I Am More: Chris V.

Until we started working on his portrait I only knew Chris as a performer (and one of my favorites). Whether in plays, musicals, or show choir concerts, what came through for me was a confident leadership that enveloped his fellow performers in an almost invisible embrace that said, “I’m here for you, we’re going to give it our all, and we’re going to have a great time doing it.” After reading his words below, it all makes sense: Continue reading

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Support I Am More

Since January of 2017, when I got off the couch and started drawing, the purpose of I Am More has been to remind people (and myself) that we are more than our mental struggles. Twenty-five people have shared their faces and their words for your benefit. Thirteen organizations and businesses have opened their spaces to these portraits and stories for the benefit of their clients and patrons. Six people told their stories live in front of a standing-room only audience. Continue reading

I Am More: Addison Gilbert Hospital

Happy Halloween!! I hope no one comes to the door because we are too tired to greet them (left a bowl outside). Iain and I have been hanging portraits at Addison Gilbert Hospital all afternoon after retrieving them from Action Inc.

When I initially approached AGH about a display, they said their gallery wall was booked two years in advance if I wanted to wait. When I explained the timely circumstances of the portrait series they agreed that it was important to find the space. So find space they did: Continue reading

I Am More: Jessica Lee

Meeting Jessica was a gift to me in more than just the obvious ways – her welcoming and generous spirit, her passion as a mother, and her skill at communicating such a harrowing time in her life. These were a bonus, because what I am most thankful for is the opportunity to pay homage to my favorite artist, Mary Cassatt, whose images of mothers and children have inspired me throughout my life, beginning with the print in my grandmother’s house. I just happened to have the perfect subjects to give it a try: 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