Art as Therapy

I have been on the quieter side lately because something devastating happened back in February, and I’ve been debating whether or not to share it publicly.  It has very much affected my desire to make progress with the book series and share my work in general.  But because it is such a big part of my life and my work, art has still been there for me through a very difficult time in my life, and I would like to share that with my fans.

Back in February I discovered that my beloved cat, Clementine, had lymphoma, a type of cancer that was in her stomach.  In a matter of a week or so she deteriorated rapidly, and I did the best I could do to keep her comfortable.  I ultimately had to make the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life and put her to sleep on February 25th.

She was approximately 12-years-old (I adopted her from the Huron Valley Humane Society when she was approx. two).  We had ten wonderful years together.  Clementine and her younger adopted brother Colby and I have lived together all over Metro Detroit as well as New Jersey.  Any parent of a fur-kid knows about how they become family.  Saying goodbye to Clementine has been heartbreaking.  I am grateful to family and friends who have experienced this type of loss before me, understand it, and have been there for me in many different ways.

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I am sharing my grief not only to explain how it’s affected the productivity of my work, but to show you how I’ve used my creativity in a different way…a therapeutic way to cope with the loss…to help process something so difficult, in a language I understand.

Sand Mandala

Sand art

Sand mandalas are a Buddhist representation of the beauty and impermanence of life. Traditionally, the sand is then poured into a body of running water. I am hanging onto the sand in a jar for now in lieu of ashes.

Memory Box

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An old cigar box was painted and decorated in honor of Clementine

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Detail of inside the lid

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Box pictured with jar of “ashes”

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Colby and I have both been deeply affected by Clementine’s absence.  Otherwise, Colby seems to be in good physical health.  We will soon be coming up on the one year anniversary of his diagnosis of kidney disease later in the summer.  He has been off of IV fluid injections since the beginning of this year and is due for his check up.  Hopefully I will get back to drawing vampires soon.

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RIP Clementine

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