Day 182 – I Will Walk Where There Is No Path

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty Two

Six months ago my life changed drastically.

At the time I was working as a software sales consultant. I would read business and strategy books for tips and to keep motivated but my career was unfulfilling and lacking so I picked up a book called Linchpin by Seth Godin – one of my favorite authors. One of the main points I took away from Linchpin was to find ways in your career to not get jaded and always work to be the linchpin of your organization. Although he doesn’t encourage people to up and quit their jobs – that is what I did. I had not read a book like it before. I’d been in jobs that I loved and hated but for the first time I saw my energies were truly being wasted. I craved something more. Since I spent almost 5 years not working at all due to AS, I felt behind my contemporaries and I didn’t think I could catch up – I was at a crossroads.

I had spent the 20 years since receiving my Bachelor of Fine Arts ignoring my artistic talent and convincing myself that I really didn’t want to be an artist; that I in fact didn’t want to create. I’m not sure how I pushed this huge part of who I am away for so long but I know now it was fear. I felt I had nothing I could tie the creative process to so I felt very uninspired when I painted. I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough. I was afraid I would not succeed at it. I was afraid of exposing myself to criticism and because of all of this, it just didn’t feel good. On top of that, I was in pain and looking for answers. In the years when I was so sick before starting the anti-TNF’s I spent years in struggle, misdirecton, and never ending pain and fatigue. There was just no room left for me to think of my future; all I was doing was existing and coping. My path appeared to be paved to a future of physical pain, emotional strife, and not much else. They say amazing art can come from deep anger and pain but my spirit and soul want to paint hope and joy. So the art didn’t happen.

And then I felt better, went back to work, and eventually found myself at those crossroads six months ago.

I decided to be my own linchpin and to listen to Emerson:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Six months ago I started my Apples for AS campaign and with it I found my inspiration. I’m at the half-way mark today and if feels so good to be on the journey, past the crossroads, and blazing a trail!

Until tomorrow.


Day 182 was created in pen & ink.

Day 181 – March Madness Apple

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty One

I love March.

The month starts with my birthday and a new year but that is not the only reason…

March holds the first day of spring, St. Patrick’s day, and daylight savings.  With March comes an itching to get to warm weather, vacations, and picnics. After a long winter – madness strikes – life takes on a restlessness – as well as a basketball frenzy! It’s really no wonder the NCAA Basketball tournaments have taken on a certain amount of craziness – but boy – it’s a fun way to bounce into spring!

Until tomorrow.


Day 181 was created in mixed media!


Day 180 – Tapestry

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.
Sandra Day O’Connor

Until tomorrow!


Day 180 was created in mixed media. An image scanned from a book of needlework I have and then cut into the shape of an apple, watercolor, gold metallic ink, green and purple felt leaves stitched with embroidery thread, and a purple grommet that put a big hole in my wooden step stool when Doug helped me bang the heck out of it to get it to set!

Day 179 – All Mixed Up

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Seventy Nine

Some days things are just all mixed up.

There are days when no matter how much you work to accomplish your goals – things just get all tangled up and confused.

I felt this way today and it makes me so frustrated and sad and confused. On days like this all you can do is be thankful for dear wonderful friends.

Thank you Doug.

Thank you Kelly.

Thank you Janelle.

Thank you Amanda.

Thank you Jennifer.

Thank you Jeannette.

Thank you Grace.

Thank you Elizabeth.

Thank you Rich.

Thank you Jill.

Thank you Anna.

Thank you Miriam.

Thank you Rosemary.

Thank you Susan.

Thank you Mom.

Thank you Dad.

Thank you Sean.

Thank you MaryCay.

Thank you Teresa.

Thank you Maya.

Thank you Michael.

Thank you Heather.

Thank you Ron.

Thank you Stephanie.

Thank you Jackie.

Thank you Chris.

Thank you Vic.

Thank you Michelle.

Thank you Naomi.

Thank you Betty.

Thank you Irwin.

Thank you Kate.

Thank you Kim.

Thank you Debbie.

