(Above: Decision Portrait Series. Stitched words: I refused further treatment, 1937 - 2008. Xylene photo transfer on tea stained muslin. Hand embroidery and beading. Unframed: 25" x 19"; framed 31" x 25". Click on image to enlarge.)
Blogging is a wonderful experience. It connects and touches people in faraway places. It allows us to share our creations with the entire world. It brings people together. Susan Elliott and my sister Wanda were following one another's blogging activities and needlework. Their Internet friendship put Susan in touch with me. She found my Decision Portrait Series compelling, especially the decision made by my blogging buddy Linda Lynch. Linda is winning the war against ovarian cancer. Linda endured the most aggressive treatment.
Susan Elliott immediately understood my devotion to showing these decisions in a straight-forward, honest way. There is no value judgment being made, just the depiction of a decision. She understood that what is "right" for one person isn't necessarily "right" for others. She knew this because her mother decided NOT to endure the most aggressive treatment for leukemia but to spend the last nine months of her life outside of a hospital. She decided to be at home with her family. This decision took courage and bravery. Susan knew I'd want to stitch this portrait because it brings a unique sense of balance to the series. It does.Leukemia Decision,
(Above: Leukemia Decision, Decision Portrait Series. Detail. Click on image to enlarge.)
Susan posted the "original" photo on her blog when recently writing about her mother's participation in the Decision Portrait Series. That post, with lots more information and family images, is HERE. I selected the mirror backed, faceted 8 mm and 10 mm beads to surround the portrait. They sparkle and catch light brilliantly and are meant to reflect the sparkle in Susan's mother's piercing eyes. It's nearly impossible to capture the sheen and reflection in photography, but these little "gems" really gleam.