Home Cancer Survivor Passion Painting with Susan Greaves!

Passion Painting with Susan Greaves!

“You don’t get to run this experiment twice.”

Those are the words my husband said to me the other morning while I was wavering about taking my chemo pills.

I laughed.

So true.

In December it was discovered that my cancer had grown, (groan!)  so Dr. Baron started me on a regimen of daily chemo pills in addition to my weekly chemo infusion. I do this for two weeks, then off two weeks. Then on. Then off. Until my next evaluation in March.

In the meantime, I swallow the pills, sit through the infusions, and do what I can as I can. The other morning, however, I was simply sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I considered skipping the pills. I mentioned my dilemma to Mike. That’s when he said what he said.

Of course!

I swallowed the pills.

That’s also the day I started an oil painting class with Susan Greaves, award-winning painter. Susan has long been one of my favorite painters. I’ve always wanted to own one of her paintings, so I bought my first one two months ago.

The Picnic by Susan Greaves

The Picnic by Susan Greaves

Her impressionistic style draws me into her paintings, her  heart keeps me there. The fact that she lives in Redding is incredible as it is, but couple that with her decision to teach a class this year, and I practically swooned.

Susan Greaves demonstrating oil painting

Susan Greaves Demonstrating Oil Painting

I have spent the last few years spending hundreds of dollars on watercolor supplies; last year spending hundreds of dollars on acrylic supplies, and last week spending hundreds of dollars on oil painting supplies.

I guess that’s the price I pay for passion.

But I say, “Thank God for passion!”

Passion! Passion! Passion!

Without passion, I would be a lump, a slug, a joyless twit. Well, maybe not that last one, but maybe….

So, thank you Susan Greaves for bringing new passion to my life.

Thank you readers for encouraging me to continue my blog passion.

Thank you God for giving me passion: passion enough to swallow the bitter pills life hands me.

And thank you Michael for giving me laughter.

Laughter, is after all, one of my favorite passions!

I hope passion finds you today. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s that sweet nibble of excitement that spreads warm from your heart and out your mouth into a grin that cannot be wiped off.  Or sometimes is burns like fire, igniting your soul. Either way, you will know it when you feel it. Either way, it will help you overcome that which would suppress you. Either way, you will be happier.

As for today, I am officially off my chemo pills for two weeks. That should give me enough time to look at stained glass art around town. I wonder how difficult that is to make….

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34 Comments  comments 

34 Responses

  1. Kathy Dickey

    You’re so funny, Gayle. And so noble. That’s a good word, not sure exactly what it means, but I feel nobility in you. Passion is my passion as well and it keeps me going through and beyond the really tough times. I treasure it, and I treasure you as well. Thank you for your words so passionately shared.

  2. Bea

    your passion is an inspiration….you go girl!!!

  3. Jennifer

    I am so glad you went to the art class. When you called mom to tell her you were going, she was so excited. I honestly believe there is nothing you can’t do, Gayle. You are the inspiration to beat all others who inspire. Also, I have a girlfriend in Chico who is a stained glass pro… Hmmm… I wonder if she knows anyone up here who teaches? Or if she would be willing to?

  4. Oh Gayle, how I wish I could sit along side you and learn oil painting! But, I guess I create with words, never did do well during my brief time in art school! That was too many years ago to count. But if I did take art classes with you, at least we could tell each other jokes. Laughter really is one of the best medicines. I know all to well about being sick and tired of being sick and tired – (Lyme Disease and it’s not getting better) but yes, we just put that one foot in front of the other and tell jokes and get those warm goose bumps over incredible sunrises and sunsets and cats on our laps and all those wonderful people who we call our friends. By the way, please do tell me if you have received any issues of laJoie this past year- I’ve been sending them, will resend if you have not. Love you, Gayle – Rita

    • gayle

      I didn’t know you have Lyme Disease. That is one mean hombre! I have a friend who is doing better with hers if you ever want a contact. I have saved your email regarding laJoie, I just haven’t had to chance to investigate. Some kind of bug bit and stayed around for a week! But will get back to it. As for art: I do it because I love it, not because I’m good at it. I’m good at buying supplies though!

  5. Sue Keller

    Gayle – you are funny! “You have enough time to look at stained glass art around town and you wonder how difficult that is to make” – this made me laugh out loud.
    I adore your explanation (second to last paragraph) on PASSION!
    Hooray! – 2 weeks of no chemo pills.
    Don’t you dare stop your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Blessings and Joy!

  6. Canda Williams

    It was wonderful seeing you last week, and I pray you’ll be painting right along with us at Debbie’s next class. Whether you bring your watercolors, oils, or use acrylic, you’ll paint with the passion that oozes from you. How difficult is stained glass to create? I have a feeling you’ll be letting us know before too long! Thank you for sharing your heart with us through your blog. You always make me smile!

