Monday, June 21

target practice

Pain has been incredibly high, reminding me of the ongoing challenges my body presents me with.  As I shared with a friend - cancer is has been a crisis, one I've felt equipped to rise to.  This ongoing stuff? the daily grind of chronic pain? it's what really tests me.

Feeling crazy inside, I needed an outlet.

This afternoon, after pacing around like a caged animal, I picked up these targets that I'm supposed to alter for a show I learned about from Alicia's blog.  I'm not sure if this will be part of that, or simply serves as much needed therapy.

I gessoed the background with white gesso, and the body with clear,
to give the fragile and cracking newsprint some body to work on.


I worked quickly and intuitively,
not giving myself much time to think about my next move.

within an hour she emerged


  1. The human targets are such a powerful metaphor for the many journeys in surviving the cancer and the pain of the treatments. You have your own visual vocabulary and the design elements will pull your viewers closer as they question their own mortality. Splendid process. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. Karin, I had a hot flash just reading your entry. Your courage and tenacity amaze me as well as your ability to move from pain to such a multi-layered expression of beauty and sacredness in the midst of your struggle. Thank you for providing a road map for us all.

  3. Your target is marvelous! Such a powerful image you've created. I'd feel upset if someone actually started shooting at it though.

    I think the pain is harder to handle because it's much more of an unknown quantity. You don't know where or when it will strike, or how long it will last.

    But of course you can handle it. It's just about learning to roll with the waves of energy that hit you. I'm sure you can find a way to relax, even when you're facing the very worst of it. xo

  4. This piece is so moving, Karin. It amazes me that this Dark Angel came to you when you were in the throws of pain, giving you a focus, a way to express it and seemingly ease it a little, at least while you got her down on paper.
    I don't know if you are able to listen to mellow tunes right now, while things are so intense, but this song came to me when I saw the piece - from one of my favorite Canadian bands. (
    Sending sweet healing love and big, deep breaths...

  5. This is THE WORK...
    face/embrace what appears and express...

    you have always done this...this has always been YOUR WORK.

    on you go.


  6. this is an excellent transformation Karin, thanks for sharing it all with us, I pray for relief for you.... xoxoxo

  7. I am so impressed with your tenacity. Do you need anything...more teas please :O). Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  8. pretty neat o lady over there, thanks for the link and love what you have done

    right on target

    haha and lol and any other funny junk you like

  9. you breath life to a simple image and turn it into a beatiful feeling . your angel is there to stand by you :)

    stunning !!!

  10. She has amazing presence, Karin.
    I hope the pain eases soon.

  11. I hear you dear is the daily suffering, the ongoing, silent to the rest of the world aspects of chronic illness that can be the most soul sucking...breathe, breathe, breathe...and pour out your pain in words, images, tears, screams, song and exhalations....breathe in the love and light and healing that surrounds you...breathe it in deep.

    gentle steps

  12. Cancer scares me more than snakes & maniacs, that it will hit me or even worse, someone I love. I wish you better times and will send some good thoughts your way.
    Happy days,

  13. Haunting powerful image.

    the healing and the light wrapping and entering inward...
    the use of a target which is so flat, you even in your language give to the paper body some "body" to strengthen it, and that touched me so. The whole process a giving, of life to life-less ness.

    pain is a strange invisible invasion isn't it. My brother was in so much pain at the end of his life, for so long, his laugh became so amazingly valuable to me; as if his soul was saying inside me, I am indomitable; nothing in this body will ever mar or scar that joy. Hear me!
    The body so made to feel : to rise into, as witness to so much pleasure on earth too. Joy abundant being our most loving over flowing state--that radiance glowing behind the dark in your image, I see it waiting there, all powerful.

  14. Yes Mary Helen, I agree - and the more I work with these targets, the more meaning they hold! I am so grateful they were here in the studio awaiting my hand, for I something unlocking... much more to come!

