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Standing In The Gap

Standing In The Gap

With all the stories of “super-heroes” in today’s culture, we in the pain patient community now have one of our own. Her name is “BROKEN WARRIOR.” Her outside armor shows many of the symptoms that hit her body on the inside continually from the chronic &/or intractable pain conditions many of us share. For instance, the flames and icy skin represent the two types of nerve burning felt with Central Pain Syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 1 & 2 (aka “CRiPS”). The webbing on the lower back shows the mutant nerve growth of spinal cord damage, each new line creating a separate pain all its own.
The wall and archways she stands in front of are inspired by the very real entrance to Auschwitz –Birkenau and the official killing of those with disabilities during WWII (nearly 275,000 by the end of the war... ) Now the "Opioid Crisis" stands to kill many if the ridiculous CDC 90mme guidelines (for ACUTE pain only) continue to be followed.
WHY SHE STANDS THERE:

The BROKEN WARRIOR figure stands in the gap representing all those who are being ostracized for needing unpopular treatments to live a quality of life. For instance: so often, chronic and intractable pain patients just need to use pain medicine… actually AS medicine for pain, not as a tool for addiction. To fight the Opioid Crisis by forced tapering &/or cessation of pain medication for people who NEED to be using it (NOT abusing it) means great suffering and death for MANY who once relied on opioid pain medication (the artist herself had a heart attack after forced tapering mid 2018).
So what is needed to help those hurting AND those who are addicted AND those who are overdosing?
EDUCATION – NOT PROHIBITION
Finally, the circles on the bottom. These are caps from vials of anesthesias, steroids and opioid pain relievers. All have hurt and all have helped. It is education and new research that makes all the difference.
36" H x 24" W x 2" D   
$2,000.00    
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Expressions of a Pain Patient

Expressions of a Pain Patient

Though each of the four pictures here represents body parts involved at the center of some chronic pain conditions, the REAL expression of the pain patients is not the zones causing agony. The expression is telegraphed in the words on canvas: "Even so... the trees will dance for me, and the winds will carry my song."
36" H x 24" W x 2" D    Weight 230 lb
$500.00    
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PAIN: Valley of the Shadow (1/3)

PAIN: Valley of the Shadow (1/3)

The Journey Through Pain is an art piece chock full of symbolism. It is the vehicle that tells the story and the story is quite universal in the world of chronic pain.
In Panel 1 , notice the winding path that begins with the phantom tree where “accusations fly.” The spectral hand attached to this tree holds the beginning of the “chain of pain” that binds all of us with chronic pain while appropriate adjectives hug its edge.
The river of tears describes the loss and grief one experiences time after time... .
The weeping willow springs up holding the inner travail of depression, worthlessness and loss of self awareness. Broken dreams, shattered goals are sideline reminders while the path ends by the horrifying pit of despair. Ultimately, the choice we - especially those with unending chronic pain must ask ourselves: Do we live or do we die?

…which leads us to Panel 2
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24" H x 36" W

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DECISION: Choosing to Live (2/3)

DECISION: Choosing to Live (2/3)

It is in Panel 2 that we see a shortened version of what many call “The Dark Night of the Soul.” When one feels as if every identifying characteristic one ever knew about themselves is gone. When this person couldn’t feel more pain without bursting; couldn’t feel more stripped without being minus a layer of skin; when everything that made you unique or real feels… gone. Is gone. What do you do then? You decide... You decide the answer to this choice given each human on the face of the Earth. It is written on our hearts in many different ways. For me, a scripture says it succinctly “I set before you LIFE and DEATH... Choose LIFE…” - Deut.30:19 As the thought of faith grows in the spirit of the devastated, she gains the strength to stand. Through pulling down the mountain of adversity that has faced her head on in this fight, she knows this truth -- “Be BOLD: Mighty forces will come to your aid.”
24" H x 36" W

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A LIFE RENEWED: Pain, Controlled (3/3)

A LIFE RENEWED: Pain, Controlled (3/3)

Like Panel 1, Panel 3 is a myriad of symbols because of the myriad of stories; each being a different path one has taken to get to the same universal point – a renewed life. Not “restored” because the life is not the same as when the journey began. It is a new life adapted to a broken body and it is GOOD! The ultimate goal of pain care/pain management is when pain , though still present, is brought under control. Often that one factor then allows the rest of the body to breathe, heal, learn to dream and accomplish goals again. Though still attached to the “chain of pain,” here it lies subservient to its host. From the bottom up, Panel 3 asks the viewer to imagine these renewed lives from activities that bring joy & strength to the support groups that encourage and protect. The iconographic look speaks of the strongest renewed part of every successful life: the overcoming spirit that has – and will continue – to endure.
24" H x 36" W

