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Medium-Artist Draws Portraits Of The Spirits She Sees

Rita Berkowitz explains how she draws portraits of spirits. 

RITA BERKOWITZ: “In this new conversation with spirit artist Rita Berkowitz, we talk about Rita’s ability to communicate with spirits and draw their portraits as she sees them. Rita is a medium who is also an artist, so she’s able to provide tangible evidence of life after death by drawing her client’s deceased loved ones without ever having seen them. Rita explains how she does this, how it benefits her clients, and she shares fascinating stories about her 25-plus years drawing people in spirit.” ~ Bob Olson, Afterlife TV

Rita Straus Berkowitz has impressed large audiences  throughout the world by drawing portraits of loved ones from the higher side of life. She is the author of Empowering Your Life with Angels and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communicating with Spirits. Rita has both studied and taught at the Arthur Findley College in Essex England, as well as lectured and demonstrated in colleges, new age centers and Spiritualist churches in the United States and Canada. She is an accomplished artist who has shown her paintings and drawings throughout New England and New York. And she’s an Ordained Minister in the Spiritualist Church and former pastor of the First Spiritualist Church of Quincy, Massachusetts. She is also a Certified Medium and has completed a Master of Science in Psychological Counseling. Rita offers private sittings, classes and has trained many professional mediums.

Rita Berkowitz’s website is: http://www.thespiritartist.com. You can see Rita’s spirit drawings on her site beside photos of the people before they passed. And you can read Bob Olson’s article about Rita, along with spirit drawings Rita did for him (beside photos) at http://www.bestpsychicmediums.com/Rita-Article.htm

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Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: BestPsychicDirectory.com (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & BestPsychicMediums.com (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at PsychicMediumWorkshop.com.

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Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Hi Everybody.  Bob Olson here with Afterlife TV.  You can find us at www.afterlifetv.com.  Today’s interview is going to be absolutely amazing to you because it is an aspect of mediumship, people who communicate with spirit , where we’re actually getting tangible evidence of life after death.

By tangible I mean something that we can hold in our hand, we can show other people, and these are called spirit drawings.  Our guest is Rita Berkowitz.  She’s a spirit artist.  She’s a medium who can draw portraits of the spirits she sees, fascinating.  I can’t believe more people don’t do this, but to me, I met Rita when – after about a year into my investigation into life after death.

Probably, I think it was in – well, I know it was.  I know it was Easter of 2001 and she just blew my mind.  So let’s welcome you Rita.  Thank you so much for joining us today and enlightening us about this really fascinating subject that I think skeptics are going to love.  Thanks for coming.

Rita Berkowitz:  My pleasure.  Thank you for having me.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  How long have you been doing this spirit drawing thing?

Rita Berkowitz:  I started doing spirit drawing in approximately 1985.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Okay.  So you’re not new to this.

Rita Berkowitz:  I’m not new at all, no.  I’m the old timer around here, yeah.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Alright.  Well that’s great.  I remember hearing about you in 2001.  A medium had said – didn’t know your name – had said, “I heard about this medium who can draw the spirits that she sees.”  And then sure enough, right after that, our friend John Holland let me know that you were having this – what do you call it?  I guess a service – this Easter service.  I think it was on Easter Sunday.

And I thought, “Oh, I would love to go to that.”  It would be such a cool experience because, you know, I was really in a thrust of investigating this field.  But I had plans with my mother and sister.  And wouldn’t you know they got the flu.  Right after that, they contact me and tell me we can’t make it.  We’re just too sick.  And I said to Melissa, my wife, “Let’s go down to Quincy, the Spiritualist Church of Quincy.”

Rita Berkowitz:  And it all began.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  And it all began.  And I saw that day your portfolio of all these spirit drawings you have done.  Now that was, whatever, 10 years ago at least, almost 12 years ago.  And you had a significant number of not just the drawings you had done, but photographs that people then later, after the drawings, were able to collect and show you so you could put them side by side.  And other people could see how accurate these drawings were.  Tell us what a spirit artist actually does.

Rita Berkowitz:  Okay.  What will happen if somebody comes to me, and there are different people that call themselves spirit artists that actually do other things, but what happens if somebody comes to me is I will talk to them and I will say, “Are you totally open?  Is there somebody you’re hoping for?”  And then from there I’ll go ahead and I’ll start to get an image inside my mind of who this person is, what their personality is like, and what they look like.

