Yesterday, the Az Cardinals played football(yes they won!!) and Coach Arians was shown several times saying, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” The original quote is attributed to Gregory Peck, but I am sure this saying is a lot older. It reflects the spirit of optimism and hope, and is going to be one of my mantras during this battle against cancer. The current CEA count is 29.1, which is fast approaching our goal of under ten! Heading in the right direction! So when I am feeling sick from chemo, I can still say, “it is working, it is working!” Whoooo Hooooo! Only two more chemo treatments! However, I received the greatest birthday present this week. No nausea during this chemo week. It is the first time in almost one year of chemo treatments, and I have enjoyed it to the max! Take that cancer! Pow! Pow!
Rupert – Raven Dreamcatcher
Here is the Dreamcatcher I have been working on. Rupert is one of the ravens at Liberty Wildlife. He is quite the character and one of my favorite ravens ever. He talks in different voices and is just so intelligent! Barbara Delve(another Rupert devotee) took the photograph and was so kind as to let me use it for a reference for this special Dreamcatcher. Thanks so much Barb! This one went to Jan Miller as a big Thank You for all of her work at Liberty Wildlife, and her love and support during this cancer battle. Also a big Thank You to Margaret V for giving me a ride to Liberty to deliver Rupert. This was such a fun and special project, it is a blessing to be able to be involved in projects like this.
I have been having lots of kitty and parrot therapy and am felling well, with some tiredness. The guys have been really good, and I am wondering what they are really up to? SO if you figure it out, let me know!!!! Back to Rip Van Winkle land…….zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Nom Nom Nom!
The Monarch Caterpillar is still nomming on the Desert Milkweed flowers. He is getting pretty big, not too much longer! Hope he makes it before a freeze, or we will have to put a light out with the plant blanket to keep him from freezing. We actually moved him to a bigger plant because he was running out of flowers. It is amazing watching these guys! Can’t wait for the butterfly! I posted some other shots of him on FB a couple of days ago.
Are you lookin’ at me?
The raven is done, de done, done. Oh you want to see the drawing, of course you do. Let’s see where did I put that file, hopefully somewhere the cats can’t find it. Oh yes, I remember now. Hope you enjoy! So I am thinking a colored pencil or pastel on black paper for my next project.
Another birthday gone by. My wonderful family made dinner on Sunday, since they knew I had chemo on Monday. We had a very nice dinner with cake and presents. I now have a collection of hats to wear with my thinning hair. Beanies, Beret Beanies, Slouch Beanies, and a couple of scarves. My head will be among the best dressed this winter. Also some nice warm jammies with nice warm house boots. No chance of getting cold this year! Also another cat added to the household, luckily this one is ornamental and does not need feeding and affection, it was a gift from friends who went to the Tempe Art Fair. It was nice to go into chemo after such a nice day. Had a rough time Monday evening, lots of nausea and filling up a couple of barf bags. Am feeling so much better today. You had better believe all through the nausea, I was saying….it is worth it, it is working! It IS worth it, it IS working. We are halfway through, only six more treatments to go!
Stay tuned, you never know what is going to happen around here!
SO resting week started with a migraine, which has now has subsided thanks to modern medicine, luckily, there is some progress on the raven drawing.
What is is it about cloudy days that make you want to curl up on the couch with a good book and just veg. It has been cloudy a total of two days and seems so gloomy that the couch/book idea with a nice blanket, fire, and a warm cup of cocoa sounds awesome. I have access to a ton of new books on my iPad since hubby signed me up for Scribd! Yes, I know it is in the 70’s, but in Az that is downright sweater weather! When this blog is written, you will know where to find me! I am taking my cue from Rusty, he is vegging in his new heated cat bed.
For some reason lately, I have been thinking a lot about transitions. They seem to be hard to handle as an artist and as a person. You would think, since we are almost continually in transition, we would be very good at handling them. As an artist, people rarely talk about transition, but it is one of the very important elements in a piece. How do you go from dark to light, from color to color, from line to line from shape to shape or even from texture to texture?
There are no spoiled cats in this house!
Each element of the art must transition and flow, leaving a path for the viewer’s eye. Focal point, shadows, and complementary colors are some of the ways I cope with transition in my art. But in my own life, it seems like I am always behind in getting the transitions…one day I am healthy, the next day, I am a cancer survivor. Where was the transition? It took me weeks to accept the change, but only seconds for it to happen. Then more weeks for me to even realize what a big transition it is. Ok, so now we have a new normal….has it changed again while I was not looking?
Almost done, as usual, I put it up where I can see it then make a few adjustments. Still stuck in Black and White – I am enjoying it so much, think I will work on a raven. We took a trip to Yellowstone Park a few years ago and got some good close photos of a raven. I have done him several times, but he was so good at posing, and just has that raven look of disdain which is so typical, LOL. I still have some more hand projects in the lineup, so stay tuned……
Kitty report just in straight from the art desk! While working on the pottery hands, Dante just jumped up on my desk and made himself at home. He dragged his tail over the left side of the drawing and as you can see laid down right on the top of the drawing. I guess he knows charcoal is delicate and wants to make sure it is smudged and has plenty of cat hair on it. Cats 1 – Arlene – 0
Time for the weekly cancer report, since it is Rest Week, I am doing well, only two more treatments before we stop to evaluate, it will go pretty fast.
