The Art of Healing

It’s the time of year when we think about what’s happened the past year and what the new year holds in store.  Resolutions to improve and do things better are on everyone’s list and I’m doing lots of reflection myself.

My word for 2016 was Focus and I started the year with that very thought in mind.  But, sometimes the very best of intentions doesn’t work out.  For 2017 I’ve chosen the word Healing.  I’ve tried to capture The Art of Healing in this journal page.

The Art of Healing art journal page. Healing is my 2017 word. www.carmenwhitehead.com

My plans for 2016 were to Focus on growing my business in the wholesale market, art shows and developing my blog more.  I was doing all of those things up until about August.  I began to feel very fatigued and lethargic, I was also having a lot of difficulty walking  and numbness in my feet (to the point where I began using a cane).  

But, worse of all, was the numbness and loss of strength in my hands.  I had been left with peripheral neuropathy in my hands from my chemotherapy 4 years ago, but I had noticed a steady decline in the use of my hands.  I was dropping paint brushes, unable to hold sketch pens firmly,  and lots of pain when I was making mounted prints.

The Art of Healing art journal page. Healing is my 2017 word. www.carmenwhitehead.com

I finally went to my doctor for some answers.  After a brain MRI, CT scan, numerous blood tests, and a liver biopsy, I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Liver Disease.  What?!  How could I have beaten stage III Ovarian Cancer and now be overweight, Diabetic and have early stages of cirrhosis of the Liver?!

The Art of Healing art journal page. Healing is my 2017 word. www.carmenwhitehead.com



 

Now I’m poking my fingers daily to check my blood sugar and take a pill to help control the Diabetes.  I’ve had to completely change my diet and need to lose at least 30 pounds (Uggh!!).  I’ve already lost 12, so I’m on my way.  All this was due to a very bad diet of processed foods, a love of sugar and bread.  The only way to slow down the progression of my Liver disease is a clean diet, exercise and lose weight.  Sounds simple enough, right?  

The loss of sensation and strength in my hands and feet is due to my Diabetes and has forced me to change things in my life and business.  I’m no longer doing art shows or making mounted prints for my shop, I simply don’t have the strength in me.  I have gotten back into the studio and started creating again, slowly but surely.  This art journal page is a part of that.  

I remembered how much art helped me heal from Cancer treatment, and it’s helping me get back on track now. God has blessed me with 5 years remission, which is incredible considering they gave me a 25% chance I would even live that long! This silhouette is truly me right now, cracked and broken but still held together.  The clock around her is the time that God has blessed me with and hope to get better.



 

The scattered hidden faces (can you see them?) are shadows of the person I use to be, but hope to be again.  My walking is still unsteady, but seems a little better since changing my diet and losing some of the weight.

The Art of Healing art journal page. Healing is my 2017 word. www.carmenwhitehead.com

The journal page was created with DecoArt acrylic paints, misters and Andy Skinner stencils: Snakes Web,  Whirlpool,  Incognito,  Made to Measure, and Strike a Pose.  

The crackled silhouette was created with The Crafter’s Workshop Stencil (Balzer Bits – Profile) a mix of crackle paste and acrylic paint.  When it dried and the cracks were visible I rubbed in Carbon Black Antiquing Cream to highlight them.  It was then traced with charcoal pencil around the edges for a shadow effect.

This was a post that I was hesitant to do because I wasn’t sure I wanted to open up about my health.  But, I felt that if I could help even one person out there that was struggling with their weight or with health issues. To realize that there is hope in God and that art can help in healing, then it was all worthwhile.

Thank you so much friends for your support and kindness.  I wish you a wonderfully blessed 2017!  Happy New Year!

Blessings,

 

4 thoughts on “The Art of Healing

  1. craftyd says:

    Your art is still amazing. So sorry to hear you are going through so many health issues. I’ve had cancer too and it takes awhile to get your hear wrapped around that,(at least it was for me). I will keep you in my prayers for continued healing and strength.

  2. Michele says:

    Thank you Carmen for your testimony, may God Bless you with strength, hope and Health! I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage 2) two years ago and had chemo, radiation and herceptin treatments. You are a very talented woman and I love your Art! Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year!

  3. jec0988 says:

    wow ….. a plate full of health issues for you! I applaud your inner strength and am sending warm healing wishes your way. Stay strong and thanks for reminding me just how important art can play a significant role in our lives.

  4. DB says:

    Hi Carmen, you probably have heard this many times but you are such an inspiration not only for the beautiful art pieces you create but for being such a strong woman. I know that no matter what, God will continue taking care of you. Every time I am going through difficult times, and I had quite a few of those, I keep repeating to myself: God would never bring me to place where he doesn’t intent to get me out it successfully. I pray that God sends His angels to watch over you and your family. As Joel Osteen says, your test will become your testimony and just like you beat cancer, you will beat this too. Take care and many blessings.

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