And then I start to sketch.  And so it comes to me and it just comes.  And sometimes spirit – I’ll hear spirit say, “No, their eyes crinkled different,” or, “No, their mouth curled a different way.”  And that’s when they’ll see me take my eraser and change something.  But it’s like I get corrected many times as I’m doing this.  It still fascinates me Bob.

I’ve been doing this for 25 years.  It still fascinates me that as I’m doing this, the energy of the person, the personality of the person, I feel like I’m being taken over and then the sketch appears on the paper.  And sometimes people want color.  Sometimes they want black and white.

And I’m fascinated even when we’re doing color, where they’ll tell me, “No, the eyes are not quite that green.  Put a little more blue into it,” or, “No, they’re browner,” or, “No, they’re light brown,” or, “They’re dark brown,” so all of this information will come through.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  And when you say they, you’re talking about people in spirit are correcting you as…

Rita Berkowitz: The people in spirit, yes.  I should clarify that.  Yes, the people in spirit are correcting me.  The people in spirit are letting me know that I’m doing it correct or not.  And simultaneously and depending on the communicator, meaning the person in spirit, simultaneously their personality comes through; their sense of humor comes through.  So I’ll be sketching and I can feel certain things.

Or if they were an artist, they’ll be really detail orientated on the drawing, and if they have no patience for pictures, they’ll rush me through the drawing.  So it’s a fascinating process that you go through with this.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Okay.  I’ve witnessed this a few times.  Well, I’ve witnessed this quite a few times, not just my own drawings, but other people’s as well.  But very first drawing that I had, you were drawing my grandmother and I remember you being corrected.  And of course you verbalize this as – just so everybody knows, Rita talks.  She’s telling you what’s going on; what’s being said.  You’re getting a verbal reading at the same time that she’s drawing in some cases, right?

Rita Berkowitz:  Multitasking, yes.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  And she’s also telling you, you know, she told me to correct the eye here.  So you correct the eye.  And I actually saw that when you were correcting things, yeah, it became more accurate.  This blows people’s minds of course.

Rita Berkowitz:  It’s pretty incredible.  It’s pretty incredible.  And when I demonstrate in front of large groups, it’s done in a very different way now than it used to be years ago.  When I demonstrate in front of a group, I work what’s called indirect mediumships.  So I will get the image of the person that I’m communicating with.  I’ll get the facts about the person.  The sketch is done.  I then turn to the audience and say, “Who does this person belong to?”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Oh, wow, that’s amazing.

Rita Berkowitz: Again, it happens in a different way than when you saw it at the very beginning when I used to have somebody, okay, who wants – and come up.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  They come up.

Rita Berkowitz:  I now just work indirectly with that and the information that comes through to me absolutely blows my mind.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well, you know, what’s interesting about that is, you know, I can only imagine if I were a medium, in your person, I would want some kind of feedback.  But this is one of the things the skeptics, you know, they’re always worried that the people are giving you too much information.  So here you are on stage in front of a group and doing this drawing and not even asking…

Rita Berkowitz:  And I have nobody answering until I turn around.  The face is complete at that point; turn around; I’ve given facts about the communicator as I’m sketching because nobody just wants to see my back.  And so I’m talking as I’m sketching and then I turn around and say, “Okay, who recognizes this person?  Who does this person belong to?”

And then occasionally it might be two people that say they recognize the person, but usually it’s just down to one when there could be a couple of hundred people sitting there.  One person will raise their hand and say, “I know exactly who that is.”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Yeah.  What I love about that is that one of the number one complaints I get about mediums, or even psychics, but in this case mediums, is that they ask too many questions.  So, I mean, here you’re not asking any questions at all.  You’re just getting everything from people in spirit.  I like to call them people in spirit.  From people in spirit because that’s what they are and then you present it to the people after it’s done.

I will also say something that you mentioned reminded me, I saw you do this in 2002.  A large group of hundreds of people and that particular case you had the person on stage.  That’s when you were still having them on stage.

Rita Berkowitz:  Right, that’s when I used to call them up, right.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  But what was really cool, and tell me if this ever happens, if it happens frequently, you drew a portrait of a person in spirit and the sitter, the client, whatever you want to call them, didn’t know that that person had passed yet.

Rita Berkowitz:  I remember that.  Yes, actually I ended up doing a group for those people.  That’s rarer.  It’s a little shocking when somebody comes and you’re letting them know that a loved one has passed and that actually happened with one of my students who told me a friend of mine had passed.  And I was horrified.  I said, “I didn’t know that she had passed.”  Then she went to confirm it and then came running into the next class and said, “Rita, your friend is dead.  I’m so excited.”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  What a way to find out.  Luckily this woman, she wasn’t upset.  I think it was either a distant friendship or something that came through.  She wasn’t upset.  But later did confirm, I do recall because I was curious, confirming that she found out that, yeah, that person really had passed.

