I've been prescribed while being treated for Advanced Neurological Lyme.
This is such a difficult letter for me to write and it is with great regret that I am making this announcement. Many of you know that I have spent over a decade now battling Advanced Neurological Lyme disease and that it has activated a Lyme-induced autoimmune disease and a condition called Ankylosing spondylitis. My symptoms have grown much worse over the last year, escalating dramatically in the last few months, and the neurological/cognitive aspects have caused me to make many mistakes in my business dealings, some that have cost me valuable time and money. I am currently having trouble focusing my concentration enough to even do the simplest tasks like paying bills and shipping orders to customers. The pain and fatigue are paralyzing at times and keep me from doing tasks like cooking, laundry, housekeeping, so much of the burden of these tasks has fallen onto Don. He had already taken over much of the grunt work for my silk studio and he now has his own health issues to deal with so I don't feel I can continue to make demands on him for framing, mat cutting, shrink wrapping and so on.
I have been painting on silk since the late 1990's and it is a passion that I hope I will be able to return to in the near future, but it is a very physically and mentally challenging medium when used to create the style of painting I do. There are also fumes and chemicals that I am exposed to with my dyes and resists that may be taxing my system. As many of you know running a business is incredibly stressful and running an art studio in the midst of a recession is even more stressful. Don and I have viewed this from every angle possible and have come to the conclusion that at least for now I need to concentrate all of my energies on getting well again. So barring any medical miracles I am regretfully announcing the close of my silk painting studio. I have no idea what the future will bring but there is a very good chance that if I am able to reach the coveted state of remission then I would certainly consider reopening the studio.
Another very sad announcement that breaks my heart is that I am also closing down the Lyme Awareness Art Project (LAAP). The LAAP online gallery will officially be closed in early 2011. You can still visit the site at this link until January: http://www.lymeawarenessartproject.com. My deepest apologies to all the Lyme sufferers that were so gracious in lending their amazing poetry and artwork to this project. Each and every one of you is a blessing and inspiration to me. Keep creating and using artistic expression as a means of healing in your lives.
I am not going to stop creating art altogether until I am dead ;~) so I will absolutely continue to create art for my own pleasure and will continue to post it on my blog to share with you when I am able. I hope that by using less demanding mediums like gauche or water soluble oils I will be able to paint by taking lots of rest breaks in between periods of painting, a luxury that the demands of working with dyes on silk does not allow me. Having a break from running the business part of the studio will also allow me more time to create in a more relaxed atmosphere. After I finish working on the Sketchbook Project and submitting it to Art House Co op in January it is my hope that I will be blessed with the enough energy to explore a series of sketches and paintings based on illness, recovery and ecstatic relationships with the Divine. I am hoping that this exploration will be part of my healing process.
All of the galleries that carry my artwork and prints are fully stocked and will most likely have my work on display through 2011. At this time I am no longer taking custom orders and all deposits are being returned. I will continue to sell out of my online Etsy shop until it is empty.
In closing I want to deeply thank all of my customers and supporters. You are what have kept me creating despite my illness all these years. Your kind words and praise of my work have sustained me and encouraged me to go on to creating during even the worst times of my illness. I wish you wellness and joy, always.