Friday, April 19, 2013
Soooo, a lot has happened since my last post. In a nutshell, I was taken by surprise last summer with a diagnosis of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma which involved a tennis ball sized tumor around my heart pressing on my pulmonary artery (which caused shortness of breath when I tried to run...that is what prompted a visit to the doctor). As it was an aggressive cancer, I started treatment almost immediately. 6 rounds of chemo every 3 weeks, followed by a month of daily radiation finishing up in mid December. I was lucky to be surrounded by such amazing love and support from so many areas of my life. It wasn't easy, but I got through it with the help of so many good people. I did not do any artwork except a little MAIL art project started by some dear college friends (they knew making art would be good for me). The treatment worked great and I had a clean PET scan. I will be watched very carefully for the next three years as the cancer can come back. My heart will also have to be watched as the radiation can damage it.
I have recently started going back to the studio at ArtSpace in Maynard. I love being back surrounded by such a wonderful group of talented and nice people all focused on their art.
I keep thinking I need to "process the cancer" in my art....but I also have a show this summer and not much time. I started out making a little collage focused on the ocean (very therapeutic during my treatment), hearts (to signify my tumor and the love that carried me) and bits of notes, messages, gifts, etc from my experience. The first pictures are of the collage I made. It is little (6"x6")...I had planned on making a larger one.
I have been working on paintings for my show and one day while doing that, I was eyeing one of my old canvases from college (my least favorite VERY LARGE painting from senior year - 20+ years ago!!). Anyways, I just started painting stuff on it...kind of like a painted journal. Everything in it has meaning...not necessarily obvious to anyone, but me. The process was extremely therapeutic and I am not done with the painting. That's it for now. Just wanted to start blogging again and say "hi" and show you what is going on in my studio! xo Whitney
Posted by: Whitney Alexanderson Heavey