Rita Berkowitz:  She found out.  He kept saying, “Father, Father, Father.”  But he was a priest.  And that’s why he kept saying, “Father, Father, Father.”  And she recognized the face totally, but it wasn’t her biological father.  But he kept saying Father, but he ended up being a priest.  So, yeah, it was a very fascinating story.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  It really is.  Also, a lot of people wonder if you’re reading minds or that sort of a thing.  Obviously, she didn’t know the person had passed.

Rita Berkowitz:  She didn’t know.  And that to me is one of the most important things, Bob, is that we know that we’re not reading minds.  And that’s why I’ve always asked spirit – the first few people that came through to me, when I was getting readings, were people from my mother’s family who I never met and I had to confirm.  And I asked, “Why,” because I have so many people I would have loved to have heard from.

And they said for me they needed to prove to me that this was not mind reading, this was not a mentalist working, that this was in fact communicating with spirits.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well that’s right.  How many people seem to love this tangible evidence part because what I loved about it, especially at the beginning, was you have a reading and then you go and you tell other people about that reading.  Unless it’s recorded and you can let them listen to it, it’s never really quite the same.

Rita Berkowitz:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  But you can take this portrait that you’ve drawn and you can just show it to people, especially if they know that person.  That can be life changing for people to see that sort of a thing.  Obviously, you’re strangers to most of these clients.  You don’t know them.  You don’t know their relatives.

Rita Berkowitz:  Right, exactly.  And that’s why I have on my brochure if I haven’t proven it to anybody else, I’ve proven to myself that life is continuous.  But there are times that, you know we always have to remember that a drawing is a point in time.  So they may show themselves – about a year ago I had a family here.  And they were okay, the drawing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And then they went home and showed their daughter-in-law.  It was her husband and it exactly matched the picture she had on her cell phone.  So they were saying – I always say to people when you get the drawing, because they’re showing themselves as they liked the way they looked, you know, not necessarily your last memory; that, in fact, when somebody shows themselves for a portrait from spirit, they don’t show themselves on their death bed.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well, you know, that’s interesting.  Melissa brought that question up; that exact question up last night.  I was talking about you and she was saying, “You know, a lot of people don’t see themselves the way other people see them.”

Rita Berkowitz:  Oh, absolutely.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  So she wondered how spirits show themselves to you.

Rita Berkowitz:  You know, I always describe it this way Bob.  How many times do we get up in the morning and we look in the mirror and say, “When did I start to look like that,” because it doesn’t match the picture in your head.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Yes.

Rita Berkowitz:  So if you think about the fact that they have a picture in their head of what they look like, and when somebody – and we’ll say liked the way they looked when they were younger, they may show themselves when they were younger.  Or I’ve had people that have passed at 85 that showed themselves in their 20’s.  And I’ve had people that passed at 85 that showed themselves at 85.

And so it’s how they accept the way they look.  And I know myself there are times that I look in the mirror and go, “Oh my God, how did that happen?”  So, you know, we have this tendency to do this because we have a picture of ourselves in our head.

And again, that’s how we know that we’re not reading minds because the person who is coming for the reading has a mental picture of their deceased loved one in their mind.  And sometimes it matches exactly and sometimes they will show themselves at a different age.  When I wrote Communicating with Spirits, the co-author had me do a drawing of her father.  And this is a fascinating story.

She actually didn’t tell me who to draw, but I did the drawing of her father; mailed it out to the state of Washington.  She lives in Townsend, Washington.  And she looked at it and she was a little disappointed because she knew her father as a man, and the drawing was of a man who was a little bit more robust.  And she went through photographs and she looked at the photographs.  And then as she put them away, a newspaper clipping came floating down onto her lap that matched the drawing exactly.  And her husband, who’s a state policeman, started to cry when he saw it because it was that overwhelming.  Her father, at 42 years old, had a heart attack.  And so he watched his diet from that point on.  He died when he was in his early 70’s.  But he remembered himself as the robust man at 42 years old.  And so that’s how he showed himself.  So, again, it’s a fascinating story how this happens.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well, it really is.  You had done a couple of drawings for me, and then for my birthday one year Melissa got a phone reading with you.  She got that for my birthday where you could draw a spirit guide.  We’ll talk about that in a moment, but what was neat about that in relationship to what you were just saying is that you finished a drawing.  I knew verbally who you were talking about.  It was my great-great-grandfather.