Have heard a lot of complaining from my friends (and even family) this week that they are freezing. I admit, I did get out some sweaters and have started wearing the light long sleeve tops, but REALLY……..high 70’s in the day and high 40’s to low 50’s at night. Yes it is cooler than the 100’s, but look at the rest of the country, THEY have something to complain about! Guess everyone just loves to complain about weather.
Having had a really good week last week, I made a lot of progress on the new charcoal on black paper. This is one of those pieces which has bugged me to get going with it, but I had so many other projects that needed to be done, that it kept slipping back in line. Think I took the ref photos a couple of years ago, intending to add this one to the “Hands” series which is on display at the Beatitudes until Dec 3. There is just something about black and white which makes me want to keep my hand in and do one or two a year in between the birdies! There are more hands coming, but I think it is bird time after this one, LOL.
SO hubby and I are noticing that it takes a little bit longer after each chemo treatment to recover from the fatigue. Had a little more nausea than usual, but am feeling well now, just very fatigued. Usually by the weekend, I have recovered and am ready to go. Well, four down and eight to go, so we are one third of the way, and may get a break during Dec if they decide to interrupt after chemo 6 to do surgery. The nice thing about chemo week, is that the kitties stay close and we have a lot of kitty therapy.
Ok, so I got a little excited about the Hyacinth Macaw Party and forgot to post the progress on the Black Crowned Night Heron! It is almost done, just a few little picky details and a visit to Candy to make sure it is ready to sign!
So this is resting week, and after each chemo treatment, I am seeing improvement. The pain levels are going down, the swelling is going down and after most of the week of resting, the energy levels are going up! So when I complain about the chemo week, I just have to stop and look at my progress and put one foot in front of the other foot and keep going. As my cousin, Dina says……”put on your big girl panties”, LOL. Thanks for that saying , Dina!
So looking into the bathroom sink, I am wondering if all of my hair is running down the drain. Apparently, I am not supposed to go bald, but the hair will thin with this chemo regimen. Well, the silver lining to this cloud is, Hubby and a couple of friends have offered to shave their heads is I go bald, and I FINALLY GET BACK AT THE CATS! LOL, they now have to put up with my hair all over the place. Nanner, nanner, nanner! Ok, so they are ignoring me, imagine that. It must be the first time cats have ignored a human……….you don’t say……..that is normal for a cat…..Oh…….. ….thought it was just me they ignore. Oh well, back to the drawing board, maybe I can think of something else to annoy them…..stay tuned!
One thing about cats, they sure do know how to nap! They sleep fifteen to twenty hours a day, sometimes just dozing for about fifteen minutes at at a time. Rusty here looks pretty relaxed doesn’t he? So during “rest week” I am trying to learn form the cats and taking little naps during the day.
Since it is “rest week”, I feel way better than “chemo week” so between naps am making slow progress on the Black Crowned Night Heron.
Friday we meet with the surgeon, so will probably have news on next week’s blog as to the schedule. Since it is a first appointment, I am not really sure what to expect, so this journey continues, as I take one step at a time.
With the big “C” diagnosis, some changes in perspective happen. I have been reflecting a little on them and have realized I have to pare life down to the bare essentials and decide what is really important. First of all of course are my relationships. Next is my sense of identity. Realizing that I have put a lot of energy into being an artist, but not just an artist…. a “successful artist” in the eyes of the world. I realized that I have been spending a lot of that energy in trying to market and sell my art to be the world’s version of artist. That puts a lot of stress on me and eats up time and energy. With depleted reserves, I am choosing to do the art and stop the marketing and selling, so will be shutting down my Etsy site, and may make changes to the website, so that I can concentrate on the battle in front of me and keep the art as a therapy/fun part of my life. There have been a lot more changes in my perspective, but for now it is time to take a little nap.
Thanks again for all of the prayers, good wishes and positive thoughts, you all are awesome!
Found out from the Dr. on Friday, I have Stage 4 colon cancer. The good news is that it responds well to treatment. So the battle begins! Thank God, I have a great support team in my family and friends. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. There are still a lot of paintings in me waiting to get out! Have had a lot of fatigue, but have still been working on this one. This is the continuation of the Black Crowned Night Heron.
Candy had a few changes to suggest, so since it IS her hand, I made them and changed the painting a little. Lol! So it is time to step away from the Drawing!!! The backers for my Kickstarter project are voting on what the subject of my next painting will be, so in the meantime, I am going to try to finish another charcoal! The suspense builds…………….another hand………maybe a bird………..a landscape………………hmmmmmm. Stay tuned!!!
Yes, so I look like a chimney sweep! The result of working with charcoal, LOL. Started to leave the house, and LUCKILY, I passed a mirror. Needless to say I could have been on the set of “Mary Poppins” as the chimney sweep’s assistant. Black smears on face, arms, definitely black, and clothes looking like they went through the UNwasher. The parrots never tell me, they just let me leave the house that way and laugh the whole time I am gone. Guess I have to stay home unless my family is here to give me the “going out of the house” inspection.
Anyway, here is the progress to date. Hate to post when so much of the drawing is a mess, but it will all get fixed, LOL! See ya at the store! you will easily recognize me, the one who looks like a chimney sweep!