Monday, June 22, 2015

The Art I Made While In the Chemo Chair

I had a colon cancer tumor removed between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2006. It took me three weeks to recover, all spent in the hospital. I had to walk a lot when I got home but that was the extent of the physical therapy needed to fully recover from the surgery. This all paled beside the 12 weeks of severe chemo I had to do shortly after New Year's in 2007. The chemo department had its own social worker and she stopped at my chair one day to see how I was doing. She started off by saying that the patients were generally helped if they occupied themselves with something while going through this. I swung my laptop around and showed her the digital paintings I was making while in the chair. "I'm painting the interior of my body, my impressions of what is going on inside of me." She was quite taken aback when she looked at these because many of these images are dark and/or violent. That is what is happening inside though: an all out war is being waged. I also included two images of how I saw myself. As I neared the end of the process, the images became more peaceful, the system becoming whole again. I was surprised by the social worker's reaction to these art works. Did she think I'd be painting placid little watercolors while my body was undergoing violent and relentless assault? She mistakenly assumed that artists create from a bright and happy place. Most do not. They create from a fairly dark place within themselves. I did many more of these but I have included a sampling here to give you an overview of the experience.

All art made digitally by Carol.