Never before then, she replies.
OK … but it occurred to you that this is something you might
It never occurred to me, she iterates.
So on January 7, 2007, Klaire just started painting. She had
never studied art, she had little interest in art. But on
that date, something miraculous occurred she believes.
Klaire picked up paint brush, applied paint to surface and,
in just a few minutes, a work of art was completed – a work
of art that she sold within a short time for $85. And on
that date, a life was changed.
A Toledo native, Klaire has had her share of challenges
during her adult life. As recently as 1997, she was on
welfare bringing home $400 a month. In fact from the age of
17, when she was married, she spent the next 11 years on
Everything changed in 1997 when she got a good-paying job
with Chrysler. From then until 2004, she and her kids lived
a good life. She eventually bought a house.
But in 2004, Klaire got sick and started losing
consciousness, at home and at work. She got sicker and
sicker with an apparent stomach condition but the doctors
she saw were unable to diagnose the problem. She lost her
job at Chrysler. She lost her house. She was living in her
car and visiting hospitals trying to find out what was wrong
Depression set in, her weight ballooned to 220 pounds. “I
didn’t want to live,” she says now. “I wanted to kill
On December 31, 2006, Klaire was back in the hospital for
her undiagnosed stomach problems and remembers a nurse she
saw in the middle of the night … not a nurse really, on
second look. Whoever she was, the visitor prayed for Klaire
for several minutes. The next morning, a nurse gave Klaire
five crayons for her personal use.
Klaire was clearly not ready to use the crayons so she
slipped them under her pillow.
A few days later, she was discharged from the hospital and
decided to treat her 16-year old daughter – her youngest
child – to a visit to a store to pick up a few things to
entertain. Her daughter, on the other hand, had a different
idea. She thought her mother needed something from the store
to inspire her. She suggested to Klaire that she try her
hand at painting.
Klaire was unconvinced.
Her daughter, undaunted by her mother’s negative reply,
selected five acrylic paints – ironically enough, the same
five colors her mysterious visitor had selected several days
earlier – and five brushes.
Encouraged by her daughter, Klaire finally broke out the
material on January 7, 2007 and painted a church in about 10
minutes. She sold the painting a few weeks later. She kept
painting. Filled her house with her paintings. Paintings
that just flowed out of her … quickly … in minutes. Within
30 days, she says, she had sold everything in the house.
How would you describe your work, a visitor asks her?
She can’t really. She knows that she paints in a 360 degree
style and three dimensional. Her paintings can be turned and
flipped – there is no right side up. She paints on many
different surfaces – canvas, boxes, furniture, clothes …
even people at times.
“I just do it, I don’t have to think about it.”
Bright, vivid colors. Lots of florals, lots of geometric
shapes – not that she knows where this stuff is coming from.
Fortunately, it does come.
Klaire just recently was invited to display her art in a
major Columbus, OH studio. So the art thing is going pretty
well. So is the health thing.
As mysteriously as her health deteriorated, her problems
disappeared. She has been relatively untroubled since she
started painting. She once took 13 medications, she is now
down to three; down from eight doctors to one.
She just keeps painting.