She would paint on anything.

On a hot June day this past summer, Kelsey Veldman lay down to take a nap and never woke up. She had been struggling with bulimia for nine years, and her heart finally gave out.

More than just a bulimic, though, Kelsey was an artist. Her mother said she would paint on anything. From her mom's blog:

As it turns out, her art will get its debut, and I will be helping to fund it. The proceeds will go to an fledgling organization to promote awareness about eating disorders. She would be okay with that part of the deal, she just would want to know why I didn't make a different decision when she was alive to benefit from it.

I should have, because she was an incredible artist. I'm not sure I even realized how much so until we were choosing pieces to display at her funeral. Most of the pieces were not things I had ever seen. Marissa knew where they were. As she pulled out more and more, I realized there was a lot about both girls I was totally isolated from, even as they lived under my roof. However, the art itself was amazing. Of course, I was not looking at them objectively, but I think most people would agree she had real talent and potential. Without the benefit of expensive supplies, she'd paint on anything. There are a few pieces on cardboard, including the self portrait we used for her memorial card. It was indicative of how a vision can't be squashed. Well, I guess it can be actually. Death squashed it.

But, did it? Will she live on a little by my agreeing to share her art to help raise awareness about the disease that ripped us apart for all those years? I guess we shall see. We hope those of you who can will see along with us. Any artists out there are encouraged to donate a piece and come to the event to promote your art. Don't do what we did; pursue your dream.

In two weeks, Kelsey's art will be auctioned off to benefit the Austin Foundation for Eating Disorders.

Date: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, 7-9pm
Location: Space 12 -
3121 E 12th Ave, Austin TX 78702

For more on Kelsey's story, click here.

(h/t The Fat Nutritionist)

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Jenn said...

Thank you for posting this.


Molly Koch said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is absolutely beautiful, and such a touching story. <3

ghost girl said...

I know her art will touch people. Thank you so much for posting this.

oh my. this makes me want to cry...all my e.d. art crammed all over the place.... a rotting degree and rotting teeth....dreams....

this story is seriously overwhelming and wonderful and sad....wish i lived near austin and could see it all in person

MissBlueBird88 said...

Kelsey was one of my closest friends. We never met in person, but we met in an online support community and started sending each other real letters. I swear she knew more about me than even my sister does. She made some really neat art pieces and I have them displayed in my room. Her death was not exactly a huge shock, but it was of course terrible. I think, though, it was one of the things that pushed me into seeking recovery. I'm so glad that you posted this and I'm glad that her message is still alive.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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