Nikki McClure and Sinful Folk

New York Times best-selling illustrator and author Nikki McClure and I know each other through our children’s school and our mutual interest in locally sourced art and supporting local artists. Nikki’s son and my children both attended the Lincoln Options Elementary School, and we are both very involved in the local arts community in the South Sound area in the Pacific Northwest. We first met at a Solstice Celebration that featured local children in an impromptu theatrical celebration of the season.   Nikki created the cover of Sinful Folk as one of her signature papercut pieces, but went in a new direction for the internal illustrations, which were created with charcoal. After reading the book in 2012, Nikki created her own graphical interpretation of SINFUL...

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Can Art Save a Life? (Rothko and Pollock)

I read on Brainpickings recently that Mark Rothko, the marvelous abstract expressionist painter, said that when people “weep” when seeing his paintings they are having the same transcendent experience he had when he painted.   Transcendence is an interesting word. It made me remember once when Rothko’s work might just have saved someone’s life.     Ten years ago, I was in divinity school, studying theology and quite seriously considering taking religious orders (albeit as a closet agnostic). Part of my practical training was working as a ER hospital chaplain, and I was on call to comfort the dying and give succor to the injured.   Often, I was called in by hospital doctors or nursing staff to help people find a way towards a peaceful ending or...

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