    Thank you Hannah, your message helps affirm not only my process - but sharing it. There are times I think, judging, "what self indulgence is this?" doing what I do and putting every little thing out there on my blog! Never comfortable, but trusting that there is a reason, and if a road map for others is part of it, than I know this is good. Healing isn't always pretty, thank you for reminding me that hiding how it happens is okay.

    HA - well, I don't think there will be any shooting practice happening here Svasti! Yes, you are right - it is an unknown, though after 20 years my greatest challenge is in believing that the unknown quantity could be freedom from it... yes, I can handle - I just don't want to have to.

    Hi Kim, I believe when we are able to turn ourselves over to physical action, if in the kind of place I am in currently, what needs to emerge will come quickly and easily. No thinking - just movement. A dance with color in hand. To move with the emotions, the energy, and see what emerges - this is so healing... I'm smiling at how well you intuited my inability to connect with a mellow tune! It is a beautiful song though, and I like the lyrics. Thank you for the link and your healing care.

    Deep breath. Thank you Donna. I needed to be reminded of this. Yes, this is THE WORK, and it is what i do, what I MUST do. So on I go xoxoxox

    thank you cat. i am in the depths of it and all is as it is meant to be... xox

    Thank you dear friend. I need nothing, and through this, through you all, am seeing I have everything.

    Thanks Paige, you goof ball pal of mine - laughing and wondering at all the "funny junk" I like!!

    Thank you Judy, and welcome!

    Thank you Maria, yes, she is here, one of my guardians, calling out to her sisters. They are arriving, one by one...

    thank you Robyn xox

    Yes, you DO know Laura! I find that this is my time to rage. The anger is empowering me, igniting and helping me to endure and rise - to channel the soul sucking and turn it on it's tail, taking me far from the cloak of depression that hangs at the edge of my vision, asking to be picked up and worn... The fury rejects that cloak and flings it out of my line of vision! I'm so grateful to have an outlet! Big stomping steps for now!!

    Thank you for your good thoughts Joanie. It's funny - I never in my wildest dreams thought cancer would happen to me, and because of that I never feared it. Thankfully something within me took over, not allowing time for fear, only for the business of healing. Immersed in the experience of that, I pay attention. There is no room for fear in my toolbox.

    Dear Mansuetude, I imagine hearing your brother's laughter was a testament to his enduring spirit. may that joy forever keep him close to you...
    you've hit on much of what intrigues me about these targets. They are lifeless, passive, flat, created to invite destruction - practiced destruction! Chronic illness can be lived in victim mode, while aspects of it can produce practiced passivity - without knowing it I see I've been working to free the target from it's role! My anger at the pain in my body, the inability to get clear answers about it, how it 'flattens' me can be symbolized by the target- none of which did I think about when I grabbed it from my studio table and set forth, attacking it with my rage. I just love that they were laying there, waiting, and the healers emerge... I believe I will be creating a lot more target practice ahead!

  15. AAAAAAWWW! Karin. I see it. And I hate it. I hate pain. I hated it so much when my patients were in pain.I feel so helpless now. I can't do anything to relieve your pain. I pray, I just pray and you are in my prayers even though I don't comment often. I say your name in prayer. God bless you, my dear Karin.

  16. yes, oh yes--the shadow self, the "other" inherent in this "target" too: the one we must destroy. Also the paradoxical healing-poison "targets" the illness.

    so much metaphor in this

    sounds like you are on to an important "body" of work here! Pain be dammned, This could be exciting

    Blessings healings over your life force.

  17. The way we approach a thing, the way we deal, directs the energy. I appreciate your words of wisdom. Truth that I can apply in my life.

    Great art, I learn better with pictures. :)

    You are a strong woman.


  18. I know you are not blogging right now- but I took a bit of time with your journey today. From your facebook page- (thank you so much for allowing me to be there) to your youtube videos and back to your blog. You are so amazing. These target pieces -(while something you did this past summer) really spoke to me. I need to contact you on facebook and let you know... Sending love- Teri

    my word verification- is retie---that is curious.


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