Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Work of A Friend

Today's blog post is a little different from anything I have ever done.  It is about a friend.

The friend is Melanie Testa an accomplised artist and quilter.  I was drawn to Melanie because like me she is a breast cancer survivor.  We met last year via internet while we were both going through treatment.

I initially saw her on the program "Quilting Arts" which I watch religiously on Saturdays at 3:30 pm Pacific time.  A few weeks later she was interviewed on the Voodoo Lounge Podcast by Rice Freeman-Zachery.  When I realized it was the same person, I sent her a comment on her blog indicating that I had seen her on Quilting Arts and wishing her well in her recovery.

Melanie responded and we have communicated occasionally since that time.

The book in the picture above, Dreaming through journal page:TRANSFORMING THE sketchbook TO art", was written during Melanie's time of treatment.  This fact touched me very deeply because I had made the decision that while I was undergoing  treatment, I would devote the time to art as a way to keep my mind on positive and creative things.  I made thank you cards for the many friends and family members who assisted me with meals, friendship and prayers.  I took an online art journalling class with my friend Regina Lord and found that through creativity, my healing was really spiritual.

I preordered Melanie's book in December and received it about a week ago.   I immediately read through the pages and fell in love.  In love with the ease of reading; with the conversational tone and with the easy to follow tutorials.  I fell in love with the warmth that exploded from each page and the strength of a person who truly exemplifies the phrase brought alive by Jenny Doh - "Art Saves".

On Thursday, April 26th, I took part in a Webinar presented by Melanie and she used her book as the guide for demonstration on colors, doing drawing exercises to loosen up your hands, the meaning and use of frisket, etc.  It was really interesting.

Why am I writing about this?  First because I felt led to do so, and second even though we have never met, I feel as if Melanie is a kindred spirit.  If you are interested in really learning the mechanics of art journalling, read this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Until next time, find peace on the journey....pilgrim.


Melly Testa said...

What a fabulous review and touching commentary. We are sisters Glenda, thank you so much for the support and I am so glad that we have connected.

jpcatmeow said...

Thanks, Glenda for the review of your friend's work. I love the book and just bought it on Amazon.

I can't wait to get on the Art Journey with her.

I work in other mediums and thought I should try to branch out.

Julie Panusis
Art-is-You West Coast Coordinator

Glenda Hoagland said...

OMG!!! I am so glad you liked Melanie's book. What is your normal medium?

Janet said...

Hey - this was a really heart felt review and recommendation. I have Melanie's other book and plan to get this one too. Thanks for sharing your story. Glad you are a survivor - my mom is too.