Look once, and
you'll miss it. Look twice, and it's just another painting.
But if you hold your gaze, you'll discover something else
entirely. This is more than just acrylic colors thrown aimlessly
on a bare canvas--this is a celebration of a life well lived.
Fifteen years ago, Denice Lewis was on top
the world. As a world-renowned super model, she had reached the
pinnacle of her profession. For more than a decade, Lewis
traveled the globe, lived in the lap of luxury, and enjoyed the
exclusive position as the highest-paid catwalk model in Europe.
However, after suffering a series of debilitating
diseases, her life would never be the same. In the midst of
sickness and uncertainty, Lewis returned to a passion that stayed with
her through anonymity and fame--her love of art.
Soon, Lewis found
fulfillment in honoring the lives of loved ones by painting with
Growing up in a
family of creative
including painters, sculptors and
musicians, it was only natural for her to pick up a brush and create
works of art. Years later, Lewis' abstract paintings
caught the attention of her best friend, who came to her with a unique
proposal. He wanted her to create a painting that celebrated his
mother's life using his mother's cremated remains.
Initially, the idea seemed a bit macabre.
Because Lewis knew his mother very well, she questioned the validity of
the suggestion. But eventually she began to understand the
and decided to pursue it.
"His mother had passed away, and it was something
wanted. At first, I felt a bit hesitant….like maybe it's
something that shouldn't be done. But because
he was my best friend,
do it," Lewis said.
After completing this first abstract
cremated remains, a funny thing happened: Lewis discovered a
tremendous amount of public support.
"The next thing you know, so many people
find it a
beautiful way to honor
loved one…A lot of [them] think it's
interesting, healing and non-offensive," she said.
People from across the country began
her ash portraits. Lewis found the more she painted with cremated
remains, the more positive
her paintings received.
Soon, her Tribute series
earned national acclaim, and the paintings were hung in prestigious
galleries in Hawaii, New York, and Los Angeles.
To commission a Lewis Tribute painting, visit www.denicelewis.com, and click
on the Commissions link to send a brief message and contact
replies as soon as possible.
This leads to a telephone conversation in which she learns about
the loved one's interests and desires. In addition to in-depth
conversations, she also looks at family photos, pictures, and
journals. In some cases, if travel expenses are covered, she will
actually go to the person's home to better capture the essence of the
loved one's life.
each commission is based on the
individual, time and expenses vary
from project to project. Estimated completion and
cost of a Tribute painting depend on canvas size, materials used, and
the amount of information included.
requests, Lewis recommends mailing a small
portion of the cremated remains
receives the remains, she
begins to create a beautiful painting
commemorating the loved one's life. For many, Lewis says this is
the perfect way to say goodbye.
"You don't really want to lose the person
life…so having a piece that you can look at every day and remember them
by helps you heal and makes you remember all the fun
during your lifetime together. "People find that very
appealing," she says.
It takes more than a glance, but when you look deeply, you'll discover
more than just an attractive work of art. Innovative,
therapeutic, captivating-- Denice Lewis' Tribute paintings excite eyes
and revive the soul.