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Treatment Trapped In The Headlines

Treatment Trapped In The Headlines

We are bombarded daily with headlines designed to catch your eye. Known as "click bait," "fake news" or "tabloid Journalism" - agenda driven news has been proven to be the order of the day. In 2016, stories of both "addiction" and the "opioid epidemic" ruled the news cycle. For pain patients and caregivers though, WE know that if there's an Opioid Epidemic, than chronic pain is a PANDEMIC!! For those who do use pain medication as, well, MEDICATION, the knee-jerk reactions spurred by headlines alone have deeply affected us and the access to our medications.
24" H x 18" W x 1.5" D    Weight 4 lb
$750.00    
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Advocates' Village

Advocates' Village

The saying “It takes a VILLAGE…” can be said about many systems of nurturing. One I am especially familiar with is that of being a pain patient advocate. In this piece, you see the scars bourn on the ‘body’ of each heart surrounding the newly broken one in the center. When one’s body is damaged by injury and pain, the heart and soul breaks right along with it. Scars come with healing and restoration and TIME. It is after that time of being tended ourselves that we can then turn back around and offer help, advice, and love – those things that nurture and restore – to those who are broken… and we can walk the road of recovery together.
3" H x 3" W

SOLD
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Advocate's Village 2

Advocate's Village 2

As with "Advocates Village," this story is much the same. We've all heard the saying, "It takes a villiage.." the same can be said about many systems of nurturing. One system I am especially familiar with is that of being a pain patient advocate. In this piece, you see the scars bourn on the ‘body’ of each heart surrounding the newly broken one in the center. When one’s body is damaged by injury and pain, the heart and soul breaks right along with it. Scars come with healing, restoration and TIME. It is after that period of being tended ourselves that we can then turn back around and offer help, advice, and love – those things that nurture and restore – to those who are broken. After that, we can walk the road of recovery together. **PRINTS AVAILABLE! Original belongs to Susan Samueli as part of her For Grace WIP 2017 "Patron Of Women's Rights" Award,
10" H x 10" W x 2" D    Weight 1.75 lb

SOLD
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In The Right Hands

In The Right Hands

The text on the art piece spells out perfectly the sentiment that inspired its painting: "Pain medicine is for pain patients... all others HANDS OFF!!" As one who CAN have a life outside of my bed BECAUSE of the PROPER USE of my pain medication, I am infuriated when someone abuses MY life giving substance and does something phenomenally STUPID in its name. Or worse yet, THEY overdose then their well meaning, grieving families fly into an uproar over this "evil drug", calling for its banishment. Grrrrrr~~
In The Right Hands
18" H x 24" W
$600.00    
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Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising

The Phoenix as a symbol of "new life" or "resurrection" has been seen in many cultures, for many centuries. In this piece, the Phoenix is the "new normal" after the one with chronic pain learns to accept that life has changes and in doing finds a new life. The bottom third represents the ashes of what is being left behind; the torture, fear, despair, despondence, helplessness -- the things faced when chronic pain first takes a hold of a life and turns it upside down. The pain will NEVER go away completely - ever. But you learn you can start something brand new if you adopt some new habits. First, by learning new coping mechanisms, by exercising faith like you never have before, by GETTING ACTUAL pain management (medically, I'm saying), you learn to find new dreams to replace those that are lost. You learn that you CAN live a life worth living once again. In that, your "Phoenix" is reborn!

This piece was the theme art for the 2014 For Grace Women in Pain Conference in Los Angeles, Ca. The theme was "Accepting Pain: Our New Normal"
Phoenix Rising
45" H x 60" W x 3" D   
$2,500.00    
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Pain - Divided Soul

Pain - Divided Soul

Look closely at the images on each side of the canvas. See what used to be whole or bring pleasure now shows brutality and the two are intimately tied together. That is the reality of a life hit by chronic or intractable pain. This piece shows the dilemma that every intractable pain patient is forced deal with: the socially acceptable face we present in public and the private horror going on inside, behind the smile. The scarred trunk is a nod to a personal horror I share with thousands -- Adhesive Arachnoiditis and Central Pain Syndrome.
18" H x 24" W

