New Painting: In Recovery

About two years ago, I got a package of 5 canvases, and one of them had a small hole in it. I wondered if it could be patched. I painted it red, then I set it aside for a long time. About a year later, I got some gold and silver foil, and wanting to experiment, I used the old red canvas with a hole in it. I put on the foil then set it aside for another period of time.

One day last month, I came across it again. I decided that I should rip the hole open more and make some sort of abstract collage. I started blending orange, red and yellow. I painted an egg shape. Then I started just making intuitive marks around the shape. I ripped the hole a little more. I worked without a goal. I just played around until an idea developed.

I heard a story from a friend about his friend who was shot in the face a few years ago, but survived. Her life has been a series of surgeries and recoveries since then. It changed the way she looked; it changed the way she saw life.

And I thought about how long recovery takes, and how sometimes, we don’t recover, we transform. I also thought about Kintsugi the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold.

I stitched up the torn canvas with gold thread. Then let the painting tell me what to do.

It’s now finished. It’s In Recovery.

In Recovery by Joy Murray, 16×20, mixed media

In Recovery detail
In Recovery detail
In Recovery detail


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8 thoughts on “New Painting: In Recovery

  1. Great piece! How interesting. Years ago I slashed a new canvas, then repaired the gash with a scrap piece of canvas on the back and stitched it together, then made it into a painting of a broken and mended heart. Sort of the same idea as what you’ve done.

    1. I’ve done work with slashed canvas and cardboard before. It’s always a freeing way to work. I really enjoyed your latest blog post about not being able to stick to one style. I have the same problem, though it’s not really a problem, is it? If I see it as a gift, it’s more fun to be this way.

  2. Hello Joy,

    I am replying to the last email that I got from you. I’m worried that you are ill. Are you still doing your blog?? I very much enjoy and get a lot out of both the words and the paintings.



  3. Hi Susan. I’m doing okay. As you know I have the long term disability and I find as I age, I’m much slower in my creative output, so I don’t blog as much. I’ve also slowed down on my painting. But overall I’m doing well. I try to do at least one blog a month, though I hope to do more as I find balance in my life. I’m enjoying the spring but have scaled back my gardening. I’m planting easy to care for plants on my porch and the elephant ears I planted when I first got here are taking care of themselves, with some regular watering from me. Thanks for reaching out. You can email me at I hope you’re doing well. It makes me so happy to know you enjoy my blog.

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