Woman paints angels after near-death experience

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COLUMBIA – A Kansas City artist visited Columbia Saturday to paint portraits of people’s angels.

Susan Walter said she had life-saving surgeries at ages four and six that helped her through a series of medical issues. Afterwards, she was grated the ability to see angels.

“For me it’s second nature, you know? It’s like I don’t really remember a time not doing it,” Walter said.

Walter visited the store Heart, Body and Soul and let people set up appointments with her to have their angels painted. According to Walter, each person has at least three angels. 

“Some of them are more quiet, some of them are very chatty, some of them have quite a sense of humor,” she said. “Some are more friendly and some of them are more of a teacher role for that person, because everybody has a minimum of three angels. They all have different roles.” 

Deborah Carney, one of the owners of the store, had her own angel painted due to her love of the angels. 

“I was very excited,” she said. “It was one of my favorite subjects, so I was really happy to get it done.”

Walter said no two angels will ever be alike, however there could be similarities. According to her, wings of the angels are like fingerprints. They are all unique.

She described the experience of seeing an angel as “how you sometimes see a ray of sunshine coming between the clouds.”

“It is a very loving feeling, it really is,” Walter said. “I know one of the comments that people have made is that with all the angel portraits that I do, the arms are always outstretched to give you a great big hug. After every angel portrait that I have ever done, at the end I always want to exchange a hug with that person. It almost feels incomplete if I don’t.”