Vol 17, No 2 (2010)

Cover Page

About the Cover: "My Healing Exercise"; Watercolour by a Family Member, Friend or Caregiver

In 2003, at the age of thirty-seven, our daughter, Jeanette, died of breast cancer. While fighting her battle, Jeanette found she could express her feelings by painting. The creative activity relieved her stress and anxiety. She referred to the experience as mental and spiritual healing. Not to be confused with a physical cure.

I miss Jeanette more than I can express here. However, she taught me that by painting I could stay in spiritual contact with her. I can also diminish some of the hurt I personally feel from having lost a beautiful, loving daughter.

The art I have submitted is a three-step exercise done on a single sheet of paper. I do it whenever I think about Jeanette’s struggle and suffering. I show three separate panels here for the purpose of explanation. Actually when doing this healing exercise, everything is done on a single sheet. The result is what you see on the third panel. I’ll take you through the process.

Begin with a single sheet of watercolor paper. Thoroughly wet the sheet. Select colors that reflect your mental or physical pain. Then touch them to the wet surface. The intensity of colors and free form they create symbolize your uncontrolled hurt.

On the same sheet I then apply what I feel are my healing colors. Do the same. Select colors that to you represent spring, growth and happiness. The healing colors will surround your hurt and diminish your pain. Finally, where the hurt once was, paint a flower that symbolizes hope, happiness and life.

For illustrating purposes, so that you might try this healing art for yourself, I am showing the three steps on three separate panels. The first two are steps leading to the final expression. I call it “My Healing Art” because it has helped me cope with many painful situations.

I have demonstrated this healing art technique to many care receivers and caregivers. It doesn’t require special artistic talent and no two paintings ever look alike. The final piece is always a personal expression of the three steps... pain, diminishing the pain, and finally replacing the pain.

Sharing the technique is my way of continuing our daughter, Jeanette’s, mission.

The watercolour on the cover of this issue is entitled “My Healing Exercise” and was the Best Watercolour by a Family Member, Friend or Caregiver in the 2008 Lilly Oncology On Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey Art Competition and Exhibition.

Oncology On Canvas was created by Eli Lilly and Company as a way to honour the journeys people take when confronted with a cancer diagnosis. The program invited people diagnosed with any type of cancer, their families and friends, cancer advocates, healthcare providers, as well as artists and art students to express, through art and in narrative, their own cancer journeys.

All winners were awarded a monetary donation to the cancer charity of their choice.

The rich and enduring collection of art is travelling the world and continues to touch the hearts and minds of people everywhere.

Current Oncology is committed to the Canadian oncology community as well as oncology communities around the world. We are pleased to help raise awareness of this great program created by Lilly. Current Oncology will be selecting a new artwork for each cover from previous and upcoming competitions.