"Tamara's Angels" Single Linen Coaster
"Tamara's Angels" Single Linen Coaster
Artist: Jacqueline Carmody
Inspiration: Tamara Grimstad
Jacqueline's Artist Statement:
Tamara and I were able to connect from our first zoom call. Her positive attitude and sense of humor were vibrant, even through the computer screen! As I got to know Tamara and listened to her story, I began to see images, colors, marks and different patterns. I wasn’t sure what to make of these images, but I began to sketch them and keep a creative sketch journal of what was coming up for me. Tamara talked about her diagnosis and her treatment, but the most interesting part of her story was when she began to tell me about her “Angels.”
Tamara has lost many loved ones in her life, but the energy of these people continues to surround her with love and support. After reflecting on the chats that Tamara and I had, I realized that these symbols, images, and patterns that were coming to me were the positive energies of Tamara's “Angels.” When observing the piece of artwork, I hope that the viewer can feel the movement and love throughout the piece. Each pattern and line is different, but holds its own identity and purpose. All of the Angels flow together to continue loving and supporting Tamara.
Tamara's Twist on Cancer:
Life has a way of throwing you curveballs when you least expect them and they are not always pleasant. I’m a firm believer that in life there are many peaks and valleys, and without the valleys you will never appreciate the peaks.
You never forget when you hear the words, “You have cancer.” Mine was not the typical journey into this terrifying space because I didn’t know I had cancer until I woke up from surgery. I actually didn’t know I had it until one friend stood beside my bed holding my hand and the other buzzed around the room fixing things. Something was not right. I quietly turned to Deb and asked, “Do I have cancer?” And she held tightly to my hand and nodded yes. And so, it began.
You learn many things as you traverse this new reality. It is a long journey and at times it is incredibly difficult. At 48, I was suddenly faced with my own mortality and so many difficult decisions. Chemotherapy was not something I went into with an open mind and a willing heart. I fought it. I cried during the quiet hours when I was alone. Cancer is hard. Cancer is horrible. Cancer is scary. But there were so many beautiful things that came to fruition during this journey. The most humbling was the love that suddenly enveloped it. It was humbling and awe-inspiring and it carried me through the hard times. And it was during these times that I learned my greatest lessons.
I am now in my second year of remission from ovarian cancer. I cannot technically say I am a survivor for five years. My body is now missing a few parts and it shows the scars of a war well fought and won. Since January 23, 2019, I have worried about its return. This past winter I was gripped in the fear of a recurrence that thankfully turned out to be a false alarm. Maybe the lesson in this was to let me experience the deep-in-your-belly fear that I was denied in 2019. Through all the ups and downs my ever-faithful friends worried with me and encouraged me to keep the faith. The day I met my new oncologist and she gave me the news I was all clear, I sat outside and I cried for the innocence of good health that seemed to be lost. I was humbled and grateful that once again I was spared. My cancer is a beast and I am luckier than many going down the path I was on. I won the battle my maternal grandmother had lost when I was just eight years old.
Cancer does not have to be all horrible. Life lessons are given every day. Sit back and absorb the love that is given freely. Don’t mistakenly look past it worrying about something just around the corner out of sight. Don’t waste time hating cancer because it is horrible. That is wasting precious time that could be spent sharing memories and dreams. Love each other because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Fill every moment with positivity and love. Every treatment means one less to face. Choose love and not anger. There will be time for that later. Live in the now. Embrace it and don’t waste one minute.
My brother's last words to me before he died of bladder cancer at 44 were, “Tam, don’t be mad. It’s no one’s fault. Don’t blame the doctors. They did everything they could. It’s no one’s fault. I should have done something sooner.”
Those words guided me on our journey.
I can never thank you enough for all you did for me. I will never be able to express my gratitude for all of it.
Twist Out Cancer has been an incredible experience. I have enjoyed talking with Jackie and doing the art sessions. Taking time to be quiet and thankful. To acknowledge there is something bigger than all of us out there. I am so excited to see what our journey is through her eyes with maybe a little help from above giving her some inspiration. Live each day to the fullest and be grateful. I am grateful and I am blessed. You don’t know how strong you are until strong is all you have. I am proof that there is hope!
Thank you! What an incredible experience.
Lastly- Tamara had discussed how she does NOT like the color pink. I had made several notes to myself to avoid this color when creating the piece. When the artwork was complete, I noticed that “pink” had snuck in! I had no memory of how this “pink “ got on the canvas. Later on, Tamara had then told me how her mother (one of her Angels) always loved the color pink. Her mother would often sneak it into the blankets that she would knit.Our superb quality poly linen coasters & matching placemats are made from a special heavy weight poly linen canvas thats extremely durable and provides a magnificent sublimation print. With double edge stitching for a neat finish our placemats & coasters will add a touch of class and colour to any setting
- Extremely durable poly linen fabric
- Superb vibrant print
- Generous 4.5" x 4.5" print
- Double edge stitched for neat finish
- Machine washable