Andy Lakey Paints Angels for the blind!
I have a love of Angels. I have Angel Cards, a lovely pair of Angel Wings, and have always liked the idea that we have Angels around us.
When I read about Andy Lakey and his Angel paintings I had to know more so here is his amazing story.
Andy is often described as the world’s most famous painter of Angels, but he certainly did not start his life that way.
In his teens he was extremely troubled and unfortunately turned to drugs. He managed to clean himself up and get off the drugs but had no real job prospects and so resorted to selling cars.
How Andy become a man who paints angels.
On New Years Eve 1986, he had a near death experience that totally changed his life. He tells us that 7 Angels appeared to him and told him he was going to be an Artist. Andy had never been at all artistic but felt he had to follow this message. He went out and bought some art materials but had no idea how to paint. He did his best but nothing was selling.
After 3 months he managed to sell his first painting but unfortunately the lady who bought it came
back the next day with the painting and asked for a refund! He persevered, but by January 1990, he was ready to give up, then his Angels visited him again.
He said that they appeared as a bright ball of light in his art studio and told him he had to create 2000 Angel paintings by the year 2000. He wanted to know ‘Why’ and ‘How’ and the Angels said they would guide him. Although he felt re-inspired, he still felt unfocused and lost.
Then some unusual circumstances led him to meet up with a colleague who suggested he change his brand of paint. He did that, but accidentally spilled some new paint into another paint.
He was about to discard the paint when he noticed that the mix had a really unusual texture. Andy quickly created 3 Angel paintings with the new paint and took them over to the Bank opposite his studio. He asked if he could hang the paintings in the lobby of the Bank.
This is when the Universe intervened. Pierette Van Cleve, founder of the Art Cellar in San Diego saw his work. She then contacted Andy and asked him if he had ever thought of painting for the Blind. Poor Andy thought he was being insulted in as much as ‘only the blind would appreciate his art’ but Pierette had plans for him.
A few days later she rang him to tell him a local ABC station was going to do a story on new artists and wanted him involved. ABC took a few of his paintings to a local well known gallery and they were billed as “Andy Lakey, the artist who paints for the Blind”.
Andy watched many people touching his art and wasn’t quite sure how he felt about that. Then he saw one blind woman running her hands over his paintings and she cried. It truly moved him.
From this show, 60 of the network affiliates broadcast the program and within just 3 months of starting his new style of painting, 50 million viewers had seen his work!
He received thousands of letters from the sighted as well as the blind who were intrigued with his art and his story, although he still had not told the whole story of how he got started with his painting.
Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, many Hollywood stars, as well as President Reagan, soon became owners of his paintings.
Then Andy decided he wanted to tell his whole story including the drugs and the Angels. It seemed to be the end of his painting days as many important galleries immediately dropped exhibiting his work. Many thought of Andy as ‘Crazy’ and others thought his admission of his early use of drugs would scare buyers away.
Amazingly, 400 new galleries contacted him about showing his work. He touched the public’s heart with his honesty, especially the young. By 1993, Andy was receiving thousands of letters from youngsters all around the world.
Even more incredible was that he received around 30,000 personal pledges from children to say that they would stay in school and stay off drugs. In return, Andy sent each child a drawing or sketch to seal their pledge to him.
Andy will say that his Angel paintings gave him his life back so that he could give something back to the Universe. He still gives a portion of money from all his paintings to charities on a regular basis.
When he was asked “could someone who has never painted in his life suddenly paint thousands of paintings that speak to people from all walks of life from all around the world without some kind of ‘Divine Guidance’?” Andy answered an emphatic “NO!”
He remains low key and quite humble although his work can now be seen in many homes and galleries around the world. He has donated many canvases to clinics and hospitals for the Blind and this has been a very special moment for him.
Andy does not take the credit for what he has achieved, but gives it to ‘something bigger than himself’. Something that wanted him to help others remember the beauty of life. Something that wanted to remind him to remind us that we are not alone!
I am sure that there will be very mixed reactions to the story of Andy Lakey, some believers and some skeptics. But whatever you believe, a miracle happened and beautiful Angel paintings were created for everyone to enjoy including the Blind. How wonderful is that!
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