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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Healing Ceilings...

One of the most wonderful things about painting is when I can find a way to make something I love doing help someone else.  I've donated artwork to auctions, taught at risk kids, painted furniture for benefits and done logos etc for fundraisers.  But when I came across the brainchild of Amy Jo Edwards in Raleigh, NC I got really excited.  Dubbed Healing Ceilings, Amy Jo is organizing volunteer artists to paint the otherwise boring white ceilings of the cancer care center in her hometown.  Her husband had to endure hours (as did his companions) staring at the ceiling tiles during chemotherapy.   Been there, done that.

So I got on board as fast as I could.
It was daunting work.  First of course, I tend to overthink these things, polling folks as to what they would want to look at, realizing that it might be from any angle in the room and knowing that details could very well be lost on one 2 foot x 2 foot panel.  So I decided to go big or go home and put four together necessitating a 4 foot x 4 foot design.  These acoustic panels are very absorbent and literally lap up the paint so they are sealed first with a lot of gesso.  My neighbor Stuart was undergoing some cancer treatments even as I painted these so I dedicated them on the back to him.

I confess that I painted over my composition many times...I knew what I wanted but golly gee, this was way out of my ball park.  These hidden butterflies are a combination of paint and collage with the little dragon flies done in paint only.  I had several family members request hidden things to amuse them with the search so I tucked in some hopefully inspirational words for the viewer to find.
Even if they never find the words I hope this is at least more pleasant and cheerful than staring at a white ceiling for 5 hours.  My buddies of Pieces of 8 are also doing some and here is one lovely tile done by fellow artist Kathy Garvey:

Such a happy piece.  Her work is always so imaginative and fun!

 I had two more tiles:
This is dedicated to my friends Marian Collins and Pat Sams, both of whom have walked that long road into darkness before the light during rounds of chemo and radiation.  This tile is about the journey.
Its amazing how many wonderful people have stepped up to make this happen.  Folks who do not paint are donating the cost of a box of ceiling tiles and students and vacationers are generously toting them back and forth to Raleigh from the hometowns of artists all over the south.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to know that more centers were using art as part of the way they cared for patients who are undergoing tedious and frightening treatments?  Contact Amy Jo via her Facebook page if you want to know how she got started. 

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