And so you mailed the drawing, your drawing, to me the same time – I didn’t have a photograph of this guy because he was from the mid 1800’s.  I called my mother.  She scrounged one up from my aunt.  Sent me a copy of a newspaper clipping or some sort of thing, which was like the only picture we had of him.  And, yes, you could tell he’s a little younger in the newspaper clipping than in the drawing.

Rita Berkowitz:  No question that it’s the same person.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  No question about it.  And that’s the most fascinating one I have.  Melissa had it framed for me.  We have it in our home.  I show that to everybody because it’s absolutely fascinating because I didn’t really even know what he looked like until your drawing.  And my mother’s photograph came into the mail at the same time and I was like, oh wow.  I love that.

Rita Berkowitz:  You know, Bob, I love it too.  I love it too.  When I see it, again, it gives me this absolute thrill to see, “Wow.  That spirit communicated that clearly.”  And I always describe to my students that we are the extension cord between two worlds because there’s nothing sexy about an extension cord.  I don’t say, “Wow.  I’m a medium.  Aren’t I fabulous?”  I’m an extension cord.

And so the energy of this person is coming through me, and that’s what ends up being on the sketch.  And isn’t that fabulous?  Again, it proves that life is continuous without a doubt.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  It does.  Now, just so people know, I’ve had a few drawings myself and I’ve seen a lot of them.  You have a lot of them on your website and there’s a link below this video.  People can go to your website.  They can look at all of the spirit artistry that’s there.  You have a lot of pictures.  You have the drawings that you did; the pictures that you got after you did the drawings, just so everybody knows.  It needs to be clear.

Rita Berkowitz:  Nobody brought me a picture and said, “This is my uncle.  Could you draw him?”  That’s not what’s happening here.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That needs to be clear.  And later you brought those two together, you put them on your website and people can see.  What people are going to recognize is that not everything is identical.  There are key features, right?  Eyes, nose, chin, mouth, hair, the shape of the head, the clothing, the jewelry sometimes; sometimes the background I think.  Don’t you sometimes get a background that is somehow…

Rita Berkowitz:  Sometimes I do get a background.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Yeah.  Eyeglasses I noticed are very important, and these are the kinds of things that show up.  What’s interesting to me is some people who have a lot of skepticism will try to find fault with these types of things.  What they’re forgetting is even if you drew portraits of living people…

Rita Berkowitz:  Sitting directly in front of me.  I’ve said that so many times.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  It’s going to be the same thing.

Rita Berkowitz:  If I was drawing a portrait of somebody sitting directly in front of me and they were posing, chances of it having more likeness than what the spirit drawings do is nil.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s right.

Rita Berkowitz:  The fact that they’re coming through and how they’re coming through because I don’t have somebody sitting in front of me.  The fact that they’re coming through in this way and having been a life drawing and a portrait artist, and instructed this, and so on, I know how many times it takes to do a drawing of somebody until you get that exact likeness.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Right.

Rita Berkowitz:  I actually think my record is better drawing from spirit than it is drawing from life.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well, hey, the thing is people don’t recognize you’re also under time constraints.  First of all, when you’re on stage, you’re under a lot of time constraint.  But even when you’re giving a reading, I mean it’s not like these readings last for hours and you’ve got all of this time.  Generally, what is it; a half hour, hour, something like that?

Rita Berkowitz:  The readings that I do are 40 minutes or an hour.  And if I’m doing a private sitting, if they want the drawing in color, then we just do hour sittings because it does take a little longer to do a color portrait.  And if I’m doing a black and white drawing, I would say probably about 10 or 12 minutes are actually drawing time.

The rest of the time I’m communicating and just giving facts and information and so on.  And if I’m doing the color drawing, then I would say probably a good 20 to 25 minutes are drawing time.  And I’m talking about, when I’m doing the drawings, I’m talking about what I’m seeing and what they’re showing me.

And again, sometimes they’ll do it in a funny way, or sometimes they’ll do it in a detailed way, or sometimes they’ll go down one side and up the other.  And one of the funniest ones that I ever had I was drawing a portrait of somebody, and this man reportedly had quite a sense of humor.

