Looking Back – Day 23

Today is Day 23 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Twenty Three – October 23, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

I decided to run to the art store but we had moved into the country a few years before – running into town was a 15 mile trek. The art supply store was calling though so off I went. I dream about buying more paints mostly but I do have a new fetish for exceptional brushes and I was dying for a new Red Sable watercolor brush. Alas, the ones I love are pricey! I headed back to the ranch with a new set of soft pastels that I put to quick work to create this – my first of many pastel apples.

To see my original twenty third post ~ Green Pastel ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Side Note: Just a reminder that there is a fundraiser going on for ALL A.S. Charities. It’s an Apple Calendar – imagine that!!! See it HERE – $5 from the sale of each calendar goes to whichever AS charity you choose. The small profit I make helps me to be able to devote the time to this blog and raising awareness – I so appreciate all the support! xO

Oh – I almost forgot! Everyone who purchases a calendar before November 1st is entered to win an original apple. It’s this beautiful glitter apple. The photos doesn’t do it justice – it’s framed and ready to go too!

Looking Back – Day 22

Today is Day 22 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Twenty Two – October 22, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

Nothing new for today but my original twenty second post ~ Save The Cat Apple ~ from 10 years ago is really interesting for a number of reasons (make sure to check my husband Doug’s comment for part of the story) To read it click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Side Note: I had a very full day in my studio today! I was planning on doing the boring business side of things but the creativity was flowing and I had to paint! To follow my current work you can follow me on my Instagram where I share a lot of studio photographs.

Looking Back – Day 21

Today is Day 21 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Twenty One – October 21, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

I decided to pick up some fabric and yarn. I love this sweet fabric apple and it is the first of probable a handful of fabric apples created during the entire year. I hope someday to be a better sewer because I adore creating with fabrics. Many who have followed me know that I occasionally create fun art dolls and animals. I think I love creating them more than just about anything but the amount of time that goes into one makes it a labor of love but really not a way to be a full time artist. Isn’t fabric just the best though – such vibrant and intense colors are what I’m drawn to – of course!

If you check out my original post from Day Twenty One you will see that I share about my friend Tom. Ten years ago today, he took the time to reach out to me and introduce himself ~ and it meant the world! Tom and I developed a friendship from that point forward, he attended my finale “Apple A Thon” fundraiser in New York City in the last few days of the year long project. We’re still connected today.

A.S. isn’t something anyone would ask for but I am blessed to have this as part of my life because of all the truly amazing and brave people I now call friends.

To see my original twenty first post ~ Quilted ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Looking Back – Day 20

Today is Day 20 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Twenty – October 20, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

I was back in Colorado. I had loved being home in Maine but home was also where my sweet love and my fur babies are. I had missed them all so much! And… oh my goodness had I missed my art supplies. I was so ready to create with something other than markers and colored pencils. For my first day after traveling I created this simple but sweet wallpaper mixed media apple. Feels a bit old world. The shimmer is so much prettier in person. Sigh. Everything is better in person!

To see my original twentieth post ~ Wallpaper Mixed Media ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Shifting to today in 2020 I am so glad I had an appointment scheduled with Eileen who I see for lymphatic drainage. She’s amazing and oh what a healer she is! We talked about how I had missed my body cues and put myself into quite the flare up. Eileen said my fascia was all twisted up to the left – she was kinda in awe of how messed up I was. LOL

One of the drawbacks of “doing well” on my infusion medication is that I sometimes push too far so I kinda needed the reminder that I in fact have a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Touché A.S., touché. The good news is that I’m feeling better than last night and I know I will continue to improve as long as I don’t push. I also painted for only a couple hours this afternoon instead of 4 hours with no break and I used my neck brace to give my neck a bit of support while it’s recovering. xO

Looking Back – Day 19

Today is Day 19 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Nineteen – October 19, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

I had just spent almost two weeks with my family in Maine and it was time to travel back to Colorado. I remember drawing this on the airplane because I was very self conscious about doing so. I now love painting and drawing where people can watch, participate, and ask questions but back then I had really lost my confidence. I didn’t have the luxury of creating in private, I needed to get an apple done and Sandy had requested a pink apple back on October 3rd so it was on my mind. I have created most of my apples for A.S. but there were a couple of years I did some under the idea of expanding them to be for “Apples For A Cure” to share my “Art For Good” philosophy with more people. Since that time I’ve gone back to the roots of my apples but I’m so glad I created this one for Sandy and to honor all women who have battled breast cancer.

To see my original nineteenth post ~ Pink Apple for Breast Cancer ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Shifting to today in 2020 I am in pain. Lots of pain. I talk about being in medical remission and I basically am. What that means is that the disease isn’t in an active state but what it doesn’t mean is that I’m cured. I most certainly am not. Mostly I stay very ok. I can function and do what I want to do in life as long as I do all of the things to keep things in balance and I take my biologic medication once a month. But occasionally I will push my body too far and today working in my studio I did just that.

