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I Do Not Have Cancer, My Body Does

by Jane Granby 13 days ago in art

Jane Granby's Art

I am an American artist based in San Diego, California. My work includes painting, photography, and works of mixed media. My work is often autobiographical including emotions ranging from pain to joy.

I was born in San Diego, California. I started my art career early in life an elementary school at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy and in high school at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. I received a B.A. in Art in 1997 from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where I studied with artists including Don Suggs, John Baldessari, Henry Hopkins, Roger Herman, and Barbara Drucker.

I have been undergoing treatment for a cancerous brain tumor since I was twelve years of age. Out of all the kids I went through cancer with, I am the only one that did not go into remission or pass away. I am still fighting the same brain tumor today.

When asked about my artwork, I will most often provide my Artist’s Statement:

"I Do Not Have Cancer, My Body Does".

My fingers slowly moved along the small bumps. My fingers would have to adjust since my eyes could not. At twelve I was in a blind school learning Braille. I was rapidly losing my sight and my dream to be an artist. I was adjusting to a new world, a world without sight, a world without color. My heart ached. I had a cancerous brain tumor eating away at my optic nerve. It was eating away at my sight and my dreams, but I would not let it eat away at my heart, soul, or my love for God. I prayed.

My prayers were answered. I regained my sight, no medical explanation. My doctors were baffled. One doctor admitted that "some people would call this a miracle." I agree with that doctor. I believe in miracles. I believe that God granted me my sight as a reminder of his power and grace but has not removed my cancerous brain tumor in order to teach me.

He has taught me faith. He has taught me peace. He has taught me that I do not have cancer, my body has cancer. He has taught me to say thank you. I say thank you through prayer and with my art.

Once my sight returned, I remember seeing color so much more vibrantly, so much more beautifully. My art is a celebration of those colors, a celebration of vision and healing. Art does not heal the body, it heals the soul. We will not take our bodies to heaven, but we will take our souls, so I paint and I pray.

I create my art on canvas. The canvas becomes my art as I leave a little piece of my heart upon it. I cut the canvas to be stretched on my stretcher bars with scissors. I also create mixed-media pieces. I usually use photographs, extra canvas, and magazines. This also requires scissors.

I have included this photograph of my painting "Pounce" because I believe it is a happy and playful representation of my art. The texture and the patterns I think all work together to create an interesting painting. It is based on a combination of my cat and a cat in a magazine. The love I had for my cat I think really comes through the paint. I hope that the love I have for every one of my subjects whether it be scenic, and animal, or a person comes through the paint. I also hope that the pain I feel comes through the paint especially when representing my cancer. Life is full of joy and pain but ultimately I must keep a positive attitude and trust God.

Jane Granby
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Jane Granby
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