Thank you Steve.

Thank you Betsy.

Thank you Becca.

Thank you Jane.

Thank you David.

Thank you Elin.

Thank you Charizza.

Thank you Stacey.

Thank you Alison.

Thank you Beth.

Thank you Christine.

Thank you Joan.

Thank you Mirelle.

Thank you Ali.

Thank you Miranda.

Thank you Meloni.

Thank you Stacia.

Thank you Abdul.

Thank you Felicia.

Thank you Kathy.

Thank you Sara.

Thank you Channing.

Thank you Debbie.

Thank you Nicole.

Thank you Diane.

Thank you Roberta.

Thank you Melissa.

Thank you Sasha.

Thank you Erin.

Thank you Jim.

Thank you Guyla.

Thank you everone who had provided me love and support on this journey.


Until tomorrow.


Day 179 was created in graphite and watercolor.

Day 178 – Oh The Glorious Apple!

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Seventy Eight


When people ask me “Why an apple as a symbol for AS Awareness?” my immediate thought is:

Oh the Glorious Apple!

All these gifts from just one seed,
The apple, soul and body feed,
Plant a seed and time will show,
That from one seed a tree will grow.
Oh the glorious apples.  – Bill Harley’s Johnny Appleseed Song

Yeah, that isn’t really an answer so I thought I’d share with you some of  my answers to “why apples?”

1. When I decided to use art to help raise awareness – I needed something I could create over and over again in many forms. Not only did this mean a shape that could be transformed but one that is extremely difficult to dislike. Who doesn’t like the glorious apple? I’ve so far created simple artistic representations in multiple media, some really fun pop culture apples like R2-D2, Super Apple, and Mr. Apple Head, and I’ve wrapped the apple in zebra, had it get an i.v. infusion, thrown it out as a baseball on the first night of the World Series – who knows what might be next!

2. Apples have anti-inflammatory properties and have recently been shown to be such amazing super foods that one a day can extend lifespan by up to 10%.  There are all sorts of great benefits of the glorious apple!

3. The adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a powerful statement for people living with chronic illness. If it just took eating an apple a day to be well then we would all happily eat our favorite roughage and get on with our lives. Since eating your daily apple isn’t enough to make AS disappear – I thought that maybe if I “fed” or produced an image of an apple each day it might provide hope that one day saying “I have Spondylitis” will be as understood as “I have Cancer.”  A tall order but that is what I am passionate about and what I work for everyday!

The Feeding Edge is where I can talk about what a life with spondylitis means and make it accessible to people who don’t have AS. I feel that for us to spread the word, we have to find a way to reach outside our community. Hopefully my endeavor, my journey to create 365 daily apples will interest people from all walks of life and maybe, just maybe, be interesting and challenging enough of a personal crusade that I can get some press. Awareness starts with stories and  I am working on building a story. I hope you’ll all join me in being a part of this campaign. If you like the idea – talk with people about what I’m doing. Send my link to friends and family and join my Facebook page or better yet – get your Daily Apple in your email each morning! Share the images, post them on Facebook – these apples belong to you!

People don’t understand what we are dealing with, but perhaps they might like seeing each new daily apple creation and learn something about Spondylitis in the process.

Oh The Glorious Apple – now you know!

Until tomorrow.


Day 178 was created in pastels.


Day 177 – Saturday Apple No. 3

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Seventy Seven

I had a wonderful afternoon.

My girlfriends took me to lunch for my birthday – busy schedules delayed the celebration a couple of weeks, but we had such a great time catching up and laughing and laughing. I’m full of endorphins and love.

Thank you Stacey and Alison!

Until tomorrow.


Day 176 was created in watercolor.

Day 176 – Inspiration Comes In Many Packages

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Seventy Six

Another day, another apple!

I’m not yet half way and I’m looking for inspiration and materials for new apples in any and all places.

