A girl inspired

Mar 19

A girl inspired

Today is my cancerversary.  (Three years ago today I found out I had advanced breast cancer: here’s my writing from that day; it’s also the day I became a writer.)

I’m pretty excited about today’s blog; it’s a testimony of how our family is thriving in the face of our burdens.  It’s brought to you by my seven-year-old daughter, Maren.  (She’s an awesome kid with a big heart.)

For a while now, she’s been thinking, yearning, wanting to do something to help cancer people.  She was four when I was diagnosed, so as she becomes older and more aware, my cancer effects her differently.  The Karen Wellington Foundation for LIVING with Breast Cancer touched Maren in a real way when they sent us on a Fun Only vacation last year.  Maren decided she would like to raise money for FUN.

After a few head-in-hands moments where she doubted she had much to give, she came up with the idea of creating art in exchange for some monetary donations.  I thought this was a brilliant idea and Brad and I sponsored the art supply side of this effort.  She spent much of the past week at our kitchen table painting and thinking about making people happy… first through her art, and then to a particular family as they take a vacation with help from her efforts.  She’s been really proud of her work, and she’s worked really hard.

IMG_5092

If you’re interested in “winning” some Maren art by pledging a donation, please reply in the comments (be sure to leave an accurate email address), “ArtTitle, YourName, $PledgeAmount” (Example: “Oceans, JoeSchmoe, $3.00).

Whomever bids the highest amount for each piece will win the artwork.  She will sign it either on the back or on the front per your desire.  We will mail it to you, or hand-deliver if possible, when we get your donation in the amount your pledged.  This little art auction will close next Sunday 3/22 at midnight.

If you want to donate to the KWF through Maren, but the whole art thing is too much, you can also put in the comments “Donation, YourName, $DonationAmount” and I will contact you with how to transfer funds.

This is our first attempt at doing anything like this, so thanks in advance for your grace and patience.  Maren and I had a long talk tonight that this project, like this life, is about our hearts.  She has taken a step to help others with great motivation and selflessness, and that is the most important step.  Even if she makes a very small amount of money for the foundation, it will still be an important effort and a worthy investment. Small things (and small people) matter too.

So without further ado, here are the Maren originals, available to the highest bidder(s).

Thank you in advance for your support and encouragement; Maren and I will be reading comments and checking progress together over the next few days.

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Glowing sun
by Maren
acrylic on 8×10″ canvas

Notes: There is a pencil outline circle that you can see through the paint; after much artistic conversation, Maren decided to embrace the imperfection as testimony to her authenticity as an artist-in-learning.

IMG_5146

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Faith
by Maren
acrylic on 8×10″ canvas

Notes: She said, “Mom, can I create words?”
“Sure baby,” I replied.  “Just use powerful words that matter to you.”
These are Maren’s words… her inspiration, idea and execution; it’s her authentic voice on canvas.  Personally, I love the juxtaposition of the seven-year-old execution of an old-soul concept.

IMG_5147

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Oceans (collection)
by Greta (top), Maren (middle), and Jen (bottom)
acrylic on 3 separate 8×10″ canvases

Notes: The three of us sat down and worked on our individual interpretations of “the ocean”.  It is our happy place.  Since “together” is also our happy place, we couldn’t separate these three works; they are a collection.

IMG_5155

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Happy sun
by Maren
acrylic on 8×10″ canvas

Notes: This is the sequel to the first study of “glowing sun.”  It’s the one that first born, perfectionist Maren says is her favorite because she improved upon the earlier version.  It’s a great representation of her light.

IMG_5149

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Do Today Well
by Maren
acrylic on 8×10″ canvas

Notes: While the artist worked, she told me not to look; she asked me my favorite color; she wrote “Do Today Well” and then painted over it several times so that the effect is that the words echo on the canvas.

IMG_5151

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To bid, please comment “ArtTitle, YourName, $PledgedAmount”; if you win we will contact you next week.

To donate to KWF through Maren, please comment “Donation, YourName, $DonationAmount”; we will be in touch about how to transfer funds.

Thank you, with love from Maren

64 comments

  1. Sarah Cepeda /

    Glowing Sun, Sarah Cepeda, $50

    • admin /

      Sarah, thank you for kicking off the bidding. You are awesome, and I’m bamboozled that you offered so much–you way out-shined this mama’s expectations.

  2. Malia /

    Beautiful!

    Do Today Well
    Malia Millard
    $50

    Happy Sun
    Malia Millard
    $50

    • admin /

      Malia, thank you for your bids! We think you are awesome. :)

  3. Happy sun
    Jenny Herman
    $10

    Great job beautiful Maren!!

    • admin /

      Hi Jenny, Brad just went to Portland last week for a business trip, and Maren is learning about the Oregon Trail in school. Now we have you as another Oregonian connection. :) Thank you for bidding on all this Maren Art! You rock.

  4. Oceans
    $20
    Jenny Herman

    Glowing sun
    $10
    Jenny Herman

    • admin /

      Jenny, your pledges for multiple pieces is such love! Thank you!

