My mother died of pancreatic cancer two years ago. I've known others who have died of it as well. I know one survivor.
When my mother's doctor agreed to treat her stage 4 cancer, believing he could extend her existence and quality of life beyond what the alternative of no treatment would offer, my mother said, "At least now I have a fighting chance!" I admire her love of life and desperate desire to live.
My mother was not good at saying goodbye, nor at accepting her dying. Painting helped me have a conversation within myself that I wish we could have shared. The opportunity to share my painting process and the access to internal, emotional laden experience afforded to me through artmaking is a source of hope and purpose for me. It would be deeply rewarding to know that my artwork also contributes to the ArtCan cause and dedication to a cure.
Karen Schwartz is an artist based in Atlanta and New York. She is represented in Atlanta by Hathaway Contemporary and shows in Brooklyn with David and Schweitzer Contemporary and in New York City with Yours, Mine, and Ours Gallery. Schwartz views painting as a way of making sense, a way to make implicit experience explicit, of giving form to what is unformulated. –I don't set out with a preconceived agenda or narrative when I paint, but work to be mindful about discovering meaning in my process, my way of going about making a painting.