Today I wrapped up a gift box for my step-daughter Amanda and had a big bunch of tissue paper out. Bright, beautiful, and bold colors that were begging to become more than stuffing for the empty space left in the box. That empty space actually cost a fortune because Amanda’s step-mom can’t seem to focus on her task at hand and although I managed to think ahead far enough to buy some things she might like, I couldn’t seem to get them wrapped, boxed, and posted in a timely fashion so overnight UPS was required for her to receive the gifts to open on her 26th birthday on Monday. I refuse for my shortcomings to result in her not having packages to open with her cake. It is really no fun to celebrate on a day other than your birthday so I paid the exorbitant price that I consider highway robbery. I’m quite sure UPS and FedEx survive on the failings of busy Moms.

So – there was the tissue paper – and here I am dying for inspiration and ideas. My apple is a collage of the beautiful pieces of tissue that were incorporated into Amanda’s gift box – I can’t think of a better way to find inspiration than from a box stuffed with goodies for someone you love!

Until tomorrow.


Day 176 was created with tissue paper.

Day 175 – I Will Not Give Up, I Will Not Give Up…

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Seventy Five

I simply refuse to give up.

I’ve given up before and I don’t like the feeling. You try to justify why you quit – you just changed your mind really – it wasn’t quitting.

Stopping for reasons beyond your control happens to everyone – myself included and there are reasons to make a life change. I did resign at my last job. Was that quitting or simply moving on to the next stage in my life? We weigh the pros and cons and make judgment calls but when personal commitments we make to ourselves are broken simply because it’s the easier path, well, that is another story. I want to promise myself that I will find my way through whatever I attempt to do be it physical or emotional and I will never, ever, give up.

Easier said than done but it’s something I want to strive for – it’s a way I want to be.

My apples are symbols. They represent my health and my life and hopefully for some they will come to represent a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis – they most certainly do for me. Every day I struggle to continue this journey – there are many reasons to stop. Uncertainty, insecurity, and simple fatigue. But I feel driven and my drive to create 365 days of apples is to prove something to myself and to stand tall for all AS’ers and show the world who we are! We overcome the most amazing adversity. We live with a disease that exists in obscurity and I will keep working and fighting to raise awareness. That’s my pledge to you!

Until tomorrow.


Day 175 was created in mixed media collage. An old Webster’s Dictionary page with inspirational and coincidental words on the same page, a sheet of yellow legal paper with “I will not give up” written repeatedly, and some pastels to make it all pretty!

Day 174 – I Was Born This Way

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Seventy Four

I love Lady Gaga.

Now don’t get excited. You might hear Lady Gaga and think public displays of profanity and nudity and wonder how I could love someone so controversial. What I love is someone who is fearless in their insistence of being themselves. She is a true artist because she holds onto her vision and art at all costs.

I’m not asking you to love her too – that’s not my style. Love her if you see what I see. If you see something else – then make sure you’ve actually looked at the whole picture of Lady Gaga before jumping to the conclusion that she is simply a “freak.” I love people who push limits and lead.

Her newest song “I was born this way” strikes me for many reasons. She wrote it about her experiences in being bullied as a child and her difficulties in feeling different. In an interview on YouTube about the song, she talks about how she changed how she acted so that she might fit in better. I felt different as a kid and I feel different today but I was born exactly this way. Be who you are – even if it means bringing on the criticism of those who don’t understand.

Until tomorrow.


Day 174 was created in mixed media – throwin’ the paint out there … I can’t wait to show you all my true way to paint – I’m much more comfortable making art that is 5 feet square instead of 5″ square!

Day 173 – Pattern Play No. 3

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Seventy Three

I saw a fabric today that was a simple batik pattern with open soft squares and it inspired me to create a similar pattern as an apple.

Batik is created with wax on fabric and then dyed in vibrant washes of color. Hand made batik tends to have no real repeat of pattern because it is usually made in much smaller batches. I have been experimenting with using acrylic on watercolor paper as a resist before adding the watercolor. The acrylic blocks the watercolor and holds the image.

Until tomorrow.


Day 173 was created in acrylic and watercolor. I wish the scan picked up the background better but I love the contrast between the soft background and the bold apple!