Artist of Myth and Magic ~ In her
own words, 2005
Throughout high school I was envious of every artist I came in contact with.
My cartoon figures were lacking in substance. At one point in my senior year I
applied for the advanced art class. I thought I could do better than the boring
still life and shape drawing of Art 101... I was denied and told that my art was
not good enough. Perhaps I didn't have what it took to be an artist?
College came along and all of a sudden, I was free. The teachers didn't limit my
subject matter. I learned some art history... and then it happened! I stumbled
upon all that is Art Nouveau. "This is more like it" I thought, what brilliance
I saw in Mucha, Klimt and Beardsley. Mythological art before the newer, less
magical, term "fantasy art" came along. The symbolist art movement, fin de
siecle... this was it, this was my calling.
I had just finished my sophomore year of college when I discovered I had cancer.
It was stage 4 lymphoma, in my blood stream and had spread neck to pelvis. I had
very subtle symptoms prior to this and was shocked at the severity of my
disease. When I checked into the hospital my left lung had filled with fluid. I
was given a terminal diagnosis and they did not believe I would live past that
February 2004. My world became a question mark. A long pause, a very long
But my mind was made up for me and something stronger than myself took over. I
broke through the fear of living (and dying) and discovered a stronger passion
than I knew existed. Although much of my time is spent ill from cancer
treatments, I've never felt better as a person. It's very hard for anyone who
becomes seriously ill to be productive. I was very lucky to have art as a skill;
fortunately it is something I can do no matter how I feel. I've been very
dedicated to my artwork, often leaning over to be sick while painting.
When something so severe happens you really lose a lot of yourself. For me it
happened to be a positive thing. At age twenty two I was not concerned about the
things that really made me happy. You know, it's all about working (I had a full
time job at a bookstore, where I thought I would work for a long time) and
personal relationships, school etc. Although I lost all of that "normal" stuff
when I got sick, it also gave me the freedom to be me, for me.
That's how TheEnchantedGallery got
started. I had begun chemotherapy treatments and if I didn't feel like I was
doing something meaningful the depression would swallow me. Why bother going
through these treatments, and being sick all of the time, if my life was
Well, I'm not sure if art is what saved me, or if it was the hope that my life
could be worth hanging on to. I just keep taking it one day at a time, trying to
find those things that make me happy. For all of you in similar situations, I
wish you the strength to find your inner happiness. Perhaps if we all find what
is meaningful to us, we can make the world a better place.
Unfortunately, I will not know the outcome of my therapy for some time. I'm
living with a purpose and everything seems more important now; something I may
have never known without cancer. Art became the answer, the purpose, the input,
the outlet. What a perfect way to let out some of the beauty I know exists. My
passions are obvious to me now, by losing so much I have gained the most.
KC-001-K, Ellette, $4.75
KC-004-J, Mahina, $4.50