Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Healing Power of Color and Friendship

That's how she described it. A Glorious Yellow with a deep Velvety Brown. And large like a plate. A perfect specimen...a perfect sunflower...

I visited with my friend, M, yesterday. This is her last week of work. After nearly 20 years, she is retiring. She needs the time to work towards getting well, and if not, she needs the time to do as many of the things that bring her joy as she can. This week it was taking in the beauty of a sunflower.

M is also an artist. She works with color and texture...mostly paper.. which she cuts and tears and pastes into abstract collages. She takes great pleasure in moving the papers around, in finding the perfect bit of color and placing it in just the right place to make her pieces sing.

I brought along my prints from Tuesday's play date with gelatin. I always try to bring something art-related that we can talk about. I think it helps her to take the focus off her cancer and reminds her that she is still an artist...still someone curious and creative.

I gave her some gelatin prints I made with rice paper.

"You know", she said, "I will be tearing these up."
"I know", I said.
"And that red, I think it's just the red I've been looking for. I think I'll call it Julie's Red."

In a recent phone conversation, M, in an almost joking way, told me about her last visit to the doctor. There was the good news...the cancer in her lungs seems to be getting smaller and then there was the new news, she has a blood clot in her lungs.

It amazes me that she can have a sense of humor about it all.

M seems relieved to be retiring. She is excited to get back into her home studio. To get back to playing with the paper, with color and texture. We talked about how time is different when you're creating. It seems to open up, to broaden.

Yesterday was the last time I'll be visiting her at work. We are making plans to get together at her home. But first, she wants to have something to show me...artist to artist.

So she is will be working in her studio tearing, cutting and pasting paper and I will be working in mine painting and printing cloth.

 I am hoping in the healing power of all things colorful, in the healing power of art and friendship and that we will be getting together very soon.


  1. It is lovely to meet you here in the blogging world. I am so sorry to hear about your dear friend's health issues. Your friendship sounds very, very special.

    Yellow flowers have always been my favorites, and I don't think there is anything more cheery than Sunflowers. Beautiful!

    Best Wishes from Wisconsin to you and your friend M.

    1. Thank you, Angela. I don't know what took me so long to find your blog. I really enjoyed reading some of the posts today.

      M is very special and tenacious in the face of all she has been through in the past couple of years.

      She helps me to appreciate the small precious a single sunflower...or shells from the beach.

      Thanks for your wishes.