You wouldn’t think that painting is a very physical thing but there are many techniques that I love to use that require me to paint with my paper or canvas flat on a surface which requires me to bend over the piece which stresses my very fragile A.S. neck. Today I painted with my neck bent over a table (one we’ve raised up on bed raisers to attempt to alleviate the strain) but today 4 hours straight was too long. I usually catch myself getting tired. I usually pay attention to the pain. But today I was on a creative roll and I was ignoring all the tell tale signs. Guess what saved me?

My sweet old dogger, Lucy. Lucy loves our afternoon naps and gets restless for me to head to rest around 3 or 4pm. Well today at 2ish she was being so annoying and insistent. Do you think she sensed it? I’m not sure but I’d like to think so. Regardless, we had a little talk, a nice belly rub, and a few kisses and a thank you for her helping me stop work. I’ don’t like to think about how much worse I might have made things if she hadn’t been so insistent we head for our nap! I need to pull out my neck brace again I guess – it helps give me support when I paint flat. I have put a bunch of voltaren gel on my neck and taken some extra CBD as well as some tylenol and ibuprofen… fingers crossed the pain subsides soon.

Side Note: To see the painting I’ve been working on in my studio currently please head over to my Instagram so you can see what had me so enthralled. xO

Looking Back – Day 18

Today is Day 18 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Eighteen – October 18, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

Lots of conversations were revolving around apple ideas. I had started the brainstorming list to refer to each morning but often I found myself on Pinterest browsing for some spark of an idea. The Paisley apple came from the interesting suggestion by my Dad to create a paramecium apple. I didn’t see myself creating a paramecium apple but it did get me thinking and what emerged was paisley a la paramecium similar to one linked from the original post.

To see my original eighteenth post ~ Paisley ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Side Note: I have a lot of friends I’ve met virtually on Social Media since starting the apples all those years ago. My friend Stacia enjoys my patterns that I share on my Instagram account and she always seems to spot a face in the designs. Since she shared that with me, I’m always looking for faces in my art so revisiting this apple… ALL I CAN SEE now is a face! lol

Here’s the image that Stacia saw the first face.

Looking Back – Day 17

Today is Day 17 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Seventeen – October 17, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

It was one of those stunning fall days in Maine and as you will read from my original post, my parents and I headed out to their home on Vinalhaven Island. I was so happy to be home. I moved to Colorado after college – it was a grand adventure and one I’m so glad I took because it eventually led me to my soulmate and lots of adventures before Doug and I moved to Maine in 2013. Moving home was extremely good for my soul, this is where my roots and family are and I needed to be here for my continued healing. It wasn’t an easy transition. A move across the country is difficult in normal circumstances but the most difficult part of the transition was changing Rheumatologists. My Rheumy in Colorado had become a friend and he was amazing. He never stopped working on figuring out what was going on with me and I credit him for putting the pieces together. A.S. is not a slam dunk diagnosis, in fact it takes most people an average of 10 years to receive a diagnosis and that was pretty spot on target for me. The thought of having to leave Eric had me worried.

I must have been prescient.

To make a very long story short, the Rheumatologist I first saw in Maine refused to keep me on the same medications. At that point I had been receiving my biologic infusion for 7 years! I convinced him to call my Colorado Rheumatologist to discuss my case and the medication – and he did – but he dug his heels in and said, “Well, I don’t know him.” You can’t make this stuff up. The delay was months because of the move and I almost traveled back to Colorado to get my infusion because at that point I was desperate to feel better. In Maine there are very few Rheumatologists and the practice this “gentleman” was in refused to let me see another of their physicians. So I started looking for doctors and found someone about an hour away in New Hampshire who had great patient reviews.

Unfortunately, it was two months before I could get an appointment. My Dad was driving from Massachusetts to Maine that week and made a quick detour to stop in their office and plead my case. Bless his heart and bless theirs – they got me in within 10 days and my new Rheumatologist was baffled by what I relayed to him. I had an appointment to get my infusion within the following week once they worked their magic to get the insurance approval.

These are the types of things that many people don’t necessarily consider about people living with health challenges. There are always struggles with the medical system. Finding a good Rheumatologist is imperative. I don’t agree with being aggressive with physicians, it rarely works. Attempt to get them to see you as a human being who needs help. Bring in an advocate (I did with Dr. McAsshole) and that didn’t help. When these approaches fail, best to move on because bad doctors put bad things in your chart and that is NOT what we want. Unfortunately bad doctors exist. When you find a great Rheumatologist like my doc in Colorado or my doc now in New Hampshire – keep a hold of them! Seven years later I still travel to New Hampshire to see Dr. K. because he’s a gem.

The above doesn’t have much to do with my post from 10 years ago but it’s an important story in a journey.

To see my original seventeenth post ~ Polka Dots ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Looking Back – Day 16

Today is Day 16 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Sixteen – October 16, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

This day would signify the moment I truly let go and decided to enjoy the process and if I thought a SUPER APPLE was needed then so be it. You see, unfortunately getting a Bachelor’s degree in fine art is a blessing and a curse. I tell people I’ve spent the last 30 years rebelling against my training. That seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it?