  5. Janya /

    Glowing Sun, Janya, $20. I have the perfect spot for this! Yay, Maren!

    • admin /

      Hi Janya, So sweet of you to participate in this with us. Maren was tickled that you were imagining hanging it somewhere specific at Red Feather. Cheers friend!

  6. Hannah /

    Glowing Sun – $100 (or whatever the £ exchange is – I’m from Scotland)
    Gorgeous pictures Maren!!

    • admin /

      Hannah, it’s so generous for you to pledge for Maren’s art, and Maren’s eyes widened at the thought of her art “going international.” So fun for her, thank you. We hope you are healthy and happy.

  7. I am inspired by Maren and her yearning to make a difference! And supporting an organization that sends people on Fun Only Vacations seems like a great cause. Well done Maren, I’m going to tell my children all about you, my teenagers can learn a lot from you!

    Donation, Missy, $100

    • admin /

      Wow, Missy, thank you for your donation! We will email you soon. We appreciate your kind words, and Maren is interested to see if her project will cause other kids to be interested in doing service projects. Such a fun thought!

  8. Melody Smith /

    Do Today Well
    $100
    Melody Smith
    You have quite the talent Ms. Maren!

    • admin /

      Wow Melody! Thank you so much for your generosity and compliment. We will email you soon. Thank you for making a difference in our lives today.

  9. Diane Quinn /

    Donation, Diane Quinn, $25.00

    • admin /

      Diane! Thank you! This is so kind of you; we are bamboozled. We will email you soon. You are amazing.

  10. Katie Gallivan /

    donation, Katie, $100

    I’m so proud of you, Maren!

    • admin /

      Katie! Thank you for your generosity; we will email you soon. Maren and I are both humbled and awed by your words and donation. You are awesome.

  11. Jeanne /

    Oceans
    Jeanne
    $50

    I love that Maren came up with this idea! What a girl!

    • admin /

      Thank you, thank you Jeanne! We so appreciate your love and support. You rock!

  12. Sarah /

    Faith, Sarah Cepeda, $50

    • admin /

      Sarah, thanks for following and bidding again. We love your love!

      • C. J. Rice /

        Faith, C. J. Rice, $100

        • admin /

          Thank you for bidding CJ! I’m overwhelmed at your generosity!

  13. Julie Hughes /

    Maren, you are so talented! Thank you for sharing your creations- keep them coming!! Love them!

    • admin /

      Julie, thank you for your kind words. You build up truth and strength in my Maren. Thank you!

  14. Aunt Annie /

    Maren, Your big heart and beautiful art creations are fantastic! What a wonderful idea to help another family experience a FUN vacation like you did last summer. Uncle George and I are so proud of you! We will donate $50 to the Karen Wellington Foundation. Maren, You are a ray of sunshine that brightens everyone’s day! Hugs and Kisses!

    • admin /

      Hi Annie, thank you! Maren cheered when she saw your name, and blushed at your kind words. Thank you for being such an enthusiastic Maren fan. We will email you soon.

  15. Maren and Jen – Love the idea and love the work! I bid $125 for Do Today Well. Let me know if I need to up the bid. I can will higher.

    • admin /

      Ami! You are so generous. Thank you for engaging in this project with us. Your love is bamboozling.

  16. peggy /

    What a terrific idea, Maren!!! Your art work is lovely. I would like to make a $100 donation to the KWF.

    • admin /

      Peggy! What a generous contribution; thank you. We will email you soon. We think you are pretty amazing and love the kindness you spread.

  17. Lori6NV /

    Beautiful, Maren. Beautiful. I’d like to donate $25 to KWF in your honor. I hope my little girl grows up as brave as you (and your mama). Love from Las Vegas, Nevada.

    • admin /

      Lori, thank you! Brave girls don’t always feel brave, and it is so good to call out that quality in each other. Thank you for being brave AND kind. We will email you soon.

  18. Tiffany /

    Sweet Maren…you make me proud to be a mama of a little girl the same age as you! Your heart is so much bigger than 7 years old. I can see your love in every paint stroke….and YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE! You are a light, sweet girl! Keep shining…you are glorifying God and helping others!! We will donate $50 for all your good works and for sharing your love!

    Matthew 5:16
    “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    • admin /

      Tiffany, your words brought tears to my mama eyes; thank you. We will email you soon. Thank you for speaking truth to my girl. Maren thinks you are awesome. (Me too.)

  19. Jennifer Wagnon /

    What an amazing gift Maren!! Looks like I was late in checking my email (we are currently out of town). If you create more art, we would love to purchase something for our new home. I particularly love the warmth of the hapy sun. If we missed the boat, we’d still like to donate to KWF in your honor. I have two 7 year old boys and will be teaching them about your giving spirit and heart. I can only hope they will be inspired by your awesomeness to do something to help and share their live with others. You are an inspiration!

