A short time after the ability to paint was revealed to me, my precious Aunt Irene came to me with a small magazine clipping of a warship. She asked if I would paint it, saying she had kept it for years because she liked it. "Armada" is the 18" x 24" (45.72 x 60.96 cm) result, the oil painting on canvas. It still amazes me to think I painted this because it is so intricate. I had no tools for drawing the straight lines of the riggings, knowledge of colors or how to achieve this. There is no explanation except that God painted it through me. It was His gift to Irene and she loved it dearly.
My aunt was in a long abusive marriage. My uncle destroyed everything that he thought meant anything to her. I do not wish to judge him, but it is necessary to know this, so you can understand what I remember happened. When I presented the painting to her, she immediately hid it. This was the mid 1980's. I often wondered what happened to it, but no one seemed to know.
The years rolled on and when both my aunt and uncle had passed on, the house was abandoned. Some of the children moved in and destroyed it to the point that it was not livable. Finally, the oldest child, my cousin, John took control and started renovating it. One day his wife, Dee came to me and said, “Do you remember the painting you did for Mom?” I said, “Certainly.” Then she began to tell me what had happened. She said, “When we took back the house, there were only two things left in it. I found both of them in the heater closet. One was the painting.” Then she uncovered it from the wrapping. I was very pleased to see it was still in its original condition. I can imagine she took it out routinely and remembered our great bond of love. Dee tried to give it to me that day, but I refused, saying, “Oh, No, Honey! It belongs to you and John.”
It had never been framed so Dee and I went to a framing shop and picked out the silver frame together. She hung it in one of their spare bedrooms that she labeled as mine. Every time I visited, I lay peacefully on the bed with "Armada" hanging above my head.
They finally were able to move into their parent’s home. I look forward to sleeping under the "Armada" once again, grateful it was hidden and saved, as I remember my precious Aunt Irene.