Betty J.Billups

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BIO OF ARTISTBetty J.Billups

Whenever I start a major figurative piece, or even a studio still life or landscape, I never leave the studio, until it is finished, which might be better than a week!!

But this creation was the exception! While working on it I received word that my Father was in the hospital.

Both my brother and I arrived in Virginia, and together with our mother decided to take Dad off life support. His brain had gone too long with out oxygen, and thus brain dead.

We had him brought home (a home that had been in Dad's family since 1663...50 years before Washington was born!) Dad and I were extremely close in life as also during these last days! Some where I had read, a human cannot live much longer than 7 days without water: the body will eventually poison itself. So, I sat with him thru out each day, and slept on top of the stacked double beds, so he would never be alone, on the final journey.

I would massage his hands and arms with lotion, and just talk softly, so he knew I was close by. At one point, I leaned over to kiss him on the forehead, and told him "I'd be right back". Due to the breathing apparatus in the hospital, his mouth was never closed again. But when I kissed him he puckered his lips to kiss me back, and then his mouth sprung back open! Another time, I mentioned that I knew his greatest heart ache in the world (for HIS ears only!), and when I said that, his mouth once again, closed, but in at the saddest grimace...not wanting me to know what his greatest hurt had been!

So, if YOU are ever with a loved one who is passing, KNOW that they can still hear you, they just may not be able to respond!

Which now brings me back to this painting. When I returned home, and returned to this painting, something kept hitting me deep inside. I could not figure it out! BUT, as it came to completion, I was finally able to understand what it was!

I have never done a figurative, where one figure is definitely NOT looking at us, the viewer...while the other figure IS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT THE VIEWER!! And I finally got the MESSAGE: The front figure which is 100% in OUR view, represented my Dad's physical body, while the figure behind (not seen totally) represent his SOUL! And one more measure to the message: What I understand, in the Oriental belief, the SOUL is represented by the color RED!

And thus the reason for the title of this painting: BEYOND WORDS! And the original hangs to this day, over the bed in the master bedroom!! Thank you for allowing me to share this!!

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