Popo 2008-2018

Popo was never called “majestic,” “wise,” or “loyal,” certainly not “therapeutic,” he literally failed that test. Mostly he was called, “You little sh*t,” but my god did we love him. Continue reading

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I Am More Recovery Month Event

It’s a busy week for the I Am More project with two back-to-back events. This Thursday Lahey Health Behavioral Services will be displaying the original 16 portraits, plus the first public unveiling of Josh and Jax as part of their Recovery Month Event:  Continue reading

I Am More: Josh

When I began working on I Am More: Massachusetts I was determined that at least one of the twenty portrait subjects would address opioid addiction. No matter where you live in the state, or in the country, you cannot escape this tragic epidemic and it’s on all of us to educate ourselves and learn what we can do to prevent more senseless loss. Meeting Josh, with his cheerful, hardworking attitude, showed me that every story of addiction is unique and has something to teach us. I’m grateful that Josh felt a personal responsibility to be a part of the conversation: Continue reading

I Am More Display Feedback

When I’m home alone drawing I have very little idea what effect the I Am More displays are having on the public. I’m hoping people are benefitting from the message of the project, but most of the time I don’t really know. Today was an exception–when I went to pick up my holds at the library my favorite librarian, John, said, “Is that your work at City Hall?!” I said yes, and he held up the entire line telling me how I had captured each and every subject…and the mayor’s portrait…on and on until I was bright red. When he turned to the woman waiting in line behind me and told her how she had to go right over and see it I slunk away with my books. Continue reading

Dementors

A few days ago I had the thought, “I’ve felt good for a while. Maybe that’s it…maybe the depression is gone for good.” A streak of black flashed by. The sky became a shade grayer. I dove deeper into drawing and ignoring. Then more swooshes of black in my peripheral vision. The oppressive heat and humidity wouldn’t allow a cleansing walk in the woods so I looked for physical tasks in the house to do, to keep moving. But they crowded in, surrounded me and began their job. Continue reading

I Am More: City Hall

This afternoon Iain and I put the final piece in place at Gloucester City Hall’s I Am More exhibit: a hastily repaired Sophie. As we were congratulating ourselves on finishing the job, we heard a voice say, “Hellooo.” We turned around to see Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, who gave me a hug, and said, “People keep coming into my office and saying, ‘Mayor! Mayor! That exhibit!'” Continue reading

I Am More: Justin

Years ago a friend of mine shared on social media that she was about to enter a gym for the first time and she was scared. Her health was at its lowest point and she knew she had to make a change, but she was scared of the unknown that awaited her inside. She was about to meet Justin, whose own vulnerability inspired her to take a chance and enter his world of weightlifting. I witnessed my friend make weekly gains in strength, meet her new goal of becoming a competitive weightlifter, and to ultimately help found a community farm with her accumulated strength. After following Justin’s impact on my friend’s life, I was honored when he welcomed me into his gym and told me his story:

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Drawing Justin

Last week I took a big gulp and deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts. It was terrifying but I am happy to report it was the best thing I could have done. My only contact with people now are in person or by email or text, and I have found in-person people to be much more enjoyable than online people (unless they’re in a car). I’m reading stacks of books, listening to new podcasts, walking lots and hanging with friends.  Continue reading