Kathleen Brown & John Stumbaugh
John Stumbaugh
“Platitudes: Blue Ocean of Emotion”
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The Story
Kathleen Brown
Chicago, Illinois
@mskathleenbrown and @hibuddhi
Survivor, Ewing's Sarcoma
Twist on Cancer: My Brushes with Cancer experience has been overwhelmingly positive and cathartic in many ways. Working with John has helped me process deep-rooted trauma that I experienced as a teenager, unable and unprepared to process such a heavy emotional burden at such a young age. I have learned how social support is so critical to the healing process, but is much more powerful when you open up and share, instead of bottling up your emotions. Thank you to Twist Out Cancer, John and Jenn for ALL of the ways you have supported my healing journey!
John Stumbaugh
@platitudes_art, @stumpics
“Platitudes: Blue Ocean of Emotion”
Mixed-media utilizing torn paper, découpage, acrylic paint, and folded strathmore board on canvas. Mounted in a poplar wood frame.
Artist Statement: I'm in my third year as a participating artist in BWC Chicago. My wife has been a past artist, and my 19-year-old daughter is participating as an artist for the 2020 Chicago event as well. And I am a longtime friend of Brushes board member, August Spree.
My background is in architecture, art, music, and construction.
Each year I have participated, I have found a way to include the inspirations in the art-making process. This time is no exception.
I was truly inspired by Kathleen’s story, and she has been a delight to work with.
The inspiration for this artwork came from a portion of a “What to say to someone with cancer” article that Kathleen wrote.
Kathleen's inspirational paragraph for me was this:
"Our culture considers ‘Get well soon,’ the gold standard when it comes to ‘supporting’ sick people. Our culture, as it so happens, is also wrong. Platitudes SUCK when you’re sick with something chronic, like cancer. You can’t just pop a couple of antibiotic pills and sleep it off."
So this piece is titled “Platitudes: Blue Ocean of Emotion” in honor of Kathleen’s journey and her dedication to helping others through her not-for-profit www.hibuddhi.com.
A platitude is a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.
Découpage comes from the French verb découper: To cut out.
This piece is an artist/inspiration collaboration utilizing découpage to intentionally cut out and cut up commonly used sympathy card catch phrases that have been used too often.
The hope is that this visual deconstruction inspires a resetting of the conversation of more appropriate and heart-felt ways to express sympathy, empathy, and love for those affected by sickness/cancer.
Show them some love and tell them how you feel.