Friday, 12 June 2015

My Week....

Mug from Yolanda 
I don't expect every week to be giggles and whoopee cushions, although to be honest most weeks around here are just that, but some weeks things are decidedly out of sorts. This has been one of those weeks where the whole world has been just a bit off kilter, not a bad week, and nothing terrible happened, in fact it has turned out quite glorious, but sometimes you have to stop and remind yourself to look for the good. You see it has been a bit of a cancer-ish week. I am fine... in fact I am doing amazing, but it has been a week or so with lots of tests and things for baselines for new medication, managing new side effects and booking the upcoming two year scans and ultrasounds. Nothing major or bad in any way, shape or form, but you kind of get out of the whole medical swing and heading back into those environments again kind of gives you a bit of a jolt.  
Mug From Mary
Added to all that I got back into the Cuppa With Friends Project  as part of ICAD. I started this two years ago and was in the middle of loving every minute of painting up peoples' cups and mugs when I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and faced those initial awful, scary weeks of tests, operations and all that. It was all pretty horrifying as you can imagine and the project fell by the wayside. I have tried to get back into it a few times since then, and every time I have done a few it stirred all those memories up all over again and being the shallow pool that I am I just moved onto other things rather than deal with it all, but I am feeling so great and life is very very good so I figured it was time to dive in again. 

Teacup from Robyn

The first few were a bit of a task and I sort of did them at the end of the day, but as I am getting into the swing again and cup and mug paintings are starting to accumulate on my desk in a satisfying pile, I am finding I am just enjoying it all.  I even managed to start the day with one today which is at the top of this post, and it didn't make me think anything other than extreme pleasure. The mug is from one of the members of my class called Yolanda, who just this last week or so has faced her own cancer battles and is dealing with it all with grace and creativity, and quite frankly is inspiring.

Mugs from Arnoldo, Tracey and Susie
Throw in some mugs from people like Arnoldo, who not only had sent in a glorious pun mug, but who also wrote about vulnerability so eloquently on his blog last week that it started me thinking about dealing with some of this, painting the mug of fellow survivor and friend, Carol. Plus others who are just from people who I admire and like, and who have awesome taste in mugs and cups.

from top... Katie, Jill and Carol

So all good and positive, but then the book A World of Artist Journal pages by Dawn Devries Sokol arrived and I sort of plunged back into a bit of a mini funk. My work is in there... just a single image,but I painted the page and sent it in during treatment, which was quite the task. At the time it was really positive because it gave me things to focus on when I was deep in the horrible chemo, but when I thought of that page post treatment I thought of the cancer and quite frankly it doesn't even look that much like my work. I have actually been avoiding buying it for just that reason. which is a bit wimpy really but then a friend bought it and emailed me to say how wonderful my page was, and that it was just where I was at the time, and I am not there now and it is something I should be proud of, not just because my work was in a book, but also because it represented how far I have come. I have some pretty awesome and wise friends I have to say. So the book was ordered in a wave of pep talk induced bravery.


It arrived two days ago and I hardly looked at it... but on the back of the whole getting over the hump with the Cuppa Project I decided to stop being such a buttercup and have a good old look. It actually wasn't as bad as I had thought it was, and I think my friend is exactly right. It may not be my normal bright and colourful splotch of creativity, but it is where I was at that time, and I have come such a long way since then. So I am finishing my week feeling quite accomplished and happy again and reminded of just how wonderful life is and how special it is to be surrounded by wonderful friends, an awesome class to teach, plenty of painting and creativity to fuel my days and  an incredible family, which all adds up to life feeling back to its normal awesomeness... 


I am so completely and utterly blessed it isn't funny
happy painting all...xx

44 comments:

Jennifer McLean said...

My gosh Trace, it sounds like you had one heck of a week. It seems you plunged into the deep end of your supposed shallow pool. I'm so glad you're feeling better now all around. I'm just grateful that you came through it all and are here two years later. Pretty much a heroine to me. :o)

Clare Lloyd said...

Fabulous art work. Take care of yourself. X

Abigail Davidson said...

