Painting My Tatas. Beyond Breast Cancer.

Stitched and Stretched Beyond Breast Cancer mixed media by Bernadette Rose Smith

Stitched and stretched. That’s what I’ve titled this piece because that’s what breast cancer ushered in with every decision I had to make. Cut it. Stitch it. Now, stretch it beyond anything recognizable as you.

Life flew apart like confetti without a party. Not unlike my private-moment, mixed media attempts at depicting this most bizarre journey. (And so shortly after losing Ray to cancer.) Countless bits and pieces, created with the best of intentions, were tossed in the trashcan next to me because they did not fit the picture as I had imagined.

The writer-me has freely spoken about her journey with breast cancer. The artist-me had not taken her shot at it. Quite frankly, she couldn’t get the writer to shut up long enough for the artist to quietly seat herself in the studio and ask, “How do you heal through this with art – not words?”

Stitched and Stretched Bare Beginnings Beyond Breast Cancer mixed Media by Bernadette Rose Smith

Each piece of paper, every bit of texture and slap of paint speaks to what this journey feels like through my artist-heart. And – more so – the desperately quiet pieces that landed in the trash with only my tears to witness.

But, you know, there is something tremendously freeing in all of this.

I am stretched and sTReTcHiNg to live poetically. Not apologetically.

Stitched and Stretched Beyond Breast Cancer Mixed Media by Bernadette Rose Smith

There is a hope-filled whimsy that rises in this piece. Breasts flowering into a garden, butterflies seeking a new life expression and a bouquet of thoughts say…

Go for it, honey. Whatever time you have left, sow your wildflower seeds. You don’t have to plant yourself in rows any more.

Stitched and Stretched Beyond Breast Cancer Mixed Media by Bernadette Rose Smith

Time spent creating this piece is just what the doctor ordered. And I hope it will brighten the path for other women walking though breast cancer – as well as those walking with them. I plan on thriving for a long time but if I don’t, everyone who loves me knows my legacy celebrates our God-given creative spirit. So claim my freedom as yours. Don’t plant in rows unless you want to.

My next decision is just around the corner. To nipple. Or not to nipple?

God says to do what delights me. The artist-me says no more cutting or stitching or knotting of the flesh. I am thinking “tattoo!” Yep. This gal is going to invite another artist to paint my tata with an image that will remind me of love and this new, unapologetic life unfolding. Hmmm. But what shall that image be? Stay tuned, Loves!

Stitched and Stretched Beyond Breast Cancer Mixed Media by Bernadette Rose Smith

PSST: Are you local? You’ll find “Stitched and Stretched” at the Southern Heartland Art Gallery for their Artful Harvest Show (going on now) and in their Wearable Arts Gala on October 13 and 14 where hand-embellished, 11 x 14 fine art giclee prints will be available for $45. If you’d like to order a print (contiguous USA only) contact me for info.

dOUbLe PSST: If you enjoyed this post, you might like Kiss My Breast Good-bye or Two Cents Worth from My Tatas to Yours.

As always, I love to hear your thoughts, DEar HEaRTs. You matter to me! XO Bernadette

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8 thoughts on “Painting My Tatas. Beyond Breast Cancer.

  • September 13, 2018 at 8:16 pm
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    Now my dEAR heART I am happy. This piece speaks of love and a wonderfully happy future. I love the idea of a tattoo and long to see your choice. LIFE is in this wonderful piece of art. Across time, space and all dimensions LOVE flows.

    Reply
    • September 14, 2018 at 5:41 am
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      Well, you know, Jan … you just might see it! I am leaning toward a heart or butterfly … but then a “thumbs up” might keep me smiling, too. Love flowing right back to you, honey. 🙂

      Reply
  • September 13, 2018 at 8:44 pm
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    Dang, B, you just continue to blow me away with your unique “voice”. This is so beautiful. Love you.

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    • September 14, 2018 at 5:44 am
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      Thank you, dear. God knows, I have a “voice” 😉 and the volume is going up! Love you, too!

      Reply
  • September 14, 2018 at 9:16 am
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    Wow! This is beautiful! You are so talented!! Your ability to express live in your words and art is captivating! Always excited to see what comes next. Love you.

    Reply
    • September 14, 2018 at 12:24 pm
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      Thanks sweetie! Who knows what I’ll be doing when you come through this year but am hoping we can share some fun. All these creative children never turn out to be what I think … but I fall in love with them for all the “peculiarities” and perspectives they offer. 😉 Love you!

      Reply
  • September 14, 2018 at 10:41 pm
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    The very talented poet, artist, overcomer. That’s quite a work . I love it.
    And just in time for October : Breast Cancer Awareness Month
    Live strong, live long, live in peace,
    Angelo

    Reply
    • September 15, 2018 at 5:46 pm
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      Thank you, Angelo. Your expertise in helping me with physical therapy after surgery … and the information you shared with me, in advance, is priceless! It allows me to be in my studio with the only “hitches” being my creative choices. 😉 Stay strong and keep on doing what you do, Doc!! XO

      Reply

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