I was struck with Guillian Barre syndrome in 1996. Initially, I was totally paralyzed and on a respirator for five months. But after 2.5 years of extensive inpatient and outpatient care and therapy, I advanced to walking with braces and a cane, which I still rely on today. Although I have recovered most of my fine and gross motor skills, I still have physical complications and experience frequent bouts of fatigue.
I attribute my recovery to the knowledgeable and caring treatment I received from medical personnel and the support and prayers of family and friends. Two Bible verses that brought me comfort and gave me courage during my paralysis and recovery were “...with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53.5) and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
For a few years, I painted with water soluble oils but have since returned to painting with standard oil paints. I love the smell, viscosity and versatility of oils. I create my paintings from imagination, photos and memory. My desire is to express my joy with the beauty of God’s design and creation, whether it is in the light and shadow of a still life, the texture and color of the landscape or the beauty and individuality of a figure. I have exhibited at Mary Free Bed, Artists Creating Together and Art Prize.
Previously, I signed my paintings using my maiden name, Heppe, and “MFW” for “My Father’s World.” Now I simply sign them with my initials, LKR, to show the support of my husband and in memory of my mother. My mother signed her own drawings with her initials, KEH. She is the person who first encouraged me from an early age to draw and paint.