This is such a beautiful post! I enjoy seeing the different cups from everyone illustrated -- glad you're feeling better and hope you continue to share your creations!

TwinkleToes2day said...

Oh my. It's 7:15am and I am sitting here trying like heck not to cry. You make ME feel blessed to have known you along this difficult (understatement!) journey and to see/hear you come out the other side into your second year makes my heart lift and my soul sing. Your art is as bright as the joy you give and the smiles you create. Carry on!
Love n Hugs, Your Scottish Pal, xoxox

Ayala Art said...

Life is very good indeed and I am so happy you closed that chapter and are all better now! Your art never fails to make me smile!

Nic McLean said...

It sounds like you've really been dragged through the wringer this week emotionally and it's no wonder when you've had all these reminders of the worst time you went through. I think you have handled it in your own fabulous way - it is necessary to dwell on the sh*t sometimes - I think the worst you could do is to try to paint over it (pun intended) you need to wallow and get emotional because it happened and you dealt with it in the physical sense but now maybe you need to deal with it in the emotional and mental sense - I'm still sending you reiki every Sunday night but I think you'd really benefit from visiting a reiki practitioner for some hands on reiki - it really helps with this sort of stuff. Congrats on your painting being in the book and don't look at it as a reminder of the sh*t think of it as a kick arse painting that you did whilst simultaneously whipping cancer's ass - you paintbrush wielding superhero, you. xx

Nordljus said...

I'm glad to hear that you're doing so well, and that you're back to and enjoying your tea cups, I always enjoyed seeing these. And how wonderful to have your painting included it that book, it sounds like an awesome book and your painting is gorgeous!

Giggles said...

Thanks for this vulnerable heartfelt post! You've come a long way baby! The artwork although gorgeous does have less colour than usual, but what a beautiful metaphor....it was a time when the colour had drained from your life...and now it's again fully restored! I understand it's tough to look back...but wow it was such a defining moment you braved through, a time to honour. I admire what you've come through!You are such a wonderful inspiration, creatively and as amazing human being! I'm so glad you are basking in what you've accomplished! Just love the cuppa project! So vibrant and full of life, just like you!

Hugs Giggles

Neesie said...

Tracey, do you have any idea what an inspiration you are to everyone? It all sounds literally terrifying, but I am a firm believer that in everything, if you look hard enough you'll find the good and positive. Even with the battle you've been through... just look at where you are now! You are a definite hero with such amazingly, beautiful, talented art skills that brightens everyone's day.
Now that's enough smooshy stuff... let's get painting. I'm off back to the classroom to try and catch up, before I'm put on detention for lagging behind.
xoxo

My name is Erika. said...

I think there is definitely something "off" in the universe this week. As you said, not a bad week but just not quite as bright and sparklely as life can be. I am glad to see all your cups as they are gorgeous. Hoping to get back and finish up those June videos drawing fruits and vegs once I get through today. Enjoy your weekend!

Rosie Kaplan said...

Big love to you. Very brave to get back to the re stimulating cups.I didn't know you through your journey. YOU have put up a wonderfully authentic and vulnerable post. THANK YOU. xxx

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

I am sorry to hear about your latest battle with cancer, but exhilarated to hear you are winning, my friend. Your positive attitude and glorious artwork are an inspiration for all of us around the world who are blessed with your wisdom, words, and artwork. Congratulations on your work being featured in Dawn's new book. That's very exciting! I'm also thrilled to see the painting you did of my precious cup, which I got from my wife when we were dating, on your blog. Thanks for the shout out as well. May you and your family continue to be filled with blessings of courage, strength, and peace.

sandra de said...

Tracey, you always speak so honestly from the heart and it is always refreshing and inspiring. Lots of congrats on your art being published. Well deserved.

Fallingladies said...

The painting in the book is wonderful, but it is funny how when you see your own art you see the feelings and times of when it was painted, instead of seeing the actual piece. I have some like that too. But i am so glad you are back to the cups project, they are just beautiful! Hoping your next week is easier.

Christine said...

Lovely work this week Tracey, all the best going forward with your treatment, always thinking of you.

mandysea said...

