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Jim Torgeson

Gwenn Seemel
Before and after: Heart transplant
2007 and 2008
acrylic on canvas
30 x 48 inches (combined dimensions)

I met Jim in 2007, just before he received a heart transplant. I titled the first portrait I created of him Don’t forget your longboat and ax in honor of Jim’s courageous and always encouraging spirit. The 2008 portrait is called A letter to himself, and that painting is a testament to Jim’s rare and extraordinary journey from the peace of someone near death to the mostly joyful chaos of the healthy.

These portraits were commissioned after Jim’s wife saw this series of “before” and “after” portraits. To learn more about the making of these portraits, please visit this article and this one too on my blog.