The Whole Story...Er...Kinda...

She was born in the back of the family station wagon during the worst blizzard of 1976. Just a few minutes more, and she would have been born in the local hospital - they were in the parking lot when she first showed her face. Her mother named her Kynder, in the hopes of a kinder, gentler future for the United States. Her father gave the middle name Opal. Throughout her childhood she was known for always being in a hurry, always wanting to be places early, seeming to need to push herself farther and faster. The only thing that slowed her down was the offering of crayons and paper. Her parents had noticed her natural talent even before she started school - how she managed to capture the essence of anything around her, from the animals on their farm to the people they passed when they went into town.

Kynder excelled in the arts through her elementary career and on into junior high. It was about the time that she hit puberty that this became a problem. She started skipping classes and family functions to spend time with her drawings, tucked away in a little corner somewhere. She let herself go - didn't stop to eat or sleep, rarely bathed, sometimes not leaving a certain place for days until she got her impressions down on paper. People started to worry.

Throughout all her days in school she found one person who seemed to understand. He happened to come on her when she was in one of her hiding places, working for the third day straight on a small chalk drawing. He introduced himself as Roger. It wasn't long before they were inseparable - Roger keeping Kynder grounded while she taught him how to dream. Soon she was treated almost normally by other people; and - like typical farm kids - the two of them went to a few parties, where they were treated as a couple, left alone to roll in the haylofts. They graduated high school the same day Kynder went into labor with their first child. Their wedding was less than a month later.

Roger treated Kynder with nothing but respect and love until after their second child was born just over a year after their first. Then he started to lose faith in their dreams and hopes, started berating her for being a child when she talked to him about what she saw for the future. Her beliefs never wavered. She knew there was a living to be made by her paintings, and she was determined to find it.

Kynder's third pregnancy, two years later, went well. She kept on with her artwork in the privacy of their home when the children were sleeping and Roger was working. Her savings grew with each piece secretly sold. Her name was being spread quietly. Those who had portraits done by her were mystified by how she managed to capture the essence of what they truly were and put it on canvas.

Life went on for four years the same way - Roger moving further away from the relationship, Kynder being a mother publicly and an artist behind the curtain - until a man with a small gallery in New York offered to open a show of Kynder's work. She didn't even stop to think. Her works were sent on ahead via overnight mail, she packed bags for the children and herself, left a Dear John letter, and started driving to a new and hopefully better life...

[ Close Window ]

written by Kynder