I'm so new here, and to PPF .... your words, your determination, your art, the wonderful comments left here are all so engaging and inspiring - I've loved your teacups and mugs(and kept going through previous pages! And then realised you are an Aussie too and only WISH I could attend one of your classes! I'm a bit awestruck! All the very best for your recovery.

JackieP Neal said...

Lovely mugs and teacups and so glad to hear good news that you are feeling so well!-your make us all smile with your wonderful art and posts!!xoxo

prachee Vashistha said...

ur art wows me :)

GlorV1 said...

Hi Tracey. I'm glad you are back on track with your teacups. It sounds like a lot of fun. I have to try drawing teacups, it would be fun. I'm saddened though that you've had to deal with the tough matters at hand. You are a very brave and kind person. Sending you hugs. Congrats. on being featured. You deserve the best. Take care dear lady.

laurie said...

oh Tracey ,, you have had such a battle but you are a fierce warrior, I understand the memories attached to the cancer diagnoses, complete, I battled breast cancer at 27, and to this day cannot go into the coffe shop beside the hospital without the feeling of fright despair and utter helplessness, its the smell,
it seems to reawaken everything, your art is such a testament to your beautiful soul,

Linda Kunsman said...

Man what an emotional week you've had Tracey! But now I'm singing "I get by with a little help from my friends..." There is nothing like em. Love all your mugs-so happy to see them again, and congrats on having your beautiful work in the book!

Laila said...

I'm sorry to hear you've had a rough week and equally glad you've pushed through. To face it, like you've done, will probably make it less "scary" next time you meet something that reminds you of that periode in your life. Good girls always have fun ahead, and you're one of them.

alarmcat said...

glad to see all your tea cups. funny how little things like that can trigger bad memories. just so you know, i LOVE love love them!! Looking forward to seeing many more.

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Smiling that you are moving on, through and forward with accepting and enjoying. Remember it's all of us who feel joy at everything you create, everything. xox

cjsrq said...

As always you are a wonder and an inspiration! Sorry to hear about your off week but next week is definitely bound to be better. Love those tea cups!

WrightStuff said...

Love and vampires.

xx

Danielle M said...

Hope next week is better for you. Your work looks amazing as always!

Martha said...

OH, Tracey, your works-of-art are always simply beautiful & inspiring! They make me smile!

Blessings to you...take care of yourself.

Jo Murray said...

A serious, and reflective, post Tracey. You have come such a long way, and handled it all SO well. I'm grateful that we still have your talent and wit, and look forward to enjoying it regularly for a long time.

veronica said...

I too, am sorry that u have had a stressful week! My husband is in remission, and he too gets stressed esp the week he does tests. He's still doing bloodwork every 3 mo and ct scan every 6. The best advice we got from a fellow cancer survivor is to take it easy the week of tests, sometimes we don't think it will be stressful, but it sneaks up on you. You also have a wonderful support group, and such a great hobby to help u get ur mind on other things. Wishing good health to u. ;)
I am enjoying ur cuppa project!

Kate Robertson said...

Sending an extra hug today. I love the teacup series. Just wonderful.

Rita said...

Sounds like triggers for unexpected emotional flashbacks. How wonderful that you endured that hell, are doing so friggin' well, and are here today to have those flashbacks. You are a walking, talking, painting miracle, woman!! It is a joy to know you. :) :) :)

Niina Niskanen said...

You are one of those bloggers who always seem to find the bright side of all things and that is very inspiring. I love all the mugs you've painted. The more older I've become the more I've started to value my friends as well. Friendship is a gift. Many hugs to you <3

Studio Kaufmann said...

Amazing news Trace that you are in the book! Fabulous and so well deserved. Love all the different cup and mug paintings. I am a Brit in USA where it is often 95 degrees F and people always look at me like I am bonkers if I drink hot tea. Do Aussies just drink hot tea even when it is boiling hot or do they also drink iced tea? Happy PPF

Belinda Basson said...

