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Grief, art and a question: When will the mass shootings stop?

A Flower Mound artist was moved to paint after the shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. It's not the first time that's happened.

FLOWER MOUND, Texas — Eilene Carver believes art is communication. 

"I couldn't not say something about this," said the artist. 

Inside her Flower Mound studio, Carver acts like a mirror, reflecting her world on canvas. Right now, it’s one of uncertainty and fear.

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"This is my most recent piece," said the painter. "I began it Monday morning."

"I had heard about the Gilroy Garlic festival, then El Paso and Dayton within hours," Carver said. "And I just thought 'Well, I’m going to have to devote this to all three.'"

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What will stop these attacks? The answers are as clear as a Magic 8 balls, which is the focus of her latest painting. Next to the 8-ball, in oil, Carver poses a question: When will it end?

"I had many different phrases that I thought about putting on there, but this is the one, these are my own words," she said. "'When will it end?'"

It’s far from her other works of portraits and sunsets, but Carver felt called to paint this piece. It is the latest in a collection of 36, inspired by other mass shootings across the nation.

Every one is her grief from each shooting, each story laid bare. That’s the emotion she wants to spark in those who see the paintings. 

"I want people to have their emotions stirred," said Carver. "Then hopefully they’ll be a desire to find some common ground. If people really want to work together, I think there's hope."

Hope that someday, Carver won’t hear the news and have to paint.  

"They have been really hard to do. I would love it if we didn’t have that subject matter anymore," she said. 

Carver is currently on exhibit at the Palace Arts Center in Grapevine as a "Featured Artist" for her painting "Valentine's Will Never Be the Same." For more, visit her website here

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