Monday, December 23, 2013

Defiance and Hope for 2014

I had a canvas with various layers of paint and collage.  I would look at it periodically, wanting to do something with it, but it did not speak to me.

The other day, I looked at it, picked up a paintbrush, dipped it in paint, and a face emerged.

She sat for a few days.  On Saturday, my stencils from Stencil Club - the wonderful creation of MaryBeth Shaw - arrived.  Every month, members receive 3 stencils - a 9 x 12, a 6 x 6, and a 4 x 4, which are designed to relate to one another.  The designing artist also creates a video demonstrating ways to use them -- all for only $25 a month.

The December stencils were designed by MaryBeth, and were all about the winter solstice.  As I turned the larger stencil around, inspiration grabbed me.  I mixed Glass Bead Gel and gold mica powder and made a paste.  I dragged it through the large stencil.  Held one way, the stencil is of tree branches.  Held another way, it looked like cracked glass.   My lady was breaking through things that were holding her back.  I wrote:  "looking into the future she decided in an act of sheer defiance that she would have hope."

The medium stencil has the phases of the moon.  I added that to my canvas, and used a circle punch with a gelli print to create circles that would echo the stencil.

The 4 x 4 stencil has stars and swirls, which I used in my lady's hair.

With the winter solstice, my lady is looking at the world around her to find beauty in the wreckage, hope in the despair.  Just as the spring will defy the winter as the days get brighter again,  she stares into 2014 with defiance, daring to hope that the world can be a better, more peaceful, place.

Four years ago this season, I was making twice daily trips to the hospital in Newark, as my friend Sharon lay in a coma, having contracted viral pneumonia after a round of debilitating chemo treatments for breast cancer.  On December 26, it was my responsibility to authorize the doctors to remove her life support. I held her in my arms as she took her last breaths.  Although I have opened myself to the joys of this season, I remember Sharon and think of her children, who she loved so much and of whom she would be so proud.   I feel as though some of Sharon came through this canvas to remind me that we must always look forward with defiance and hope.

Wishing you all many blessings of the season.   I am designing the stencils for January - so I hope you'll check out Stencil Club and consider signing up.  If you do, you'll be able to purchase past month's stencils as well.

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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  1. Fabulous canvas. Seasons greetings to you. X

  2. She looks like she is emerging from the forest and is a green woman ushering in her beauty. xox

  3. Jessica, I was deeply moved by the story about your friend. Four years ago this past September, I had to tell my Mama's doctor to stop all treatment and put her on comfort care only, after she came out of an unsuccessful surgery. My father and older sister just couldn't handle it, so the responsibility fell to me. We had all discussed it when she went into surgery but the actual process was too overwhelming for them. It was the hardest thing I've ever done but I also know it was the right thing to do for her. Her body continued on for 10 days, during which I sat by her side for an average of 10 hours a day. I had to take my father to see her after we got the call that she had passed away peacefully. Being there with him when he first saw her was absolutely heartbreaking. I will never forget it as long as I live. But I'm grateful that I was able to do the right thing for Mama and then be there for Daddy.
    Wow...I guess I really needed to tell someone about that. Someone who would really understand.
    Thank you and Bless You. Namaste

    1. Raine - Thank you so much for sharing this story with me. I do understand. I love something Trece said to me on FB: "What a precious gift you gave her, releasing her from the flesh that held her. When it's put that way, it feels better." Hugs to you.

  4. A beautiful canvas and a beautiful story to accompany it. May we all be so blessed to have such a friend with us till the end. As my elderly neighbor used to say "you have stars in your crown".

  5. that painting is so beautiful and I love the story of how she came to be. Very deep meaning behind it, it must've been so hard to have to make that decision. I'm hoping with you that the world will become a more peaceful place ♥

  6. What beauty and strength here! She is gorgeous and the color fabulous!

  7. Hugs to you, my friend. Your strength for your friend Sharon is a testament to your strength as a person. You did a wonderful thing for her.

  8. This canvas is absolutely beautiful. Such a wonderful tribute to your friend.


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