The first time I heard the song "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons was as I drove away from my first radiation appointment. No kidding. I was slowly recovering from chemo, bald, tired, finding that everything still tasted like metal and was just informed of all the expected and potential side effects of radiation. "I'm waking up to ash and dust; I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust; I'm breathing in the chemicals. This is it, the apocalypse. Welcome to the new age; I'm radioactive." This painting does not hold a lot of subtle symbolism. Radiation for breast cancer involves laying flat with arms in the posture shown here, and letting the machine do all the work. The rhetoric is that radiation is no big deal compared to chemo ----- which I did not find to be absolutely true. Honestly they both suck; it is what it is. This radioactive woman, however, holds a secret. All of that yellow paint... glows in the dark. Ha!
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.