A Flower for Tracey

When I was a girl, I loved to have pen pals.  There was something so magical in getting personal mail from someone some where else in the wide wide world.  I didn’t get a lot of pen pals outside the USA because I only understood English.  I didn’t get a lot of pen pals, period, because we moved a lot and once I started a letter exchange, it ended with a move.  They weren’t the type of moves where we left forwarding addresses — it was a one step ahead of the eviction sort of thing.

When I was in college, I had a little more stability, living on my own and was able to write long letters to friends and get letters in return. All pen pal relationships and long distance relationships in general tend to fade after awhile.  But it was one of the first things I sought when I got hooked up to email back in the late 90s.

I don’t know if I could have imagined how much of the world would be accessible through the internet.  Now I have friends from all over the world whose blogs I can read, who I can follow on facebook, and who make me feel that I am a citizen of the world, and not just a lady with a disability who rarely gets out of her neighborhood.

I have a continuous education thing going on by studying blogs on art, writing, history and child development.  It’s pretty amazing on the intellectual side, but on the social side, its a blast.  I have met the most creative and generous souls through blogs.

This year I was asked by a another artist to join a blog hop called the Paint Party Friday.  Each Friday, we all post links to our blogs at the site and then visit the other posted blogs.  There are about 100 or so artist who post, so I was in over my head.  I can rarely visit all the blogs and I only get to post about once a month when I have enough time to take the Paint Party Art Tour.

It’s been a major inspiration and also a very humbling sort of experience.  We hear so much about strife and conflict in the world, but when you actually start talking to people and sharing art with them, you almost get a glimpse of paradise.

Even though I don’t get to visit all the blogs and art sites, there are a few artists I try not to miss.  One of them is the blog of Tracey Fletcher King, an artist and illustrator from Australia, who does my favorite style of realism with ink and watercolor.  She does wonderful illustrations of her everyday life, her edibles, flowers, and whatever strikes her fancy.  Her colors are bright and her lines lively.  One of her specialty’s is tea cups and she paints the most graceful cups — little vessels of delight you just want to pull out of the computer screen and hold in your hand.

And she’s a great writer.  Not just in the sense that she can describe thing beautifully, but in that she has a wicked and contagious sense of humor that never fails to leave me laughing.  I know that at least once a week, no matter how bleak my life seems or how bad I feel, I can read a Tracey post and whatever load I’m hauling seems to lighten and often float away.

Earlier this year, Tracey posted that she had breast cancer.  All through her treatment, she has kept her blog readers in her thoughts, shared her treatments and shedding hair stories with us, and generally continued to  to lighten the hearts of her readers, even as she was going through an ordeal that would keep many of us curled up in a ball in bed, refusing to speak to anyone.  And she’s still doing it!

I think she’s a shining example of how writing and art heal the spirit, even if the body is going through all the stages of illness it must go through in this mortal and brutal world.  I know it’s what has helped me stay sane through many hard struggles with health and life — or it’s made me enjoy my insanity more.

I’ve long been preaching that the arts heal — and not just creating them.  Looking and listening have enormous healing power.  When I am too tired or in pain to create, I make myself look at beautiful creations and read wonderful stories.  It does my soul good to know that people are taking the time to make things for the express purpose of making me feel better.

And so for Tracey, as part of the Paint Party Friday Surprise Tea Party For Tracey, I have made this Flower Girl.  Just a little trifle of blooming happiness that can’t begin to tell of all the happiness Tracey’s planted in my heart.

28 thoughts on “A Flower for Tracey

  1. Wow Joy! What beautiful words you have written and a painting that has so much soul. I love your painting and “She blooms where planted” are just the right words for Tracey. Great job on this tribute! Happy Holidays to you and I wish you health.

  2. This is so beautiful and lovely Joy! Both your words and your drawing express what is around Tracey's words and art. You are an amazing artist and you too bring joy and wisdom and beauty to the world, thank you!
    I too loved to have pen pals in my youth, but I wasn't really good at keeping a steady contact as well as moves on both sides occurred and stopped the contact. So glad the internet was invented and that I happened to come across the Paint Party Friday about a year ago!
    I wish you a wonderful Christmas time and the best wishes for the new year!

  3. Happy PPF Joy. Thank you for sharing your story and all the wonderful words about Tracey. Your painting for her is totally delicious, just like her. Have a wonderful Christmas time, hugs Annette x

  4. Oh this is SOOOO PERFECT!! I love it an agree wholeheartedly with everything you've said! A beautiful and loving tribute! Yes art heals….we wish this to be so for our dear friend in the very near future!! All the best to you my friend!

    Hugs Giggles

  5. Bloody hell Joy it has taken me five minutes to stop blubbering like a mad woman after reading that. Thank you so much for your generous words and gorgeous art … Your thoughts mean the world to me and are making what is normally an awful chemo filled Saturday sail by on a wave of love and joy. You are treasured and I am so pleased to know you. Xx

  6. This is such a beautiful tribute to Tracey, and your flower-tea-girl is gorgeous and delicate. Love the kindness on her face. Hope you will enjoy a wonderful Christmas with your loved and dear ones ♥

  7. I love the flower, it is alive and blooming. . .beautiful tribute to Tracey. I don't always get around to everyone either, but love it and learn from them when I do. Blessings, Janet PPF

  8. thank you for this post…it was beautiful. i, too, had pen pals when i was younger. it brought back some good memories of reading their letters over and over again.

    love your flower with tea…it's adorable 🙂

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