Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine color therapy

I’ve been a volunteer with Chemo Angels and Senior Angels for almost five years. This is a great organization for postally obsessed people like me, because it involves sending weekly mail to cancer patients and seniors. I’ve had the same “senior buddy”—a man in his 60s who has emphysema—for all that time, and my current chemo buddy is a woman in her early 20s with breast cancer.

This year, instead of buying Hallmark cards that aren’t quite right, I decided to make Valentines for my buddies. The card on the left, which is for my senior buddy, was done with watercolor crayons on cardstock, and the one on the right, for my chemo buddy, is made with stamps and . . . uh, stamps.

I’ve never considered myself to be very artistic. My family is full of gifted artists, including my brother, but I’m not one of them. I’m pretty good at following patterns, but making things without any direction is challenging for me. Showing them on the internet is pretty challenging, too.

I’ve always said that I can’t draw anything more complex than stick people—which at this point is true—but it recently occurred to me that I don’t actually know if I can draw because I’ve never really tried. Apart from a few weeks of art class in 6th grade, I never took any art lessons. I figured that my brother had inherited all the art genes—as well as the good teeth—while I had inherited the math ones and spent 10 years in orthodontics. But I’ve always thought the art genes (and the good teeth) were a lot cooler.

So the other day when I was in BigName Bookstore, I took a look at the beginning drawing books. Despite titles like Drawing for the Absolute Beginner, they were way too advanced for me. But my daughter, who inherited the art genes from both sides of her family (and—knock on wood—the good teeth), has loved art since she could pick up a pencil—in fact, she used to color with both hands at once when she was really in the zone. She has a whole stack of drawing books, so I’m going to start with those. Maybe after I master kittens and Snoopy, I’ll be ready for Drawing for Dummies.

Once again, crafting for others was therapeutic. After a hectic weekend sprinting here and there, I was tense and a bit cranky last night. But some good old-fashioned glueing and coloring worked wonders on my mood.

As usual, Little Bit and Jamie—who will not allow me to take their picture when it’s my idea—just had to be in on today’s photo shoot. And, as usual, Dottie was busy doing important cat things.

1 comment:

Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor Extraordinaire! said...

One of my favorite postcards anybody has ever given me was the one that you covered in breast cancer stamps. I will always treasure that!!!!! And you, of course.