He started from the bottom of his chin and went up verses from the eyes and going down.  And the family was hysterical laughing because they said this was so his sense of humor.  It was amazing.  So it can happen in any way and it’s just fascinating to me how it happens.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  How do you choose, or who chooses which person you’re going to draw?  You know someone sits in front of you or they’re on the phone and you’re doing a phone reading, and okay, you start drawing.  I mean first of all, let’s just say, it’s harder if someone says, “Draw my father.”

Rita Berkowitz:  Right.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  It’s probably more powerful – I’m asking.  This is a question.  Is it more powerful when they just kind of let it – let whoever shows up show up, and then you get to draw that person because they’re coming through very clearly, very strong?

Rita Berkowitz:  Normally if somebody is with me for a private sitting, I will say, “Is there somebody you’re hoping for or are you totally opened?”  And I would say in the case probably about a good 65% want a specific person.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Okay.

Rita Berkowitz:  If they are grieving and we are helping them with their grief, which is very much what a medium does, and they want their wife, or they want their child, and you draw great uncle Frank, it’s very nice to have a picture of great uncle Frank, but that’s not what they wanted.  I’m not reading their mind to help them just to prove continuity of life exists.  They want to talk to that one particular person.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Right.

Rita Berkowitz:  So I do give them the option.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s a lot of pressure on you, though, isn’t it?

Rita Berkowitz:  It’s a lot of pressure.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Yeah.

Rita Berkowitz:  It is a lot of pressure.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Sure.  Even with readings, it’s a lot of pressure if you were just doing a verbal reading; to do a drawing, a lot of added pressure.

Rita Berkowitz:  Yes.  So in doing the drawing, here I am, you know, they want their wife.  And so I’m doing a sketch.  Normally I will describe what I’m seeing first.  Okay, I’m seeing a woman.  Her hair is very straight.  It’s combed towards her face.  It’s a blonder color.  I’m feeling that her eyes were just an absolutely amazing blue-green.  And I’m seeing them.  They were very clear versus, you know, and eyes have so many different colors.

I did one a couple of weeks ago at Circles of Wisdom where the woman said she just made me do the lip liner so strongly and the two daughters that were there were, again, hysterically laughing because their mother was the kind who always had the lip liner on the outside of the lips.

So I love the makeup details that come in.  Men are very, very touchy about how far their hair has receded or not, and women are about their makeup and whether they tweezed their eyebrows or not.  So I’m fascinated by those little details.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  And it’s those little details – it’s funny, I always say about a reading, you know, a reading of a spirit communication.  I always say it’s the silliest little things that are the most profound, and with these drawings, same thing.  I mean, that’s the whole thing.  If you go in with an expectation that it’s not going to be an exact photograph of your loved one, but you recognize your loved one in that drawing, like I said, in the eyes, and the nose, and the mouth, and the hairstyle, even the clothing.  When you recognize those sorts of things, but it’s these little details, like you say, the heavy lipstick or the…

Rita Berkowitz:  The lip liner.  And the woman always had a desire – her hair.  When she showed me the photograph afterwards, which was very interesting in this one, the woman always wanted full curly hair so she processed her hair to death.  And so when they showed me the photograph afterwards, the hair looked overly processed, but that’s not how her mother saw her hair.  And they said, “You drew my mother exactly how she wanted to look.”

Which again was – that’s a beautiful thing in itself.  That when we go to spirit, our over processed hair, or the few extra wrinkles that we have just fade away, and we’re perfect just as we wanted to be.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s what’s so great about these drawings is it’s not just a visual thing.  It brings through a personality.  You’re able to bring through the personality by making – just all the things that you just talked about.  That really brings through their personality.  That means so much more.

Let me back up.  You talk about seeing them.  Are you seeing them in your mind’s eye?  Do you see them like you see me?  How do you see them?

Rita Berkowitz:  No.  It happens a few different ways.  Sometimes I’ll look at the paper – the blank paper, and I’ll see them.  I always see them in my mind’s eye.  Occasionally, and they’ve done this to me a few times while I’m on stage, I just hear trust, and they show me nothing, and I just let my hand go.  So that’s like automatic writing would be, but it’s automatic drawing.  So I just let my hand go and okay, there I am.  I’m sketching away.  I’m sketching away and then the face will form.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That only comes with experience to be able to trust like that.

