"Believe" aka "Blue Lady"
“Believe,” or “Blue Lady,” as my family affectionately referred to her, was created using the prayerful, meditative painting method, COLOR OF WOMAN, a technique created and developed by world re-known artist, Shiloh Sophia McCloud Lewis.
This painting began with the prayer intention that the “Inner Healer in each of us may be awakened; that we all may re-member our Divine Wholeness.”
Many people had the great fortune to call Mark Chaney “friend,” and everyone could see his indomitable Spirit and his deep Faith. Mark was my inspiration, and I enjoyed feeling his spiritual presence with me as I painted.
Each COLOR OF WOMAN painting goes through many layers of transformation. Within many of these layers there are prayers representing individuals I know who were (and are) at the time of this painting, experiencing various health challenges, from cancer to heart disease to depression to muscular disorders to foot injuries to general physical dis-ease. We may not be the one personally experiencing the ailment, but because of our personal connections, we experience the effects of dis-ease.
I believe we each contain the seed of Divine Wholeness, and that healing comes to each of us in many and varied ways. This painting represents my prayer for the day we each know within our hearts and minds our innate Wholeness. The day we each will know that “All is LOVE,” and that indeed, “All is Well.” I believe in the day that “Cancer Sucks” no more!
AND THE REST OF THE STORY...
Before leaving for Paris in August, 2014, the fundraising event “Cancer Sucks!” came to my attention. Beth Chaney was hosting the event in memory of her husband, Mark. Noticing that Beth was asking for donations, I immediately had the idea to create a painting in Mark’s honor. Mark had made his transition earlier in 2014 after many years of treatment for stage 4 prostate cancer.
I met Mark Chaney at Exit Realty in 2009 where Mark officed out of the Exit location. At that time, Mark was already into his journey with Stage 4 prostate cancer, but it was a long while before I was even aware of his health challenges. Mark simply didn’t talk much about himself. Cancer was his experience, not his life. In 2012, when I ventured further into the work-force, Mark was an integral part of me being hired as office manager at the mortgage company where he was a loan officer.
The thought of creating a painting to donate was both thrilling and scary! This would really put me “OUT THERE!” as an Artist. Upon returning from Paris, I had a few extra days off from work. The perfect time to create! So began the process.
I chose the “Awaken Your Inner Healer” class as inspiration because it yielded a basic, simple finished product that I thought would be appealing to a wide audience.
During the beginning meditation, Mark came to me in the vision. As the painting began, I could feel his energy with me. In fact, the first incarnation of the face, had a very masculine quality to it, which caught me unawares because I had never painted a masculine figure.
As with each 13 Step Painting, I enjoyed the journey and the unfolding of the final piece. There were layers for prayers and blessings for people I currently knew going through cancer and other physical challenges. My thoughts around healing in general, the intention that one day we will know our innate wholeness, all went into the painting.
As I posted photos on FaceBook of the process, I noticed more comments than usual. “Blue Lady” caused more stir than any other painting I’ve done to that point. She moved people, and there seemed to be a universal appeal! Maybe it was the magic paint brush and special blue paint from Sennelier’s in Paris that I used!
Upon completing “Blue Lady,” I blessed her & released her to the world with the intention to raise money for the event and that she would find her “right” place with someone.
This was such a collaborative experience, from the friend who agreed to take professional quality photos to the friend who made flyers for documentation to the people who bid at the auction.
Beth had a goal to surpass the prior year’s event in attendance and funds raised. Her goal was 100 attendees and $10,000 raised, both double the prior year’s numbers.
Standing in front of the 70+ people, sharing from my heart the story and the painting process felt good. This was the beginning of me stepping into “Artist.”
“Believe” raised $1450 for the auction, then was given to an attendee (who had bid up to her budget) going through breast cancer treatment. “Blue Lady” would journey with her through her continued treatment which included a double mastectomy.
It was my intention "Blue Lady,” would contribute to the fund raising and that she would find her rightful home. Check. Check.
After the event, I was attempting to update my Facebook status of the joyful afternoon. When I pulled up what was supposed to be the photo of the painting flyer, Facebook pulled up a photo of my son, Caleb, swearing in for the Marines. I thought “that’s weird,” THEN I noticed that it just “happened” to be a photo that Mark Chaney had commented “Boo Yah” on! For me, this was Mark’s affirmation from the other side! YAY!
What a beautiful experience! I am grateful to so many people who supported me through it and helped create the moment!
This is WHY I paint!
Postscript: The event raised over $10K.
30” x 40” x 1.5” Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
"Cancer Sucks” American Cancer Society, Houston TX
September 21, 2014
Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS (Gloss & Matte)
Isolation Layer - Golden Soft Gel (Gloss)
Net Proceeds from sale of cards are donated to the American Cancer Society AND to supporting people in treatment. Thank you for your contribution and for BELIEVING in the day when "Cancer Sucks" no more!
The sides of my paintings are painted red to honor the “Red Thread” tradition of many cultures. This tradition says that people who are destined to meet are connected by a red thread from birth. The thread may tangle and stretch, but it will never break.