Monday, January 31, 2011


approaching the megalopolis

 Last week my friend Linda invited me to join her on a road trip to Atlanta.  We planned on visiting an exhibit at the Fulton County Library which included one of her wonderful painted scrolls, as well as exploring several art galleries.  I love looking at art and seeing what the galleries are showing, but I also anticipated the inspiration I would uncover in viewing what was on display.  I've often felt really "charged up" by visiting galleries in other cities, and come back to my studio with new vigor.  There is something about observing and contemplating either historical or contemporary art that just gets the juices flowing.

After seeing the show at the library, we headed to The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. The work on display was diverse and thought provoking, but what I responded to most was the outside of the building.  There is a section that felt like ruins, yet is truly beautiful.  Just the way the trees hugged the old walls made me want to stay there awhile, but we had a lot more to accomplish and had to move on.  

This view appeals to me on so many levels. I see the "writing on the wall" and the "black doorway" (a series I painted from 1996 to about 2005). But I also really like the subtle colors and the sign in the background, (which reads We Will, We Will, Feed You) gets a Queen song rocking in my head.

Moving on to a variety of other areas of the city, we stopped at no less than 7 art galleries.  One after the other of the galleries left me feeling sort of empty.  I couldn't get excited about what I was seeing.  Except at one gallery where I received permission to photograph their floor! Yes, the artwork was pleasing, but I was most moved by the peripheral sights. 

By the end of the day I did come away with gratitude for seeing some extraordinary works at Timothy Tew Gallery and Alan Avery Art.  And the exhibition of Scott Bellville's drawings at Moca Georgia was psychologically provocative.  But I realized, on reflection, that I don't have to look at art to find inspiration.  The way my eye perceives shapes and the way my mind makes metaphors and meaning out of seemingly innocuous objects, is what becomes important. 

do you see the angel in the washcloth I dropped in the shower?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I feel as though I lost a good bit of my life in the last few months after I heard the words that rocked my world.  "You have breast cancer."  First came the total disbelief and shock, then the floundering in a sea of emotions, until I was rescued by my daughters, sitting on either side of me, shoring me up with their caring, steadfast love.  All this in a matter of moments.

Art making took a back seat to the path I was prescribed.  My body and thoughts of my future were all I could manage to think about.  Surgery for a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy were to prove that I was very, very lucky.  The words "no invasive cells" were an incredible gift.  I had "passed go" and could proceed to radiation treatments.

I have now completed 30 visits to radiation therapy and am left to heal, in body and spirit.  The whole experience has been traumatic. But I am so grateful for the doctors, nurses, and technicians at Spartanburg Regional Hospital who, without exception, treated me as an individual they cared about. I feel humbled and honored by the incredibly kind support given so freely by my husband, my daughters and some very special friends.

I expect that I will make paintings that help me process my experience, but right now, feeling great joy at being finished with my treatments, all I want to do is create paintings that are filled with the light and joy I have in my heart. 

Celebration flowers and ringing the "I am finished" bell all made me cry.  What comes now is a daily appreciation for my life.

Bethan's flowers

Marcia's flowers

Ringing the bell!
 My daughter Bethan took the photo of me ringing the bell.  She was with me at the radiation department for every treatment, and I will miss our time together very much.