I feel a shift in energy now that half the year is over. In June, I took a nine day trip to Wisconsin for work for training and I am feeling so relieved that I have finished my project and passed my exam. (Check out my instagram for some reels I made from my trip.)
We also threw a big 4th of July party which took a lot of prep work and planning. I have also done a few other bigger chores around the house which were hanging over my head for some time. Now that I have cleared some mental space, I feel like I can start working on some more art projects again.
These are some drawings that I have done recently on Procreate. I do miss working traditionally in my sketchbook, but I also know that I need to continue to practice in order to learn all the features within Procreate and just get comfortable with it. I was gifted the robin’s nest and it was fun to draw it from life. I drew the monarch from a photo but did not trace it. I have a few ideas for some other things I want to draw on Procreate in the near future so keep your eyes peeled.
I’ve been feeling a LOT better since my surgery, although I have really fallen off the wagon with my healthy eating. I think that is in part because I feel better, so my diet is not always a priority on my mind like it was a few months ago. Some things that have stuck are that I have been eating quite a bit of fruit for the first time ever, and I haven’t eaten cold cereal with milk since November.
I have still been focusing on my health in other ways though. I started reading the book Mind over Medicine and it discusses the effects of stress in healing quite a bit. I’ve always known that I feel better overall when I work on art, but this book does a really good job of explaining why. I’ve also been trying to get better sleep at night and I’ve started taking melatonin which has helped my sleep tremendously. I bought a sauna back in December but I started using it recently and it’s incredibly relaxing.
Last year I did not get much artwork done, mostly because of all the upheaval in my life.
My schedule should be more routine for me now and I am going to focus on my artwork a lot more. Instead of just drawing random things in my sketchbook, I’ve decided to work on projects this year – things that will result in a tangible artwork to frame or a product (either digital or physical), or work in a series of some sort. With the limited time I have, I need to be intentional about what I focus on and I would also like to have something that I am able to sell at some point.
I’ve started by making a little series of flower drawings in sepia toned pen and ink and watercolor (see one of them below). I still need to edit the images and remove the backgrounds, etc. but I have an idea of something I would like to make with them. I recently cancelled my Photoshop subscription and purchased the Affinity suite (because there is no subscription). That means that I have to learn how to use the apps, which should be fun but will take me extra time.
Last week my surgeon called me and said they reviewed my case at Tumor Board and determined that it was a borderline tumor, not cancerous. This was amazing news to hear, and unexpected, because the report originally said cancer. (Also, weirdly stressful in a way.) However, after doing some more research, I found that borderline tumors can still recur and come back as cancer in the future. With that in mind, I have still decided to pursue a better lifestyle and do everything in my power to stay healthy. I have given up meat and dairy and have been eating as many raw vegetables as possible. I have also purchased an infrared sauna (haven’t tried it yet). I have an appointment with a naturopathic doctor to see what else I can do to get healthier. I have been feeling a lot better after my surgery and I’ve been getting dressed in the morning which makes me feel like a more normal person.
I have been reading a book called Radical Remission, which is all about people who have healed themselves from advanced or incurable cancers without or despite modern medicine. It is encouraging to read positive stories and realize that it is possible to get better after a terrible diagnosis. I’ve also been listening to Chris Wark’s videos and interviews. He is an inspiration.
I’m not supposed to drive yet, so I’ve been staying home most of the time. I haven’t minded it though. I’ve been really enjoying my quiet time during the day. I’ve started a few art projects that I’m excited about. I joined a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life – Hygge style. It is full of beautiful photos and ideas and everyone is so kind. I’m thinking of doing some small, crafty sewing projects. I have a number of patterns from Ann Wood that I haven’t tried yet and I want to work on some of them.
I have a follow up appointment with my doctor at the end of the month. She said that until then, all I have to do is have a good Christmas and that is what I am trying to do.
I have wanted to update this site for many months now, but I have had a wake-up call recently and I have decided that if I don’t do it now, then I might now ever do it. I am at home, with six weeks off from work, recovering from a big abdominal surgery last week in which I have learned that I have ovarian cancer. I haven’t even heard the results yet from my doctor, but I read them in the results that popped into my MyChart account. I’m not sure how I should be feeling. I’m trying to be positive right now, but I’m also wondering what went wrong with me to have had this happen.
I haven’t been drawing much at all this past year. I started a new job, moved, got married and was focusing on a lot of other things. I’ve been under a lot of stress generally. In my new place, I even have a room dedicated as a studio, yet I haven’t spent much time in it.
In the next few weeks, I will remedy that, of course. I am busy researching nutritional/natural healing plans and I’m pretty sure I will have chemo in my future, but I know in my gut that I need to start drawing again because it is the greatest stress relief I know. Please follow along as I post updates, photos, and sketchbook pages on this site. I am going to update my own blog with most of this information as I would like to maintain a record of my work that is not connected to a social media site.
I would also appreciate your prayers too – thanks for reading.