In my short life of 24 years, I’ve had to overcome many obstacles that have heavily shaped not only who I am as a person but also the art that I create.
I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer in the summer of 2014 and it completely altered my life in all aspects.
Instead of going to college like all my friends I spent the better part of a year living in a hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments and ultimately going through major surgery to remove my entire right shoulder blade and the surrounding muscle.
This surgery saved my life but also left me with a brand-new challenge of learning to do life with many mobility restrictions.
Photography by Laura Fenny Photography
There were many unknowns - one of them being, will I be able to paint again? It took many months for me to conjure up the courage to just try to draw something even though my arm was still in a sling and swollen.
But I did it – and you know, it wasn’t too bad! While I primarily paint with my right hand I’ve had to learn to use my left when I paint as well – something I never thought I would be able to do!
While cancer completely altered my life in so many ways, from the way I paint to my normal day to day life, my medical story doesn't end there. On October 18th, 2019 I found myself on yet another operating table for open-heart surgery to repair my mitral valve prolapse.
In the months following my surgery I really allowed myself to grow, heal, and explore painting in a way that I never have before. While the recovery has been filled with its ups and downs and is still ongoing my love for painting flourished during this time. Painting began as a form of therapy for me and gradually turned into a growing collection of seascapes paintings, which became my first collection launch.
Today, I am officially cancer free and recovering from open-heart surgery. If there is one thing I've learned in the past six years it's to not take life for granted. God has a plan for my life and He has shown me His goodness and grace through it all. I am so happy that I get to live this life – creating pieces that reflect who I am and what I’ve been through.
My art reflects me – vibrant, resilient, and strong.