If you take a look at my art galleries on this site…there’s a lot in there! Some old, some new. But I look at it like a photo album. I remember how I felt, what I was doing, and more importantly, the journey that those art supplies took me on to move on from there. Today, create SOMETHING to find a voice you forgot you had within you. Then, write me about it!
My artistic process started in the hospital…
I love creating inchie art, and in dire medical circumstances, this was the best way to express my uneasiness in the midst of uncertainty. What’s an inchie? Literally a collage that was 1 in tall and 1 inch wide – little miniature thumbnail sketches of how I felt. I made hundreds at Yae hospital. Each individual inchie expressed a fear, worry or concern I had about my future. I called this “Can’t Distract” because I was unable to take my thoughts away from this anxiety. Rather than deny these thoughts, I made art from them. Suddenly, they became less scary. Art made my fears and concerns visual so I could begin to deal with them. See more of my art in my artist portfolio.
…and carries me through the setbacks and triumphs in the uncertain road ahead…
It reminds of who what and who is important to me…
Finding my voice in the hospital through art
Through this creativity, I discovered a voice. It was a voice I could recognize – the “Amy” that was there before dozens of surgeries – the passionate part of me that no medical intervention could surgically remove. For me, painting was one more step towards feeling human again. Art was my way of documenting my life and pinpointing my soul at a time when I wasn’t sure who I was or what I was feeling. Making art inspired me with the courage to put myself out there, and emboldened me with the confidence that I was a person – and not just a patient. My life had changed, but my Self was still vital as ever – in whatever colors I dipped my brush in. See more of my art in my TEDx Talks.
Art makes me comfortable with uncertainty
Each morning before the doctors came in for rounds, I’d paint feverishly whatever abstraction came to mind and what evolved from my situation. When I completed my pieces, I felt like I had not only gotten out my frustrations and worry, but also found a place of joy and gratitude. I would put each canvas outside my hospital room, and soon the unit began to catch on, even taking patients by my room to see whatever I had created that day. Now, I was sustaining my aliveness and inspiring others, which filled me with unanticipated meaning and satisfaction.
Ironically, the darker the circumstances became, the more joyous my paintings seem today. Every tree seems to be singing and dancing, although the teardrops and lightning bolts are always streaked across the bold backgrounds. Even though an onset of sadness would prompt me to paint the act of painting became joyful – and by the time I finished a painting, I was exhausted and oddly happy. By painting, I could see what I was feeling. And to know I could feel at a time when every surgery made me feel more and more like a robot – well, that just made me very happy. Finding my heart in every canvas was a happy discovery, the sweet reward every time the paint dried and it was ready to display to the unit.
I found my way to painting accidentally on the road to healing. But I had no idea that art would continue to heal the part of me that the doctors couldn’t. See more of my art for sale
When identifying as a “patient” for so many years made me lose a sense of who I was, the paint picked up where I had left off and created vivid worlds that I didn’t even know I had within me.
You can learn more about my discovery of art in my upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour.