Cancer is not funny in and of itself. However between the disease and the treatment there is a lot of absurdity, comic horror, and bizarrely humbling experiences. Early on in the process I didn't think I would ever laugh again. Then there was a conversation with my best friend about what could be tattooed on reconstructed breasts in lieu of nipples. Let your imagination run for a minute... Wait for it...
Sunnyside up eggs? Pinwheels? Cupcakes? Planets? Eyeballs? Oh, the possibilities! And you have to laugh, staring down at a torso that looks like it belongs to Frankenstein's bride, because vanity now just seems silly. So why not Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum?
And then there is my friend at the office who inspired (and received) this painting. She's a Lymphoma survivor, and one of those rare people who can be 100% compassionate and 100% sarcastic at exactly the same time. Its a gift. Because she's been there, she can make me laugh about things that would be completely offensive coming from anybody else. Showing me pictures of herself in a giant curly clown wig and suggesting that I borrow it for Thanksgiving dinner was just a start. We think up evil ways to play the "cancer card." And her ability to surreptitiously flick people the bird when they say something stupid about cancer or survivorship is legendary.
You just gotta laugh.
I wear a lot of hats in life, encompassing a variety of roles and relationships. I am becoming more comfortable with the whole "cancer survivor" hat, even finding silver linings in unexpected places --- like adding artist to my self identity. "Blogger" hadn't really appealed to me until I began getting requests to talk about what lies behind my art. So I'm going to give it a try. If you have gotten to this page, you have probably noticed from my paintings that I am quite frank about my experiences. Some of the images are stark and difficult to look at. To me, beautiful is not the same as pretty. "Beautiful" encompasses complexity that can include pain, tragedy, and darkness. Therefore there can be a strange beauty present in stark emotional and experiential truth. I am a seeker of beauty within pain, and of the beauty that grows out of pain. If you are too, we'll get along just fine.