• Gail Curry

The Power of Paint

Back to my easel to put me at ease

The start of a colourful conversation

Returning from holiday and getting back into work mode is something many can probably identify with. Usually I am raring to get back into work because I love what I do. However my return from this break from my #studio was interupted by the news of being diagnosed with #breastcancer which would require surgery and a course of radiotherapy. At the time of writing I have had my third of sixteen treatments.

The prospect of the first treatment was causing me significant anxiety and so I decided to take that to my studio and converse with my condition using #paint, given that speech isn't my default method of communication anymore. Being alone with just a #canvas an paint is not a daunting prospect, it's excting. In fact I have realised that it is perhaps the one thing that actually energises and feeds me rather than drain or tire me, the way lots of other situations do.

Red driving the early process

The canvasses begin with wild abandonement, as the canvas on it's own in pristine white is without any kind of narrative, it doesn't speak it is sleeping and silent. It needs waking up and enlivening. Without any real conscious thought I grabbed a brush and some paint and made some bold marks. What surprised me was that I had grabbed a brush, a tool I have rarely used. Perhaps my body is telling me it is more suited to the #emotion of the present moment.

Within less than five minutes the purple and blue have broken the silence of the canvas, but then themselves go silent. I leave it and go an progress another, it's ok to leave this one to dry and see if it speaks later.

Where will she lead me I wonder?

I returned the next day after my treatment and immediately I am seized by the #colour red and another broad brush. Having applied some quick #strokes I can see a figure and one or maybe two more shapes developing. Perhaps it's my self that is trying to tell me something, so I need to listen to her.

My mind is no longer fully focussed on my overactive #PTSD or how the frequent hospital visits are tiring and threatening, I have the painting to engage with and listen to. The 'c' word for me is going to be 'colour', 'cancer' can be constrained to the 14 minute slot of the next 13 treatment days and nuked to buggery. I shall return to my easel daily, recharge my batteries and listen to what the canvas has to say to me. I will share the progress of the painting here and perhaps what I learn from her.

Whatever happens I shall write about it here on my #blog so you can join me on the journey if you wish.

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