february 21

02-21-15 "survivor power card—hope"
02-21-15 “survivor power card—hope”

2.5×3.5″ acrylic block print

A few years ago, I worked for a year in an oncology-infusion center in Des Moines as a resident artist (very part-time) where I would offer art-making activities to women while they were getting chemotherapy infusions. Many women were worn out from cumulative chemo side-effects, and many women were just not interested in doing it, and many women said, “Oh, I’m not creative!” I didn’t always have many takers, but some really enjoyed having the distraction and the time to do something different (or something they missed doing).

One of the things we would sometimes do is create these Artist-Trading-Card-sized cards (using paint, collage, marker—about anything). I called them Survivor Power Cards. The point was not only to make a card for themselves, but also to make one to leave for others to give them strength or hope or peace. And when I had time (because of no patients or no takers), I would make extra ones and offer patients the opportunity to pick one that most spoke to them.

Although the pictured image is a new print, you may recognize the block from a print I posted last month (a dark, plain print). On this new one, I started with some brayer-rolling on the card first, then printed the block over that, then hand-lettered the word “hope.” I will be giving this soon to a friend of mine who just finished several weeks of chemo. Hope is the essence of the Survivor Power Card (and more)!