Rita Berkowitz:  Yeah.  Again, when you’re learning this, the one thing that a medium has to do is trust what they’re getting.  And so, occasionally they like to say, “Okay, do that,” which is nice when you’re on stage.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s right.  That’s right.  You would have been a good police sketch artist, I mean, because that’s kind of what you’re doing really.  The spirits are telling you what…

Rita Berkowitz:  Yeah, yeah.  I mean, I’ve thought about that.  It’s a very interesting thing when you’re working with police sketch, and I have done a few.  When you’re doing that, firstly, you’re drawing somebody who is alive, but you’re connecting to the visual from the person who was deceased.  And so they are many times giving me what they remember from the situation.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Yeah, yeah.

Rita Berkowitz:  So it’s a challenge.  I’ve worked on a few cold cases that way.  It’s a challenge.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  I can imagine.  I can imagine.  Yeah, that’s one of those things.  Sometimes the thing that I think about with the mediums and the psychics who do criminal work is, I don’t know.  I have different thoughts about life because of my investigations in this field and sometimes I think – sometimes some cases are just not meant to be solved.  I mean, the possibility exists because of what everybody’s learning as a result of that.  So, you know, I…

Rita Berkowitz:  And I agree with you on that.  I agree with you on that.  And that’s the only cases I’ve agreed to work on for myself are cold cases.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Really?  Yeah.

Rita Berkowitz:  Because the people are far enough away from it.  Usually it’s a police officer that can’t let go of the case.  So in my situation a lot of times it’s been a retired police officer that has come to me and said, “Look, I’ve been working on this case for 25 years.  Can you help me?”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Help!

Rita Berkowitz:  Help, yes.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Why don’t more mediums do this?  We’ve got on www.bestpsychicdirectory.com we’ve got about 700 psychic and mediums; mostly mediums.  I’m sure that a lot of them are artists.  Why don’t more people do this?

Rita Berkowitz:  Well, the art thing is a very interesting point, Bob, because you’re really putting yourself out on a limb when you’re doing a sketch as a medium.  So, you know, I always say – I could say, “I have your grandmother here and she made the best chocolate chip cookies.”  And then I have your grandmother here.  She made the best chocolate chip cookies and she had these incredible dimples with a mole right over her left part of her face.  And that becomes a whole different thing and what the jaw looks like, and what the hairdo looks like, and so that becomes a very different piece of information.

And I’ve spoken to some mediums about working on the police work and they say – one in particular that I’ve spoken to, “What if I’m wrong?  What kind of karma am I creating if I’m wrong?”  And so again, that’s why I prefer working on the cold cases where there’s not any confusion of a lot of emotion coming in.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s right.  And so maybe one of the reasons more people don’t do it is that it’s just too much pressure.  First of all, you can give a great reading, like when you’re giving verbal readings and then doing these drawings, you can give a great reading and if they just – if your drawing isn’t exact enough of them, they’ll just throw the whole thing out the window I imagine.

Rita Berkowitz:  It can happen.  And again, I’ve had where one time a family was here and I drew their daughter and the mother, you know, the reading was great, and then she said, “Well, I don’t know that it looks like her.”  And I just happened to say, which I don’t normally do, “Do you happen to have a picture of her?”  And I looked at it and I said, “You don’t think this looks like her?”

And she says, “Well, it does but she had a twinkle in her eye that I was looking for that you didn’t,” you know…

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well, I had brought the drawing of my great-great grandfather to the History Channel and we were talking about a TV show, and I was showing it to them.  I had it.  Everybody was looking at it.  All these Vice Presidents of production were there; people loved it.  One skeptic, who he was the head guy, he said, “Well, you know, he looks a lot like you so she just drew something similar to you.”

And I’m like, “What about the photograph?  Come on?”

Rita Berkowitz:  Well, you know, if somebody wants to be a skeptic, Bob, they’re going to be a skeptic.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s right.

Rita Berkowitz:  And they’re going to do everything they can to prove you wrong just to prove you wrong.  And so you just say, “You know what?  God bless them,” and let them go on their way.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s right.  And those are the closed-minded skeptics because I was an open-minded skeptic and, boy, I’m glad I was open-minded because I opened myself up to a whole new world.  Let me ask you this.

Rita Berkowitz:  And I was a skeptic also.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Were you?

Rita Berkowitz:  Yes, I was.  So the first time I heard these things I was saying, “Ahh, what’s really going on here?”  And I investigated it and that’s how my process started.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  So that’s fascinating.  So the two of us, we started off as skeptics.  Look where we are now just trying to spread the message here.

Rita Berkowitz:  Right, right.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  I understand why people want to have their loved ones drawn by you; their loved ones in spirit.  Why do the spirits want to show up and have these drawings done?

