Watercolor  20 x 30


©Jean Bidwell – “Strength

An envelope arrived one afternoon and I didn’t recognize the return address, it wasn’t accompanied by a note, just a phone number and a stack of photographs — remarkable photographs. As I carefully examined each image something welled up within me, an appreciation for a place I did not “know,” but was gifted to me by a person I hadn’t realized I had met.

At the exact moment I encountered this image of a young 14-year-old girl, drawing water from a source far beyond the boundaries of her small Masai village in Tanzania, I found it difficult to contain myself — a radiance and strength emanated from her, which brought me to tears.

I called the number enclosed, discovering that I had briefly met the sender; she had long admired my work, which she enjoyed at the home of a mutual friend. Upon her return from volunteer service in a small Tanzanian village, she sent these photos and asked me if I could capture this moment of her experience in watercolor. Truthfully, the creation of this piece became no less than a spiritual experience.

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