Sunday, June 9, 2013

Relay for Life, making art and being art

We are only as strong as we are united,
as weak as we are divided.
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblets of Fire

Hello everyone.
It's been a while...

I have a ton to tell you,
but i'll never be able to say it all here,
so i'll start slowly, with a few pics
from the Relay for Life over the weekend.

This is the team my son was on, minus a few missing team members.

He's the one holding the sign with the baseball hat on
next to the pretty red head (his girlfriend). :-)
Her name is Renée.
She lost her dad to cancer 3 years ago now.
He was 45.
His name was Charles and he loved the Peanuts characters...

It's always very touching to see so much love
in one place at the same time.
 The beautiful bagpipes... leading the parade of cancer survivors.
the yellow shirts are all cancer survivors... 
courage galore.
Those little white bags lining the track
each represent a person who has died of cancer in this area.

There are far too many little white bags.
this photo says it all...
courage and love.
That's what it's all about.

This was mom, walking with dad
in last year's Relay for Life...

After such an emotionally charged Friday evening,
i woke up on Saturday with the desire to paint.

I've had less time to myself lately,
or at least less flexible time. 
It's an adjustment for me to be "elsewhere" from 9 to 5. 
To not be able to take a break at 2pm and go for a walk,
or start my day at 7am and finish at 1pm if i want.
But i'm adjusting and for now, 
this is the stability i need.

I am learning valuable lessons along the way
that i will perhaps someday share in a book. :-)

I still write every day.
i try to make art every day, even if it's just a little doodle
or even if it makes no sense whatsoever (see above).

Someone asked me the other day (at work)
why i make art
and i looked at them like they had 3 heads.

I work with mostly left brained people.
(A challenge for any artist...)

I wanted to reply by asking them:
why do you breathe?

I make art because i HAVE to.
Because it's my oxygen.
Because it's who i am.
Because it's how i make sense of my world.
Because i'd feel lost without it,
just like i'd feel lost without music.
Because it's what i do.
Because it makes me happy.
Because it allows me to express how i feel.

This (above) is how i felt after the Relay...
(sketched quickly when i got back at 11pm on Friday night)
And then this the following day.
There's something about journaling
that feels more intimate to me
than an actual painting on canvas.

Maybe it's because it often includes writing?
Thoughts on paper.

After the bit of journaling,
i thought i'd paint something on a small canvas.

I had the whole day to myself on Saturday,
so i made soup and ate chocolate and painted. :-)

...not sure where this image came from,
but it was in my head so it went on canvas. :-)

i don't think i'm done yet
and i'm not sure i like it without the mouth.
It kinda reminds me of the Grinch. ;-)

I'll probably finish it today
and i'll post it again later.

I may have already shared this
but i'll do it again.

A book i bought myself years ago,
mainly for the illustrations.

Aren't they beautiful?

Dry pastel.

I just love this style.
Simple images with lots of breathing room.

The book layout is beautiful too,
as is the story.

Here's a quote i saw the other day by Nelson Mandela that i love:

When a person dies, their library of stories dies with them.

So they must share their story so that it is not forgotten.

Even the most simple story can teach and inspire others.

- Nelson Mandela

Thanks for being here.


  1. A touching and inspiring post, Pauline! 'Relay for Life' sounds like such a great event to pay tribute to those lost to cancer as well as for those who have survived it. Courageous people for sure.

    Art is our oxygen...YES, I get that! Every time I visit your blog, I feel the itch to get creating or sketching.

    Neat book and I love that quote by Nelson Mandela.

    Thanks for the inspiration today. xo

  2. Thank you for sharing your art, your words, your thoughts...I leave here feeling blessed and ready to appreciate even more the gifts that life hands out. xo

  3. What a wonderful way to pay tribute to all victims of this horrible disease. I'm glad you found the time and the desire to paint. Your work is beautiful, as always ....

  4. Pauline,
    What another wonderfully meaningful post. Your blog and artwork are so authentic and genuine and from the heart. :)
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  5. Wow... Pauline, I love your post, very touching and inspirational! Love your beautiful art works, too. :)

  6. This is a truly touching post, as someone who's lost loved ones to cancer and has cancer survivors in his life. Your art responses to the experience of "Relay' to life are filled with emotion, especially the quick sketch you did that evening. Happy belated PPF and Blessings!

  7. Pauline I had enjoyed visiting you here last night but didn't get round to commenting, it's such a touching post, with all those photos of your mum from last year. That art work you posted is really lovely and spacious like you say, it's very poetic. You sound like you're very busy, but yes keep on with your lovely art Pauline, it's a must!

  8. Reading your awesome posts is just great! It was touching reading it the painting you made of the sitting girl! Hmm...maybe unresolved emotional stresses do cause cancer...that page looks fantastic.
    I love the illustrations on the book.
    Thank you Pauline and wish you a great week!

  9. WOW!This has been a great post for the day for me! I loved reading it and something has stirred deep within... Can unresolved emotional issue cause cancer??? ANd i loved the cute drawing of the sad girl and the face doodle has some lovely colors!
    And yes, we create coz we have to... express!

  10. I am always looking for your posts, but always seem to miss them until a few days later.

    This one really speaks to me...I do think unresolved emotional issues can cause cancer, or at least exacerbate it!!

    I wonder if your second piece of art was in response to your first piece...with no voice to express what it needed to.

    That's a wonderful photo of Charlies angels! Your son is very handsome and his girlfriend beautiful...and that's from the inside out too!!So sorry about her dad, your mom and all the others!

    Big hugs across the miles for the tough days like this, ones that are bitter sweet.

    The sad illustration would be perfect for a kids book to portray grief...which is rarely addressed with children!

    Beautiful tribute post. Thanks for sharing... I have been thinking I need to write my story. Loads of inspiration here!

    Hugs Giggles

  11. Pauline, I have to say it again, your words, your posts, touch me so deeply, in a way that still surprises me each beautiful time. You are such an amazing soul. Relay for Life hits deep. Can unresolved feelings cause cancer? I think about this... My Dad got cancer after being transferred out of state...he never wanted to go...sigh.
    Art and journaling, Thank God. I couldn't get through these hard times without release into my pages, onto my pages, with text and color smeared with emotions. Love and hugs galore to you, kath. PS I LOVE the sketch of you after the Relay. Love the raw emotion shown in that little being, so great with grief that we feel...i hope you felt release after doing it. It's incredibly beautiful.

  12. Your posts are so terrific. You really express yourself amazingly well! I love your painting and don't think it looks like the Grinch LOL> the first thing that came to mind for me was Buddha!
    And thanks for sharing the pages of the picture book. Those illustrations are gorgeous. I can see why you bought the book:)
    Take care and thanks always for your visits and commenst! Fran T xo