Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Melissa's Roses" - In Memory

I am reworking an older canvas. It's a piece from my original series of OCTOBER ROSES. In 2006, Shortly after my daughter Fiona was born I learned that my college friend, Melissa, had Breast Cancer. I was struck feeling helpless and guilty for not being closer, or available to be helpful I was in relatively good health. I was happy with my third baby and I started to cry.... because I suddenly felt like everything I had would be missed by my friend.
I got over my emotions (sort of) and then I got mad, and angry. I have heard this from many friends and family members who are stuck not knowing what to say, what to do, how to help, when to jump in, or when to stand back...
What do you need? How can I help? Please let me know.... so meal trains, support teams, making blankets, donating hair, or whatever it is be sure to make yourself available and be patient, and wait.... but don't hover.... right???
For me, I dove into my art. Not being close by (she was in Napa, I'm in So.Cal I had to do something. ) I created the Melissa Project, and every October I dedicate to painting Roses and Donate to Breast Cancer Support and Education. I did the Walk, I share her story.
Each July I will speak to Melissa, we catch up and share updates about life.... last summer I missed that call. And in my gut I was denying myself the reality. I was too uncomfortable to call her parents.
This year I listened to my heart and made that phonecall, and felt such comfort speaking with her father. Yes, Melissa passed away, October 2014. He and I spoke for some time and he thanked me for the years of friendship with her. 20 years.
Melissa fought for 10 years, and always with a brave face and pleasant demeanor. I remember her soft spoken curiosity about art, my kids, her flare for fashion, and love for the world.
So now, I move on and think fondly of my friend, and others who have fought and try to focus in their honor.
This Canvas will be the centerpiece of this years collection. In Memory of Melissa.

https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneGibsonArtist/photos/a.442176302481836.102988.317976304901837/1242927409073384/?type=3&theater

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October 2014,.... "Breast Cancer Awareness Month"

What exactly does "Awareness Month" mean?  It's an extra push to remind those of us who "think" it will never happen to "me" to go to the Doctor and get a Check up.  It is the extra push of energy to participate in a walk, a run, or a campaign of some-sort, in honor of someone, in memory of a loved one, or the hope to find a cure for the next one....  and just a swift kick in the A$$ for anyone else who as either battled, fought, survived or thrived as a result of the effort.


For me it does get personal.

I distinctly remember where I was when I found out about my friend Melissa (who I've named this project for).

Single, hard working in the fashion industry.....  she was a college mate, a friend, and when she lived in Southern California after college she stayed with my family while looking for work and her own place to live.

She moved back to Napa a few years later and we kinda lost touch.  Maybe a phone call on birthdays or around the holidays. The occasional card.... as life moves on....

I got a phone call from Melissa when I was now with my 3rd Child, Fiona.... who was about 4 months old at the time.  I was 33.... so Melissa was about 34...  She called me from her home in Napa as I was cruising the HomeGoods store, shopping.... I answered my phone as I casually browsed the shop... so it was one of those ventures that a new mom treasures.   I distinctly remember looking at pillows and fluffy stuff that I didn't really need when I tuned into what Melissa was saying...  "I HAVE BREAST CANCER" and I've had surgery....  I just froze... I remember backing up carefully and sitting in a chair in the home-furniture section... just to focus my thoughts and re-direct my mind to what I was being told.

I felt guilty for not calling her more often, for not being able to be by her side during surgery and recovery..... but then I decided to do something that most of us do when we hear news like this.  First, I got upset and cried.  Then I got angry and mad... very mad.... and then, I thought long and hard about what I COULD DO.... what Should I do....  what could I do to make a difference.

So, I learned more about What Breast Cancer was, and how it affects women... young women as well as older women... and beyond the traditional monthly self-breast exams we are taught in the Dr.s office, I learned more and more about what those UNDER 40 should be keyed in on.
Just like learning about Melanoma and Skin Cancer, we need to be educated and aware of our own family history and risks.

Then when October came around, I decided to make a personal project.  I painted Ornaments and put Roses on them.  These became the first 25 items for my "The Melissa Project"....  Limited Edition Ornaments.  All the $$ was donated to Breast Cancer Research.

Now, every year, I continue my "Roses" campaign.

A Rose Every Day in October - was my theme for the last few years.  With a minimum of $81.00 for each painting going directly to pay for a Mammogram.   I now continue this project throughout the year, not just in October, to continue the fight and education campaign for so many who are affected.

Here are a few images that I've produced over the last few years...












I will continue to paint roses, and any of my artwork that depicts a rose (painting or photography), will be noted that a donation of a specific amount will go towards research, or education, or a specific related team to continue the fight....


For those who know how personal this is for me...

Susan,
Jessica,
Sylvia,
Melissa,
Beverly,
Liz,
Jill,

I Love You All!!!

And in memory of Trudy...


If you have a personal story you'd like me to share, please contact me directly.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 8th

Pastel



"Bouquet of Roses"

Friday, October 4, 2013

October 4th, 2013

Today's Artwork...

Acrylic on Canvas.
Floral Bouquet

Roses and Autumn Flowers.

$81.00 / Contact for Purchasing Details.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013 - a rose a day


A Rose A Day... October 3, 2013


a Loose Collection of Textured Roses, using Golds, Pinks, Reds, Purples,
with lots of Movement.

Acrylic on Canvas - 8" x 10"

Available for $81.00







Tuesday, February 5, 2013

RIBBONS OF HOPE 2013

For many reasons, my Ribbons of Hope campaign continues.  Supporting Breast Cancer Research, Supporting Women who are being challenged with the diagnosis of Breast Cancer, and for the many women who don't yet know because they cannot afford a mammogram...
$ 81.00 is the average cost of a Mammogram.  The Ribbon campaign will continue. Original Artwork (like the Ribbon for Jessica shown above) and Limited Edition Prints, Notecards, and Ornaments with Ribbons and Roses are available for purchase.

For more information, to order your limited edition, or an original piece of artwork in honor, or in memory of a loved one, please contact me directly.


In Honor of:

Melissa,
Elizabeth,
Jessica,
Jill,
Susan,
Leonie,
Sylvia,
Beverly

Thursday, November 15, 2012

 
"CHRISTMAS" / "THANKSGIVING" / "HANUKKAH"  $65 EACH
 
Custom and Personalized starting at $10 per letter...  /
 
Each letter is a  4" x 4" gallery wrapped canvas.
Custom Colors...
Ideal for hanging on a wall, or dressing a mantle...
Letters can be stacked with poetry words on the sides...
 
additional script or words can be added around the 1 1/2" wrap for $5 per canvas
 
***SPECIAL ORDERS FOR HOLIDAY DELIVERY NEED TO BE PLACED BY DECEMBER 10TH***