Invisible Illness Week is coming up - September 5 through 15 and the theme this year is, I Choose to:
I don't always consider my autoimmune arthritis a benefit, particularly when one, or five days have been cancelled due to lack of ability. But there are gifts that come with the burden that are too valuable to bury beneath self-pity. I've learned so much about understanding the need for real priorities, valid choices, insightful empathy, living in the moment and the need to abandon the false ego that really does waste a lot of time. I've lived the better part of the last decade with illness and I choose to call myself an altered artist. Though I've been a writer and photographer nearly all my life I never picked up a paint brush until the expanding need for self-expression gave me an ultimatum: either work to nurture an evolving, explosive passion or, well, go nuts. I say that lightly knowing how fortunate I am to have had that opportunity.
No, aside from a few random events the only people who see my art are you, my family, close friends. But I don't create for the sake of potential sales, exhibition, publication. I choose to make art because I can and because it helps me stay in touch with the gentle encouraging voice that is always there, whispering, "you make a difference, you have a purpose."
(By the way, Lesley Riley invented the most amazing thing - Transfer Artist Paper - and I was finally successful in transferring onto acrylics (the weeds:). I look forward to further exploration.)