It Gives Me Solace

I think there are times in everyone’s life when things just seem to get out of control. Stuff happens. You have to hunker down and get through all the issues, hoping that on the other side of it all you still have your sanity.

In the past few weeks there have been additional stressors that have thrpussinbootsown my routine out of kilter as I try to deal with them. When things like this arrive one-at-a-time, its easy to juggle them into submission. When they come barreling at you like an out of control pitching machine, that’s when things get more interesting.

With all the things bubbling around me, I have to remind myself how important my art is to keeping myself centered. For creative types, like me, this is an important component to controlling our comfort levels. I think we’re all creative types, some are just more connected to it than others. Like the marathon runners who need the kick of endorphins from a good run, creative types need creativity meditation to feel calm. We need to breathe something new into our lives or work out the aggravation through our medium of choice.

Sometimes when the events happening around us aren’t happy ones, reflecting on our art can provide comfort. For example, this week I’m reminded of my piece “Scat Cat” which I created during a retreat in Virginia Beach (read about it here) in the fall of 2011. When I started the piece, I knew I would give it away to a fundraiser for a local animal rescue group. I took deliberate steps to make sure my cat model was not one of my own, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to part with one of my pets. Anika with buttonBut underneath all the thread, she really was mine. I used Photoshop to alter a photo of my grey tabby cat with green eyes to make the orange “Scat Cat” with yellow eyes.

This week, I had to say my forever good-bye to that grey tabby who graced my life for 14 years. Its been a roller coaster managing her illness, further complicated by other things occurring in my life. As I write this, I’m comforted because she was part of the process of making me the artist I am today. As I remember my kitten, I remember the fun I had at the Virginia Beach retreat. I’m reminded of the joy I know the current owner of “Scat Cat” has for my artwork. I’m proud that my work raised money to help the animal rescue. And, I reflect on the photos I have of this comical cat who inspired my art. I smile. Even though deep inside I am sad. Very sad. That’s what creating does, it gives me solace.


Note: Why yes, that is a button on her chin. She was recovering from a broken jaw (long story) and the button kept the wire, which held her jaw together, in place. I also edited out the button for the final piece. I told you she was comical.





  1. Jenny Williams says:

    How poignant, Nanette. I know how difficult the past couple of weeks have been for you. And I know you find solace in your art. Bless you and you know you have my deepest friendship and support.

  2. Dana Redfern says:

    So sorry for your loss. As you know, I empathize with you. I’m glad you have your creative outlet. I know it helps. Our hearts are with you.

  3. You find the beauty in everything you do! Although quite sad, you words brought a smile to my face as I remember my own pets that have passed. They might be gone but never forgotten.

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