Thank you for writing such an open post. My pink hair for Claire came about when I lost my best friend in Dec of 2013 having being diagnosed only 6 months before in June 2013 with advanced breast cancer. Your positivity and frankness is what I love about you, I had only just found your blog then Claire was diagnosed and it was interesting to see how you both coped with it all. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have your art bring up such emotional memories so I am thrilled to see how you are embracing it and your printed page so wisely prompted by your friend. I may not comment on many posts you write, but know that as I read them on the fly to my son's afternoon sport or to my studio to teach my art class, you are a constant inspiration to me with your art, humour and your attitude. Thank you.

Boo Martin said...

I totally understand the mixed feeling you have around your published page and your cuppa project. It is very difficult to remember the hard times that were so painful.

From my point of few... here is how I see you. First, I have told many people who have no interest in art about you. You are one of the bravest people I know. You persevered when it would have been so much easier to just give up on your art and lay in bed during all that horrible chemo.

I remember having a down day and your blog would appear in my mailbox and you would be telling a story about Mushi licking your bald head to wake you up. That could have been such a sad, irritating experience but you made it into something funny and light hearted. You were very sick and yet you were making me laugh with your quirky view on life as you were living it at the time.

I am so, so impressed that you had the energy and ump to paint the pictures you did and that you actually sent them in to a magazine.

I don't think you realize what an inspiration you are to many of us. You weren't trying to be an inspiration. You were being you and that inspired me. When I count my blessing, you are one of them. I probably will never meet you face to face but I will always remember you and the many laughs I've had from you being you in cyberspace.

Boo

Beth Niquette said...

How brave you are. ((hugs)) I'm praying for you. You are amazing--I adore your teacups too. Your artistic style is so unique and lovely. Your work fills my eyes.

pauline said...

aw Tracey.... i so understand your "off" week. You've been through so much over the past year, and you've inspired me (and many others i'm sure) more than you know. Sometimes, we have "off" days or weeks, and we can't even put our finger on why. Last week, i drove a friend to the hospital and just being there again brought back a flood of bad memories... so I totally understand why having tests & making appointments would bring you back to those dark days. You've kicked those dark days in the ass though, with more grace (and humour!) than anyone I know. You should be damn proud of that, and of how far you've come Tracey. THANK YOU for being such an inspiration - for art and life. xx

Ali H said...

Hi Tracey I have been following your blog through out the 2 years you have been writing about today and rooting for you from the other side of the world even if you have never known I am here!
Your blog was very heartfelt and moving today and I just wanted to step out of the shadows and congratulate you on your slot in the book, just enjoy the experience and accept it as a step along your path. Back when you were so poorly I remember giving a little cheer when I saw you creating art again! Thanks for sharing your experiences and your lovely art! Hugs Ali x

JKW said...

The cups are lovely. Reminds of when we all made tea cups as our pictures for you when you were going through so much. Thankfully prayers helped too. Blessings, Janet PPF

Sandra Busby said...

Your friend is so right! I think your page is beautiful actually and I would be so proud - and you should be too because you have had quite the bumpy ride and you STILL painted all the way through!! And I hate that you are having to go through another load of medical stuff... but then again as easy as it is for me to say, hopefully it won't go on for too much longer and you will feel back to normal again soon. I love your Cuppa with Friends project. I would never guess by looking through them that there were any negative thoughts that are triggered by them! They are beautiful :0)

Prairie Jill said...

What a week! And what a beautifully written post. But I'm glad to hear how well you got through the week, and it's so nice to see your mug paintings (including mine!). Take care!

Faye said...

You are so remarkable, Tracey. I draw strength from you and your ability to overcome. Your teacups and mugs are gorgeous. I haven't been through what you have, but I remember the times of respite when my late dh was having such good days we could forget all the tests, treatments, etc. if only for a short while. Then when they started up again, there was the medical scene all over again.

Tinna Sjoeberg said...

Love how all those cups turned out,
there are beautiful ones and funny
ones also :)
Wish you all the best for getting
settled with your new medication.
And I'm sad to hear that Yolanda
has to fight against cancer too.
Wish you both lots of strength to
get over it!

Big hug from
Tinna ✐