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A Sign From Above

Updated: Jan 26, 2020

As the story was told to me, the image in the clouds was a sign.

dove light in the clouds

He was that all-American kid, always helping others, volunteering with classmates and the community, etc. The next step he took was a natural progression for a kid like him, he signed up with the Marines to help his country. Sadly, tragedy struck in 2016 and the world lost a great man in Connor. Connor’s mother, Stacey, had lost her son and life would forever be different.


In the summer following the passing of Connor, Stacey’s boyfriend had planned on proposing to her, and one evening, while vacationing in his native Sweden, the sunbeams of the setting midsummer sun broke through the clouds, shaped like a dove. At that moment, with the feeling of Connor watching and approving, the decision to marry was made.

How did I get the honor to paint this fantastic day?

A benefit tennis tournament was put together by Patrik and Stacey at the Wailea Tennis Club, and as a member myself, Patrik approached me to help them fund raise with an art donation. The Semper Fi Fund, one of the highest-rated veteran charities in the country, was the beneficiary. My late father-in-law was a decorated Marine so I felt a strong connection to their efforts. I donated a commission painting to the highest bidder, where they could select the scene and I’d create a painting.


Patrik and Stacy outbid the audience.

They decided to put their memory on canvas. I worked entirely from a selection of their personal photos, creating a scene that included the memorable clouds, still water, calm summer day and a distant farm complete with a far-off windmill. The result was a one-of-a-kind scene, filled with cherished memories to adorn their home for generations to come.

Original Oil Painting created for Stacy and Patrik Ekstrand

Their motto was visualized:

"Those we love don’t go away, they walk with us every day"

18 x 24 Oil on Canvas

A friend from the #WaileaTennisClub has a benefit for a fallen solider. Please support the #SemperFiFund to help the families of #Marines lost in combat.

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