HUNTINGDON, PA - February 21, 2012 - Akiane Kramarik’s paintings of Heaven and God are beyond breathtaking. They are realistic, yet ethereal. They are tangible, yet capture the intangible. They are aesthetic, yet natural. They portray love, yet the love is felt more than seen.
Much like the 17-year-old artist and prodigy, the paintings stir the soul, bringing to mind greater things than those which exist here on earth. Like the lyrics of a song that we have never heard, Akiane’s paintings of Heaven evoke feelings that we have never felt, yet long to experience.
Akiane began sketching at the age of four; by age six, she was painting on canvases. She told her mother that she had to paint because she had “visions from God.” Her parents, who were atheists at the time, were simultaneously confused and amazed by their young daughter’s paintings of Heaven and Jesus Christ, whom she referred to as “God.”
The Kramariks have stated over and over that these were not terms that were discussed in their home. Akiane’s mother, Foreli, is originally from Lithuania and had no religious background or belief system. Akiane’s father, Mark, was brought up as a Catholic, but had not been a practicing Catholic in years.
In an interview with The Washington Times Communities section, “Lori’s Centiments,” Akiane attempted to explain what it is like to have a “vision from God.”
“A vision is like an oasis in a desert. You can’t have it all the time, as you need to keep on continuing your journey through the desert of life experiences, full of faith trials… I am not so concerned about waiting for a vision to appear because I know it will come to me when I least expect it… I still do have visions that inspire my work,” Akiane said.
Akiane has said in the past that she must paint what she sees in visions, which she says are much like dreams, soon after she experiences them or the vision will lose its clarity. When she gazes at a vision-inspired painting, such as “Prince of Peace,” she can clearly recall the vision, although she needs to look at the painting to bring it fully to her conscious mind.
In another painting, titled “Father Forgive Them,” Akiane painted Jesus with his hands raised upward, as though beseeching his Father in Heaven. She describes God in an interview with CNN as “like a bow of light - really pure, really masculine, really strong, and big … His eyes are just beautiful.”
Among the some 250 paintings Akiane has completed, many have been influenced by her visions or by some other aspect of her spiritual life. Some of the most awe-inspiring are those of Heaven, which Akiane says she has seen, through revelations from God.
In our interview, Akiane described Heaven using words: “Plants, animals, and all beings spoke not through words, but through color, vibration, and thoughts. Everything was simply effortless. But my recollections of Heaven and visions are fading and new experiences are being formed through time. My understanding of Heaven has expanded and deepened since my first encounter with visions and dreams of Heaven. We co-create our reality however we like it and need it. To a certain degree, some people can experience that even here on earth.”
Akiane has also repeatedly mentioned the vibrancy and ethereal beauty that exists in Heaven. “All of the colors were out of this world. There are hundreds of millions of colors that we don’t know yet. The flowers there were crystal clear …” Akiane told CNN in an interview a few years ago.
Perhaps Akiane’s best known painting of Heaven is, “Supreme Sanctuary,” which depicts an ornate building on a hill, flooded in sunshine and warmth, and surrounded by unusual, yet inherently beautiful flowers of every hue. As Akiane has emphasized, it is impossible for her to capture the colors which exist in Heaven because of their uniqueness.
In addition to her prolific painting, Akiane also writes poetry, often to describe a painting or vision.
Here is a portion of the poem that accompanies the painting titled, “Supreme Sanctuary”:
Eternal childhood -
With delicate demands …
No reflections have been gathered
In the same-hue gardens -
Seems too physical
Across the crossroad of
For some reason I can’t
To be mixed up
Into the chaste pigments of
For some reason
I can’t wait for the journey
Which is the only way
To reach the Light… .
In our interview, we asked Akiane to describe God to someone who doesn’t have a relationship with Him. Her response, in part, was that God “is love.” Akiane also stated that having a relationship with God requires having love and purity in your heart.
Akiane said her goal in life is “to bring people closer together through art.” Her art has certainly accomplished that on many levels. Not only have her paintings sold for very large sums, ranging from $5,000 to $3 million, they have undoubtedly touched the hearts and minds of all who have seen them. The teenager who has had no formal training has definitely elicited great excitement and admiration in the art world. She has also intrigued the public about God and Heaven, making many who didn’t believe, pause and wonder about how a little girl could have such a gift if not for a loving God.
The soft spoken girl is self-effacing about her gifts, attributing her paintings to God’s presence in her life. For instance, upon completion of one of her works of art, Akiane said, “I feel every painting is a challenging piece of a puzzle for me and others to solve. I feel both humble and exhilarated to see if completed.”
Akiane spends four to five hours a day on her paintings, mostly done in acrylics or oil. The process from beginning to completion of a painting takes about three months. She is home schooled, along with her siblings, Delfi, Jean Lia, Ilia, and Aurelius, in their hometown, Sandpoint, Idaho. Along with painting and writing, Akiane spends time reading and studying. She speaks Lithuanian, Russian, and English. Other activities that Akiane said she enjoys are writing, textile designing, playing instruments including the piano, guitar, flute and the violin, photography, cooking, going to operas, ballets, and plays. In addition, she enjoys creating stop motion or clay motion short films and sculpting.
At this time, Akiane does not have plans to attend college. “For a true artist, life is a real academy. I am always both a student and a teacher. I have been teaching art to children since the age of eight. Now I am a co-founder of Akiane Arts School at Foreli Academy, where we are now enrolling students. As a student of life, I am challenged everyday to experiment and to explore the unknown territories.”
The ‘unknown territories’ that Akiane has explored seems to primarily revolve around her spirituality, which she paints with such passion and fervor that her paintings seem to virtually come to life. One such painting, is titled, “The Angel,” which resonates with the purity and love that Akiane often speaks of. The gossamer-like gown that surrounds the angel lends to the painting’s ethereal, ephemeral ambiance, drawing the audience in, making the audience long to know more.
Fortunately, Akiane wrote the following explanation about the painting, “The Angel”:
“… Sometimes we meet certain angels that appear like humans, and we don’t know it. Many of us have been saved from many accidents, and we don’t know it either. We should appreciate each safe moment. In this painting, I blended a few dimensions to portray the guardian angels’ mission: with the wings invisible to human eyes, yet with the see-through energy veil, the youthful angel is catching a falling child without any tension, difficulty, or worry. Her background is gold, copper, and brass, to signify the providence, the law, and the safety. To save our bodies is easy for an angel, but what is hard is that sometimes she must allow someone to fall or get hurt, according to God’s laws. And I don’t remember why …”
The beauty and awe evoked by Akiane’s paintings can not be denied. Nor can the loveliness of the painter herself be unobserved. She is the epitome of a unique gentleness and beauty that seems to glow from inside her until it reaches her countenance.
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