I didn’t ever feel like I fit in in my fine art classes. I wasn’t edgy or hip or affected. So I went into the Interior Design major. It gave me the perfect creative outlet and developed my skills and I love design of all types. I dabble in so many facets of it – graphic, industrial, interior, product. But, I’m a pen and brush to paper artist at my core. I love the flow of my watercolors and the feel of the pastel scratching across the grit of the paper. In so many ways the drawing and painting core classes made me feel not good enough – how sad is that! So I’ve had to let go of those voices in my head telling me that art is only “fine” if it has an edge, an agenda, or a social stance. And a “super apple” made in intensely saturated childlike markers was pushing ALL my buttons of that past. So this super apple is absolutely super in its rejection of all those judgmental snotty professors and fellow students. So there! My apples were… ARE… super! As the saying goes, “I am enough!”

Doesn’t that feel fantastic ` letting go of the way you think you should be?

You’ll see more whimsy start to show up from this point forward. {insert big smile}

To see my original sixteenth post ~ Super Apple ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Side Note: Just a reminder that I have a fundraiser going on for ALL A.S. Charities. It’s an Apple Calendar – imagine that!!! See it HERE – $5 from the sale of each calendar goes to whichever AS charity you choose. The small profit I make helps me to be able to devote the time to this blog and raising awareness – I so appreciate all the support! xO

Oh – I almost forgot! Everyone who purchases a calendar before November 1st is entered to win an original apple. It’s this beautiful glitter apple. The photos doesn’t do it justice – it’s framed and ready to go too!

Looking Back – Day 15

Today is Day 15 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Fifteen – October 15, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

The thick Pollock-esque paint on my day 15 apple had finally dried. It was one of those raw damp days in Maine and it took forever and patience is not a strong suit of mine. The storm took out the power at my parents house – it finally came back on at about 10:30pm so with another sigh of relief I could post one more day of my journey.

To see my original fifteenth post ~ Pollock-esque ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Shifting to today in 2020 I have just finished having my monthly I.V. infusion of a biologic drug that controls the way my immune system works. A.S. is actually considered and Auto-Inflammatory disease. Although we consider it in the family of Auto-Immune, Auto Inflammatory actually describes it better. I have so many things I’d like to share about the treatment but after my infusion I am wiped out. My body needs about 12-24 hours to adjust and metabolize the medication. It’s like flooding my cells with the medication causes all my energy to go to the process of equalizing and blocking the TNFa (tumor necrosis factor alpha). Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF alpha), is an inflammatory cytokine. TNF inhibitors are drugs that help stop inflammation.  I am so grateful that it helps me so much and has for such an extended period of time.

Side Note: As I revisit my apples and share new insights, I am in the process of updating the website so please forgive any missing images or blank pages as I work through this. Hopefully as I restructure and reorganize, the information contained here will be easier to find. xO

Looking Back – Day 14

Today is Day 14 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Fourteen – October 14, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

I was now 2 weeks into the project – only 50 weeks to go!

One thing I was learning was that the best laid plans could throw me a curve ball. I didn’t just have to find the inspiration and execute the daily apple but I needed nature and technology to cooperate with me as well. Splashing paint around is always fun but to be able to scan my piece (back 10 years ago I think I had a flip phone with not much of a camera in it) so wet paint would NOT work in a scanner. That was the situation I found myself in. An apple at the ready with no ability to post it. So I quickly shifted to plan B, which ended up being plan A. A is for Apple after all. Simple, crisp, and rockin’ red!

To see my original fourteenth post ~ A is For Apple ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

Shifting to today in 2020 my Mom and I went out on our now weekly Wednesday adventure! We’re having such a wonderful time getting away for a few hours together and today I think was our 5th Wednesday – I feel so blessed to be able to do this with my Mom.

When I got home this afternoon I was fatigued. Tomorrow is infusion day and after 14 years on this drug that helps me so much, my body is typically running low on the circulating medication. It’s ok, it is just how it is but I had to lay down and recharge my batteries before being able to think and write my post tonight. Last night after a couple of long days of work I didn’t get up from my afternoon rest. Sometimes this happens (it’s rare these days) but it is always frustrating. It is part of living a life with A.S. and these challenges need to be discussed here because that is a major part of what this project is about but I don’t focus on these “limitations” because I’d rather focus on things like spending time with my Mom despite A.S. and share with people the ways I overcome and focus on life’s joys.

Sometimes… you spend your day as planned and sometimes you have to shift gears and go with Plan B. We can focus on how unfair and horrible it is that our day {or our life} couldn’t happen the way we envisioned or we can work at finding a way to adjust. Plan A or Plan B are both valid and beautiful even if one is more challenging. xO

Side Note: Some people might not be at a place with their disease to be ready to hear some of what I write during this retrospective. That’s ok – everyone manages their health in their own way and in their time. I share my story as best I can to honor the difficulties of this disease but to give hope and maybe a slightly different perspective. Everything I share is shared in love and with a deep hope for people to be as well as possible.