Clarese and I both became artists later in life. For me, painting became a part of a search for better mental health. For Clarese, painting blossomed during her battle against ovarian cancer. I was blown away when she first showed me her artwork. Her paintings of flowers are stunning and she is already an artist of note. I think she was genuinely shocked when I asked her to collaborate on this painting with me. How could I properly tell her story without having her paint part of it?
A few weeks later, she handed me a canvas graced with three big, beautiful sunflowers. After learning that she had painted them while listening to Carole King's Tapestry album, that was my cue to add a vibrant tapestry behind her sunflowers. The two teal colors in the tapestry represent the ovarian cancer ribbon. The purple color represents both the caregiver ribbon and the color of the wig she wore during her recovery. The colorful tapestry was left intentionally unfinished on the left side as my message to Clarese that her artistic journey is also not complete. My warrior friend has a lot of art to make and a lot of life to live, and I can't wait to see what she does next!
Clarese Ornstein's Twist On Cancer:
I am a cancer warrior armed with faith, hope, and love!
My obgyn informed me on 2-27-21 that my CA-125 blood test was elevated. I didn’t know what my journey was going to look like the rest of the year!
Due to COVID protocol, I could only have my son with me for my surgery day and the first chemo treatment.
I listened to Carole King and James Taylor during my chemo, and nurses and my surgeon sang along! Friends even gave me a surprise chemo shower for useful items to have with me! So grateful!
I consider myself spiritual, optimistic, and strong; I had turned to art classes and gardening after being widowed in 2018. I continued with these during the pandemic and continued allowing gardening and art strengthen me and encourage me during my chemo. You must become passionate and pursue what brings you joy fearlessly!
Losing my hair was most traumatic for me but yet, my purple wig became part of my ministry to tell other women about the CA-125 test.
Yes, our lives are like a tapestry, “a wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold.”
I was so honored that my artist match, Ryan Miller, asked me to collaborate on a painting for WNDR with me!! I chose to paint 3 sunflowers; they are strong, optimistic, and joyful. They “look to the bright side.” They are one of my favorite flowers I grow as well as paint!
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