Monday, January 18, 2016

Jazzin for Blue Jean

So, I sat down over the weekend and tried my hand at drawing David Bowie as Screaming Lord Byron from his video Blue Jean.  It was one of my favorite videos.  Not sure how good of a job I did, but here it is.  A little pop art twist, which seems fitting for any Bowie image.  Hope you like.

Screaming Lord Byron
David Bowie 
(c) 2016 Trisha Leigh Shufelt 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Man who fell to Earth

I said it before, and I'll say it again, I hate January.  This January has been particularly brutal. Both privately and in social media. Privately, our family has had its share of stressful events. Then, there has been the seemingly endless onslaught of cancer deaths in the entertainment industry.  Yes, cancer takes lives everyday, and these passings are mourned privately within families.  The recent deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman have caused a stir in social media that I have never seen.  Many people frown upon the addictive and sometimes destructive nature of social media, but I have never seen a more beautiful outpouring of the collective consciousness on this planet.  For that, I am grateful to be a part of it all, because, I like so many am mourning.

Both Bowie and Rickman hit very hard, but Bowie in particular has ripped me to my core.  January 9th was the first year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis.  This was a very stressful day for me and I was genuinely surprised by how much it shrouded my thoughts and feelings.  The next day, my husband woke me with the news of Bowie's passing.  We are both huge Bowie fans, having grown up in the height of his many changes. My husband in particular was saddened, as he had seen Bowie twice in concert and more aware "age wise" of his emergence on the music scene.  My first introduction to Bowie was MTV.  The first video I saw was Changes. I was immediately mesmerized and terrified at the same time by his Ziggy Stardust persona.  Of course, that concert footage was from the 70's and by the time it aired for the world in the early 80's, Bowie was already onto other incarnations.  I then saw him in Labyrinth and fell madly and quietly in love with him.  Yes, I was among many who wanted Sara to stay with him in the Labyrinth.  It would be later in life, as an artist that I would meet Toby, the baby that Sara fought so hard to rescue.  What a thrill.  I followed Bowie throughout the 80's.  I dare say, he grew more handsome with age.  He was certainly a hero of mine, both musically and artistically.

Perhaps, that is why it is why his passing is so hard on so many.  It is never easy when your heroes die.  I dare say, the older I get, the more I will see this.  We all will.

Last night, I read a very poignant article about Bowie's last days.

It described his work on his final project Lazarus, which has been seen as a good-bye note to everyone.  While a public persona, Bowie was intensely private about his illness.  We are only finding out that his death was due to liver cancer.  The article discusses his project and his courageous battle with cancer.  In the days following his death, I wondered if he had chosen treatment.  This article confirms that he had and the unfortunate side-effects one experiences.  As I read though this very difficult timeline, I began to reflect upon my own battle.  We were both going though cancer at the same time, and likely suffered many of the same side-effects at the same time (hair loss, etc).  This of course brought home his death even more for me.  I cried all over again, feeling as though I had lost a friend, as I had lost so much of myself during treatment.  Watching the Lazarus video was very poignant.  I felt his pain, his sorrow, and his need to express everything he had within, because time was escaping his grasp.  Seeing him leave us though the wardrobe reminds me once again, that death is a doorway.  Our time is brief.  While the stars look very different today, I am grateful that the man who fell to Earth touched and influenced so many with his beauty, talent and strength.  Bless you, David Jones, David Bowie, Lord Byron, Ziggy Stardust and the many, many personas you shared with us.  We will love you forever.

Art image by Patrice Murciano

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year?

Happy New Year everyone!  May 2016 bring you much joy, love, peace, abundance and especially good health.

Good-bye 2015.

As I scanned the FB feed last night, I was immediately struck by all the profound status posts from my friends.  Many were recalling events of the past year, feeling gratitude for their blessings, saying good-bye to old friends and demons.  Some were giving the proverbial finger to the past year.  Yes, it was difficult for most people.  I sat in quiet contemplation, feeling that I should share a profound status update, because of all that I and my family had endured this past year.  Yet, I found it almost impossible.  The more I thought of it, the more tense I became, until finally, I had to retire to bed. My husband and son went downstairs and played rock band for several hours.  I didn't mind being alone. I need it more than I can say.

This past year was filled with so many ups and downs.  When I reflect upon it all, it seems like ages ago.  I don't know if this is chemo brain at work or my way of coping with it all.  While going though cancer is no easy ride, I would say that in the end, there was more good than bad.  I'm here.  I'm alive and breathing.  My hair is growing more and more and my nails are almost back to normal.  I'm still fatigued and have PTSD at times whenever I experience a strange ache or pain.  I know this is nothing unusual and hopefully will subside with time.  I'm grateful for the love and support of my family, neighbors, friends, my husbands employer and great doctors.

Despite all that I endured, my art business thrived and I can say it was one of the best years for me in way of sales and artistic growth.  I am excited about the direction it is all going.  Doors of opportunity are on the horizon and I am ready to step though without fear of failure or success.

Like many, I look forward to the new year with hope and anticipation.  Yet, I will be honest, January has never been a favorite month for me.  It has often been the precursor of gloom and doom.  I'm not kidding.  I received the breast cancer diagnosis on January 9th of last year (an anniversary that is haunting me a bit).  We have experienced job loss in January, major car repairs and other issues.  Not to mention that it is the coldest and often snowiest month if you live in New England.  This January, we have a Mercury Retrograde to contend with, oh joy.  Sorry, if I seem a bit pessimistic.  It has just never been a favorite month and I do relish ticking the days off the calendar.  I will try and do my best to remain optimistic, as I begin the month with follow-up mammograms, doctor visits and yes, a car repair.

Still, as I said, I have so much to be grateful for and I am blessed, blessed, blessed.  So, my advise to everyone out there who may read this blog, is do what makes you happy today (and everyday), but especially today.  Like your birthday, do the things that you love and set the course for how you wish the year to look.  If you are a creative, do something creative.  If you love nature, spend a bit of time in it, even if it is cold.  Write a bit of poetry.  Listen to beautiful music.  Eat good, nourishing food. Sit in quiet reflection. Spend quality time with your family.  Call an old friend.  Hug and kiss like you mean it.  Be in gratitude.  Remember, you are the magician of your life.  All magic lies within.  May 2016 be everything you ever dreamed.

Much love to you all!!