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Consider The Lilies - #1

Consider The Lilies - #1

UPDATE: SOLD- while on display at the For Grace's 7th Annual Women In Pain Conference, Sep 12, 2014**
Medium - Photos, liquid led on canvas: THIS IS THE FIRST WORK IN A NEW SERIES.
Matthew 6:28-30 __ "CONSIDER THE LILIES of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, WILL HE NOT MUCH MORE CLOTHE YOU...? " All of the pieces you see that compose this artwork are microscopic images of flowers, YES, FLOWERS - mostly WILDFLOWERS! The weeds in your yard, the flowers in your garden bed. Nothing special. But look how beautiful they are on a cellular level! These colors are untouched from how nature made them. Most will be pulled out of a perfect lawn as a nuisance. The above scripture kept repeating in my head the more I looked at these amazing photos! How beautifully cared for is the Earth around us and IF SO... seriously... how much MORE will a great God give those He loves so much?!?! Food for thought.
Consider The Lilies - #1
9" H x 12" W
SOLD
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Life's Painted Heart

Life's Painted Heart

One theory says that every person we meet will paint something on our hearts, whether it be beauty or pain and we do the same to them. This heart - off center and off the page even, shows the trackmarks scars of mistreatment. But it also shows the beautiful colors of the love that covered it over and over again.
12" H x 12" W

SOLD
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I'm SPENT!

I'm SPENT!

I'm SPENT shows the struggle we all have with giving our all BEYOND our all! You know, when you have exhausted all of your resources: when you feel you have taken your last step, you spent your last buck, you’re mortgaged to the hilt, you can’t expel one more breath without some help and howaboutalittle BREAK?!?! We have all been there (notice the IVE HAD IT UP TO HERE eyes in the lowest right corner?) This is when my most effective prayer comes into play - HELP!! NOW!! Please?!?
24" H x 18" W x 1.5" D    Weight 1.75 lb

SOLD
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Nerve Burns -- (RSD/CRPS awareness)

Nerve Burns -- (RSD/CRPS awareness)

Medium - Acrylic and wooden matches: Thankfully, awareness of the pain condition RSD/CRPS (officially Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, types I & II) has been rising lately. Anyone who has this disease can testify that nothing can burn like a nerve pissed off. One moment,, random parts of your body can feel like lava just became your lap blanket ; shortly after, those same nerves turn into a fire extinguisher blowing cryogenic Co2 on your parts giving them instant frostbite. It is NOT a fun disease BUT the more people who can understand its symptoms can give compassion and love to it's sufferers. Now isn't that part of what awareness is about?
9" H x 12" W
$300.00    
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Clear Air Turbulence

Clear Air Turbulence

This was one of the first art pieces I did after my plane accident. It helped me express the areas of my body that were forever changed by the accident - and the non-stop pain that was now a part of my life forever. All because of "Clear" "Air" "Turbulence"
12" H x 9" W

SOLD
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Elemental Emotions

Elemental Emotions

Most are familiar with the four elements - earth, air, fire, water. Here is my interpretation of the emotional representations of those elements, the elements of our psyche.
20" H x 24" W

SOLD
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RENEWAL!!

RENEWAL!!

**This artwork was donated to the Scleraderma Foundation in Los Angeles in 2015. "RENEWAL!!" now happily resides in the private collection of a very generous and charitable person. God bless!** “Just when the Caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a Butterfly.” Endings and beginnings happen all throughout our lives and sometimes the transition is not comfortable. Sometime you have to lose parts of you so you can take on the new form – and you were kind of attached to those parts. But hold on… because time brings change. Soon, even sooner than you think, that rumbling begins and your body and spirit know instinctively that it’s time to push away the old skin so you can spread those new wings WIDE. FLY, BABY, FLY!
36" H x 48" W

SOLD
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SILENT NO MORE!

SILENT NO MORE!

"Painting and screaming have something in common -- THERAPY! But a scream is much more than an expression of fear or rage. This one in particular is a scream of determination ... of the most basic power we have: to say NO! NO MORE! We who live with Chronic and Intractable Pain will no longer be left to suffer if we begin to speak up and say NO! We are not addicts. NO! We are not your guinea pigs, and NO, NO, NO! We do not want to die early from neglect so we DESERVE proper pain management! (I know, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir). Like every color of a palette, we can come together and scream a united NO MORE! We will be heard and we will affect a change, eventually.
SILENT NO MORE!
8" H x 10" W
SOLD

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