    • gayle

      Thanks, Canda. Don’t expect stained glass from me anytime soon! The stained glass I most enjoy is in the beautiful European cathedrals. Marc Chagall included. Hope to paint with you soon.

  7. Judy

    Hi Gayle, you’re right on about passion. As always you’re blogs are spirit lifters.
    My love to you and Mike.

    Mainely Judy

  8. Pam

    Thank you for your fantastically beautiful, passionate self! Great love to you and Mike! I imagine anyone who reads this will be getting off their duff today and doing whatever it is that calls them. As for me I am allowing myself the time to sit on my deck in the sun and read some wonderful works that I am passionate about. OXOX. Pam

  9. Sandra Harvey

    So excited that you have moved on to oils! They kind of collaborate with the painter and let the intuitive flow more. You can tell that they are my favorite media. Your friend’s work looks fantastic. I got to visit Skagen, Denmark a few years ago where the artists had visited the French Impressionists and had come home to paint in their own community by the sea! The light that vibrated through these paintings and lives of the artists was fantastic. I am sure that your paintings will vibrate as well!

    Stain glass and quilting always made me use my left brain more than it seemed natural for me, and I’d lose concentration. However last month I did an hour of fused glass. By picking up the shards of glass and imagining how they might fuse into a painting was fun and an hour swiftly went by. The fused piece was abstract but expressed much joy. May joy fill your days as you paint and continue to draw on that light body within and around you, love.

    • gayle

      Hi Sandra. As you know, I love your art. You truly have reached the place from which inspiration springs. I have never been good at capturing light, which is one of the things Susan is so good at achieving. Heck, I’ve never been good at painting! But I can’t let that stop me. :-) Glad your life is joyful and art-filled. xxxooo, Gayle

  10. Oh, how I love your PASSIONATE PASSION! It must be that we are kindred spirits!!! I adored the way you described passion. As I was reading it, my heart filled up and pushed the corners of my mouth up to meet the tears that were coming down from my eyes. I love you!!!

  11. Nancy Geer

    What a wonderful experience!!

  12. Misty

    You never fail to lift my spirits. And some days, just in the nick of time!
    And before I go out on this gorgeous day to trim away the dead leaves from the garden, since spring looks like it’s coming, let me say this: We are having some old stained glass windows from the first location of our church cleaned, releaded and re-assembled into new frames for our library. The had been stored for 60+ years, had broken pieces, etc. This kind of glass is no longer available, and they will be installed in late February. They’re being done by a glass artist in a studio, Makin Glass, in Anderson. I’m pretty sure they teach stained glass there, because they have projects in process that people are doing. Quite a fun little trip for some lovely afternoon.
    Enjoy your 2 weeks off, but be sure to begin again. Oil painting is a wonderful passion to follow.

  13. karen Reddin

    Once again your blog brings clarity, joy, and possibility to so many. By all means passionately partake in art!!! Thanks for your uplifting way of life…it is a model for us all!!

  14. Elizabeth "CUZ" Guittar

    Took a water color course from a 94 year old babe. Thought I made a big mistake when we broke for an hour of soap operas and hot dogs…..two of her many passions.When we went back into her studio. we each had to paint the boats in the harbor which her home abutted. I was the worst one in class of ten….and she couldn’t stop praising my talent, especially with color. My attitude immediately improved. We painted for four hours. When I looked at the clock, I couldn’t believe four hours disappeared. It was like a Zen experience….time stood still and I was mesmerized….forgot the troubles of the world and felt passionate about my new venture in creativity. Feel that way in the kitchen as we’ll. Passion in anything legal will carry the day!!!!!! But you are a tough act to follow in sharing ” stuff”. Wanted to chime in even though I got no hot dogs or soaps !!!!! GG or Ish XO.

    • gayle

      Hmmmm… illegal passions. Now there’s a thought! Leave it to you, dear cuz, to plant that one in my mind. Would like to see your watercolor one day. Also like to eat some hot dogs, but will skip the soap operas until I’m 94. Enjoy Florida.

  15. Susan MIller

    Thank you for the reminder Gayle. Have fun painting.

  16. Peggie

    Thanks for the recent update. I pray for your continued passion and keep taking those pills. Your Susan Greaves’ painting looks lovely,
    it reminds me of you. Enjoy your classes with her. I am still painting with Barbara E’s class that you referred me to so many years ago. It is so fun and the ladies I paint with are very special. What a nice atmosphere. Take care dear. Love, Peggie L.

    • gayle

      I’m so glad you’re still painting. Barbara told me years ago that you are such a pleasure to have in class as you enjoy yourself so much. What could be better! Thanks for your prayers–I think they’re working! :-)

  17. liz davis

    So happy to be visualizing you painting with oils! Your painting of your teacher’s work is just incredible. Sending all my love to you and am grateful for this post- so uplifting to read!

    • gayle

      Hi Liz, Only thing better would be to have you here with me! I have your Madonna and child hanging on my wall where I see it every morning. xxxooo

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