Rita Berkowitz:  That’s an interesting question.  A lot of times they’re trying to make their loved ones happy.  It’s fascinating when you get somebody – you know, the loved one comes and the person didn’t like to pose for pictures.  And you can feel that energy.  It’s like, “Okay, could you get this over with?  Okay, are you done yet?”

And I can only say this as a supposition, that for the loved ones in spirit, they want to feel their loved ones feel that connection.  Because the ones in spirit are still connected to the loved ones, but it’s the people that are left behind here that have the feelings are they really with us?  Can they really still be with us?  So it’s like, “Ah, ha.  They finally know we’re here.”  And so it’s that kind of reason that the people from spirit love to do this.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Anybody in spirit ever sort of refused?  You knew they were there but…

Rita Berkowitz:  I had one very strange experience many, many years ago where there was a man who had certain prejudices and his prejudices included my ethnic group.  And he didn’t really want to come through and he thought of himself as an Elvis want-to-be and the drawing kept coming out as Elvis.  He didn’t look like Elvis, but he was an Elvis want-to-be.  And for me that would be enough proof, but the wife said it doesn’t look like him, although he had the big pompadour and the whole Elvis thing.  And Elvis kept coming into my mind and everything about Elvis.

But he really was so adamant about not connecting to certain people.  You would think that would be done when you get to spirit.  I was shocked.  I will tell you I was absolutely shocked that this one particular – and that’s really the only time that it’s happened.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Is it possible – it doesn’t sound like it, but is it possible that he did that as another way to prove, you know, bringing through his personality?

Rita Berkowitz:  It could be.  And, you know, the fact that he kept showing himself looking like Elvis.  He wanted to be Elvis.  She actually showed me a photograph of him to show him in the Elvis outfit with the big pompadour.  But, you know, his face looked nothing like Elvis.  He just wanted to be Elvis.  So it’s very possible that that happened.  But boy, it sure freaked me out I will tell you.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  I’ll bet it did.  What is your favorite part about doing this?  You know, you run into things like that.  That sort of bums you out, but what is your favorite part?

Rita Berkowitz:  Once in 25 years I’ll take it with a very large [0:33:32.1], you know.  For me, my favorite part about doing this is to really see the healing that’s happening.  To see the overwhelming relief, you know, clearly I’m remembering parents who’ve lost kids.  And to see, “Oh my God, now I know for sure he’s here.”  And so many time people will see them or experience them and they think it’s their imagination.

But they know that I don’t know this person so because I don’t know this person, they know that it couldn’t have come from me.  And there was a very wonderful time where a young woman came in from spirit who dyed her hair a different color every other week.  You know the pink and the rose color.  And she was riding her bike.  And the family went home and they said, “Wow, she showed herself with these red tinges in her hair.”  And the mother actually dug up a photograph with the red tinges in her hair.

So, you know, it was this wonderful peace of saying, “Yes, I know that they’re here.”  And even when information comes through where sometimes people may not totally recognize the information and then it comes to pass, and then you get the email afterwards or the phone call afterwards.  One clear time a woman came with her husband.  I drew their daughter for them and the daughter kept showing me a hawk.  I have no idea what you’re talking about.  Three times the daughter showed me a hawk.  I have no idea what you’re talking about.

And then three weeks later I get a phone call and she said they went to the cemetery to put down a cemetery pillow, and as they were leaving the cemetery in the car, a hawk flew in front of the windshield, circled the car, and flew next to the car as they drove out.  A thing like that happens.  They couldn’t have had it in their mind beforehand.  They had no idea what I was talking about and then there it is.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Yeah.  Stories like that, and I’m sure you have millions of them.

Rita Berkowitz:  I have a million of them, yeah.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  But it’s those types of things that that’s what this work is all about is trying to help people recognize, first of all, this isn’t the end right here.  This isn’t the be-all end-all; that life does go on; that our loved ones still exist; they’re still in spirit.  What a great way to sort of give evidence of that.  To me, I’m all about the evidence.  And when you see something like that, it’s unquestionable.  You can’t, whatever, you can’t question it.  That’s all it comes down to.

Rita Berkowitz:  And so when that happens for you, you know when you ask the joy, you know, what makes me love doing this?  And obviously if I’ve done it for 25 years, I love doing it.  It’s things like that when they come back and say, “Oh my God.  Yes, she is with me.”  “Oh my God.  We know that what you brought to us is accurate.”  Again, all we can do is bring through the information.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Your website is www.thespiritartist.com.  There’s an article I’ll link to below this that I wrote about the first time that I met you.

