Sunday, January 29, 2012

What I See. . .

'self portrait'
graphite sketch

"Scars are souvenirs you never loose,
The past is never far . . ."
~ John Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls

I did this self portrait sketch over a month ago. I am nervous about sharing it. I guess because it is so raw and personal. As some of you may know already I am a 10 year breast cancer survivor. I have been wanting to sketch this type of portrait for months now. Maybe it took me so long because I was afraid of what I would see. And yet I see this image each day when I get out of the shower and look in the mirror. It is something that has become a part of who I am. Although the scars have faded they will always be there. The emotional scars though are what have taken a toll. Those are the scars that I battle each day in my mind.

My husband reminded me the other day of this song by the Goo Goo Dolls which I have quoted above. It has always resonated with me because of all I have gone through even outside of my cancer experience. For me it is so true. Although the past is never far, (for me and all of us I would suspect it is just a thought away) somehow we need to keep moving forward.

This is what I have been struggling with lately especially with all that happened during 2011 in my personal life. I am longing to put the past behind me. Yet it creeps up in my mind on a daily basis haunting me like a bad dream.

It was healing for me to get this image out on paper.
Art is saving me in more ways than I ever imagined . . .

Sharing over at Sunday Sketches


  1. "What I See. . ." is a very courageous woman. You will find the courage to deal with the past, the future is yours for the grabbing. very moving portrait. Hugs.. :)

  2. it's hard to leave something painful behind. I try to focus on the good in my day and that helps me! hugs to you!

  3. Cathy I am so glad that you decided to share this self portrait. This is you, the real you with the scars and the proof of where you have been, what you have done and where you are now. As breast cancer thrivers, I think it is important that we can see ourselves as we are, which hopefully allows us to see who we are inside and that there is beauty even in those scars both physical and emotional.

    By sharing your art today, I believe you will have helped numerous others. Not just those who have scars from breast cancer, but other scars both physical and emotional. Hopefully you have opened doors for others to be able to say "this is who I am and I am good".

    love you! xo

  4. I popped over from Sherry's at Portobella Lane.

    I too am a breast cancer survivor.

    I LOVE this piece of art and I truly know how you feel. I see the long scar on my chest each morning but I do have to remind myself that I am so lucky to be here. That doesn't make it any easier each time I go through security at the airport and my prosthesis shows up on the x-ray machine and I have to go through the whole "what is in your bra" thing and get the dreaded pat down. I think next time I am going to go through Security with no bra and no prosthesis!


  5. That's AMAZING ...
    A lot of perceptions can be made after watching this Art.

    By the way, take a look on mine ..
    Happy Sunday Sketches !!

  6. Thanks Cathy, for sharing such a beautiful and private part of you and your life. Cancer sucks and I'm just glad you kicked its *ss!! You're so special!

  7. I am happy that you have found art to be a good friend. thank you for sharing, for being brave to honor what feels right to you.

  8. I agree with Catherine - I see courage and strength. Here's to art continuing its healing process!

  9. What a brave and courageous woman. Kudos to you! :)

  10. What a beautiful image, ...and what I see is such a brave and beautiful woman finding her way to healing in every single way in life. Thank for sharing

  11. beautiful sketch, it's good that you did it!

  12. Bravo to you ~ Wonderful self portrait ~ and healing ~ wishing you a great week ~namaste, carol (Share the Creative Journey) Happy SS ^_^

  13. oh, cathy, i am so proud of you! i love this sketch, especially how you don't have a face, so you cannot see your emotion, just your physical scars.

    it is very deep and touching and brave of you to share. art is healing you, each and every day. keep moving forward, love!


  14. This is a fantastic sketch! You survived and carried on. I am honoured that you have shared your sketch and that I was allowed to see it.

  15. you brave dearheart, you.
    i totally get how we want to get what we see daily on to our pages.
    + so i hug you + affirm alongside you the every inch of your beauty. it is all of you. xox

  16. this is amazing - i love the quote are brave and courageous

  17. I weirdly found your site because I am searching for information on watercolor journals.

    I am an 11 year survivor - almost 12 years.

    I agree that art is so good and helpful and healthy for any kind of surivor. We're lucky enough to have a fully funded art studio for any cancer patient. it has been a godsend.

    good health to you, my survivor sister!