    • admin /

      Hi Jennifer, thank you for your kind words. Generous souls sky-rocketed the pledges for the art pretty quickly (Maren and I thought prices would go up in $1 increments, capping at $10… so we are blown away by the reality). Your words are equally valuable to us, so thank you for sharing with us.

  20. Bonnie J /

    Maren, I’m touched by your softness of heart and mercy oriented leading to help families. Love in action!! I LOVE your Sun art and reminds me of how much the Lord’s love shines on us.
    Donation, $50.00,Bonnie Jackson

    • admin /

      Bonnie, thank you for calling out such wonderful truths in my girl; I love the way you speak/write. :) Thank you! We will email you soon.

  21. Lisa Leaf/ Syracuse NY /

    I was too late for the beautiful art work but I would be honored to make a pledge of $25.00, to KWF, in Maren’s name. She makes my heart explode.

    PS: I’m thinking a link to “Maren’s store”, to sell more love infused artwork, would be a nice addition to your site! 😉

    • admin /

      Lisa, thank you! Your words “She makes my heart explode” bring tears to this mama’s eyes. You are amazing. We’re brainstorming what is “next”. We’ll email you soon.

  22. Belinda Rose /

    Dear Maren and Jen too,
    I cannot tell you how much I love and appreciate your spirit, your courage, and your artistic talent. When I read your Mom’s account of your wonderful KWF vacation trip to Georgis, I was thrilled because you and your special family were only a few miles from my home! I am about the same age as your Grnadma Roz, and I have two grandchildren just a little younger than you and Greta! I, too, was diagnosed with breast cancer just a little while after your Mom and Roz were. A family member sent me the link to your Mom and Grandma’s blogs, and they quite literally brought me through many difficult days during treatment. God bless you and your precious family for bringing joy, hope, and sunshine to so many families! Hugs to you all!

    I would like to donate $100 to the KWF in your honor.

    • admin /

      Belinda, This is so nice… we loved Lake Lanier and we love you too! Thank you for such a nice note to our whole family. We are humbled by your generous donation and we will email you soon. Thank you!

  23. Lisa Niehaus /

    Oceans
    My happiest place
    I think I may have just entered a bidding war :)
    $60

    • admin /

      Thank you Lisa, the ocean is magical. Thank you for bidding and for joining in the fun spirit of it all.

  24. Amber /

    I saw the idea of notecards on the new post, and thought it was an excellent idea. Since Maren’s art is so popular, maybe she could send notes with prints of her work to folks not lucky enough to get an original. I’d love to have a happy sun or one of her other beautiful creations propped up on my dresser to see as I’m getting ready in the morning.

    $25 Donation from Amber in Alabama

    • admin /

      Thanks for these ideas Amber–we are still a bit shell-shocked over here but we are thinking about what she could do next. Thank you for your donation! We will email you soon.

  25. Amy N. /

    Clearly the ‘doing well today’ runs in the family (and I know that is not by chance). Luminously beautiful artwork, Maren! Sounds like it’s all spoken for and going to good homes, but I hope there will be a next time. In the meantime: Donation, Amy, $50

    • admin /

      Thank you for your kind words Amy; you rock for donating. We will email you soon. This is turning out to be an incredible story of kindness; thanks for being a part of it.

  26. Maren,
    Your art is beautiful and so creative, and I see it’s in high demand! It’s an honor to make a $50 donation to the Karen Wellington Foundation to support your efforts.
    Nancy and Gary Oppito

    • admin /

      Nancy thank you so much for donating and supporting Maren. We think you are awesome and we will email you soon.

  27. Jeanne Anderson /

    Because we Andersons love the ocean, I am increasing my bid to $75. I can just picture the three of you working on your masterpieces.

    • admin /

      I think the ocean and the Andersons are awesome; thanks for bidding and loving us!

  28. Maribeth Koopman /

    The Koopmans will donate $100

    • admin /

      Hello Maribeth! Wow! Thank you so very much. We will be in touch soon.

  29. Sarah /

    Happy Sun, Sarah C, $75

    • admin /

      Hi Sarah, I think you win the prize for following the auction closely and re-bidding… we love your commitment. Thank you!

  30. Jules /

    Maren, you are so talented, truly! I would be honored to have Oceans in my home. I will think of you, your family and every family living with cancer when I look at it. I bid a donation of $200.

    • admin /

      Jules–what a lovely sentiment about Maren’s art in your home. I love it. Thank you for your generosity.

  31. Michelle /

    Maren,
    I love your heart! I am reading this post with thirty minutes to bid. All of your art is beautiful and the winners are truly lucky. I don’t want to outbid anyone because it’s so late and I bet they went to bed tonight excited that they were taking home such gorgeous art. I would like to make a $200 donation in your name instead. Congratulations on such a successful FUNdraiser.

    Michelle

    • admin /

      Michelle, it has indeed been a FUNdraiser–I love your play on words. Thank you for your amazing generosity; we will be in touch soon. I giggled at your reasons for not bidding on the art–so selfless of you! You rock.

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