Breast cancer is a bitch.
I was having a really bad body image day when I painted this. My intention was to show the tension and discomfort of having a body that neither functions or looks the way it used to, but is still not without strength or its own beauty.
Why is she green? Frankenstein is green. Aliens are green. Monsters emerging from lagoons and lochs are green. Kryptonite is green. And green is the color a person turns when they see something that makes them nauseous. It isn't that I beat myself up or am overly self critical about my appearance; its more about living with disfigurement, scars, muscle and nerve damage, ongoing medication side effects that damage hair/skin/nails and sexual function, and the necessity for medical garments that make your granny's undies look downright sexy in comparison ...
I refuse to make apologies for or try to 'pretty up' these feelings. They are what they are. I certainly don't live in this space on a daily basis; it comes and goes like a big green wave. But on those days my body is a Creature.
(The rest of the time I am an ass kicking force of nature. Just sayin.')
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.