Rita Berkowitz:  Yes.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Geez, like I said, 10, 11, 12 years ago.  When people go to your website, though, they are going to be able to look at these drawings.  What’s that section called?

Rita Berkowitz:  I believe it’s called the Gallery.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  The Gallery.

Rita Berkowitz:  The Gallery, yep.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  And people can look at the spirit artistry, but they can also look at spirit guides; drawings you’ve done of spirit guides.

Rita Berkowitz:  Yes.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Just tell us a little about…

Rita Berkowitz:  One of them happens to be your great-great grandfather, but in most cases it’s not somebody that you could find a photograph of.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Right.

Rita Berkowitz:  A spirit guide is somebody that elects to be with us for our advancement as well as theirs.  They are our inspiration.  They are the ones that work with us that help us; that help us to do the work that we are trying to do.  I use the analogy of have you ever gone to a cocktail party and absolute brilliance comes out of your mouth and you think where did that come from?

We’ve all experienced something like that.  Well that’s when your guides are sort of showing off a little for you.  We have guides that – I was jokingly saying I have shopping guides that let me know what somebody wants for Christmas and where to get it at the best price.  So we have that.  But it really is for the work that we are doing.  So you, as a writer, would have writing guides.

For me, I have drawing guides.  And the story of my drawing guide, painting guide was fascinating to me because I got the information.  I went and dug it up and the quote that was in a book that was written in the 1800’s, matched exactly to a critique of my paintings that was written in a newspaper after one of my shows.

And that was, “Master of hands and faces; too interested in telling the story; not enough painterly quality; or both.”  And so I thought, okay, if it was just a compliment, but it was the compliment and the part they didn’t like, and the negative, that matched exactly.  And I’m saying, “This is incredible.”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Yeah.  I just saw a – fairly recently, you know, it was sort of a renewal of Oprah interviewing J.K. Rowling.  And she was talking about – she didn’t even have pen and paper.  I think she was on a train and the first Harry Potter book just came flooding into her mind.  And as she’s describing this, she’s like she had to get a pen, get some paper and start writing this stuff down.  And that’s the way it just kept coming to her, and all I could think is she’s just channeling it.  She’s channeling these stories.

Rita Berkowitz:  Exactly.  And that’s the way it works.  And that’s the same way it works when an artist paints or even doing the spirit art.  I know that it’s coming through me.  I don’t feel like I am standing there just drawing.  I know that it’s coming through me.  And, again, when the details come in or the eyeglasses match, or the print on the blouse matches.  How could I know that?  How could I know that?  Especially when they’re phone readings, you know?

I’m not seeing anybody so the information comes flooding through.  I know my guides are working with me.  I know they’re helping me and that’s what they do with us.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well I highly recommend anybody who has an opportunity, to go see you work.  Either get a spirit drawing by you; you can do it by phone.  That’s what’s so wonderful about it.  You can do it by phone and you’ll mail it to them in this nice safe tubular thing.  Wrap it up and send it to them in a tube.  And you also do these events and if they check out your events calendar on your website, www.thespiritartist.com, they can see what’s up and coming.

I keep dropping my pen.  They’ll see what’s up and coming and maybe actually go see you do some of these spirit drawings on stage.  And a lot of times – I know when we did it we had an event with you.  I had a camera on you so everybody could watch you as you did the drawing on the big screen.

Rita Berkowitz:  Right.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  That’s a great way to do it so people can see what’s happening as it unfolds.  But anyways, it’s highly recommended.  Thank you so much for joining us and telling us all about this really amazing gift.  It’s sort of a gift within a gift, isn’t it?

Rita Berkowitz:  It is because you have the gift of art, and you have the gift of spirit communication, and you’re putting the two together.  This is where when people say to me, “I’ve got fragmented parts of my life.”  I said, “Trust it will come together.”  And so I was an artist, but I was also interested in spiritual phenomena, and then it came together for me in this way.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Well, thank you so much.  I’m so glad that it did.  I’m so glad that I met you 12 years ago.

Rita Berkowitz:  And I you.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  And I’m so glad that we’re friends.  I hope I get to see you again and maybe you can come back and we can chat about some other things.

Rita Berkowitz:  Okay, absolutely.  It’s been a joy.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Thanks Rita.

Rita Berkowitz:  Thank you.  Bye-bye.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV:  Bye-bye.


Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: BestPsychicDirectory.com (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & BestPsychicMediums.com (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at PsychicMediumWorkshop.com.

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