizabeth Low - American Airlines flight attendant


Every September, we run for and in memory at the Sara Low Memorial 5k.  Click on the link if you are interested in participating in the 4th annual 5k. This year it will be held on Sat, September 11th at the Batesville High School.  A memorial is held at 7:40 promptly followed by the starting gun of the race. The 5k course is much of what Sara and I trained on as a precursor to track season and is a challenging, hilly course full of character......one that exemplifies Sara's tenacity, charm, and wit. The course ends with an ascent of a most challenging hill and then to cross the finish line on the track while BHS cheerleaders and awesome Band cheer you to the finish. One aspect i love about this race is that as you climb that last hill, you can hear the band in the distance and it gives you new wings.........................................................and i suspect i know the reason why.

I love you Sara.

22 comments:

Vivienne said...

thank you for sharing this mindy. i'd seen you wearing a t-shirts from the race at the retreat and wondered who sara was.

and that is so beautiful that you are giving her family the original. i'm going to spread the words about this print of yours...

Amy said...

Beautiful print - and a lovely blog post - very touching.

elizabeth said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your friend. Your painting reminds me of the pin, and both remind me of that little snowbird.

chrissy said...

mindy...your heart is as big on the inside as it is on the outside.
this is NO surprise to me that you are wrapping your heart (and your hands) around this beautiful friend of yours, sara, and her family.
i LOVE your snowbird!
and
can totally see the blues and hart and wings of all it holds dear!
huge hugs to you and all those who choose to follow you in this endeavor....
xoxo
c

Amariah said...

I love, love, love your bird!!!!

It's just wonderful the way that you describe your friend and that you run for her :)

Gloria said...

fThat is a very special story and Iam sure she loves the painting...its funny how we get inspired and how things come to us not necessaraly when we want them but maybe when we need them most....I am happy that you carry her name on and keep her memory alive...I wish you the best my sweet friend and I am so happy for you that your amazing talent is being recognized..because it is awsome just like you...al your little creatures you paint are alive and so freakng cute...love ya G

patty said...

Oh, Mindy - what a beautiful, touching story! Every part of it and the way it all connects - blows me away! Love you, my friend!

PBsArtStudio said...

Hi, Thank you so much for visiting me. I had to come by and visit your blog. I was so touched by your beautiful story and of course your beautiful artwork! I'm so glad you found me because I found you back! Patti :D

Kay said...

lovely tribute to your dear friend..

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.
What a wonderful gift of your heart!

Jenny Lee Wentworth said...

Hi Mindy,

I saw your comment on Kelly Rae's class so I came to check out your blog. Love your sweet little birdie, and what a tribute to your dear friend.:) I saw Chrissy's post about you getting published! So exciting, I love that your painted the box you submitted.
Best wishes to you and I hope to get to know you in class!
♥Jenny

justagirl said...

A lovely post... and a wonderful thing to do for Sara's family.

I am pleased you are in Kelly Rae's class I have admired your work for a while.

Jennifer said...

Mindy. Thank you so much for sharing this story. It brought tears to my eyes. What an incredible painting and so incredible of you to give her family the original. You have the biggest heart dear mindy. I adore you. Your words show how highly you think of Sara and your actions now show such tribute to her.

I love you mindy!

tammy said...

hi mindy,
just stopping by from kelly rae's e-course. what a sweet and thoughtful tribute for your friend. very cute snowbird. i saw your work in cloth/paper scissors jan/feb, as well as a few blogs, love your style and work. looking forward to class

Cathy {Tinniegirl} said...

I love this piece Mindy. I've been wanting to buy one of your prints since we met and this will have to be the one (when I'm a little more cashed up).

What a beautiful way to honour your friend. The resemblance to the pin is amazing.

Melanie.Lynn said...

Sara was so lucky to have such an amazing friend like you. I love the painting, I love the meaning, and I love the little snowbird. You're amazing, Mindy... never forget that.
<3

DahliasbyDesign said...

what a wonderful tribute to your friend and thank you for sharing such a touching and very personal story. the painting is beautiful and i am sure they will be so touched.

RosesRadishesandRubbish said...

Mindy,
THis is so touching. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. It also gives me faith that there is "more out there" if we open ourselves up to that.:)

I am in love with all your new birdie paintings and experiments that you posted on flickr. Thanks so much for sharing your talents. What a happy place!!!

Llapingachitos said...

Hi Mindy,

I found your lovely blog a few weeks ago but I just noticed your comment on Kelly Rae's class too... can't wait for class to start!

真坤 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
simplydelicious said...

Love thar birdie print!! That for stopping by my blog!!

xoKaren

K8 said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It reminds me to greet others with compassion & kindness...because we never know the experiences that they have been through.