The Art of Stillness

The basis of my art direction appears to be a racetrack that hums, and picks up momentum as it continues shrieking and screeching till it hovers over a small expanse that has grinded to a halt. Always too much is going on, I don’t have a regular outside job but my art practice is a demanding employer.

My paintings became so complex that I needed to write out a road map so the viewer would benefit from every nuance and suggestive hint of what I want to convey.  Now I was writing which later flowed into a daily blogging practice.

I began to feel the urgency to parlay with my readers. I had a following of gifted readers, writers showing me their gifts. The world became exciting again as I left the solitude of endless hours painting about the injustices I was discovering. Now I could write about them and in 2009 Bob Barker came to Edmonton to fight for a single elephant, living alone for 36 years at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Bob Barker offered 1 million dollars for her release and the Zoo refused.  This perked my interest. I began researching every about elephants, authorities, and  I was determined to assist in her release to the Sanctuary. Then I became an activist for primates, rhinos, and for all of those who could not speak out for themselves. Each piece of writing of course had to have a painting.

Then they found lung cancer, I survived the surgery and three years later it returned in my other lung.  After my second lung cancer operation, I decided it was time to become a singer, my secret joy that I had pushed away. I wrote a few songs that now described my paintings and surprised my audience when I sang them at art openings. Thankfully they loved it. One thing led to another as I  tried to raise money for supplies and alternate cancer treatment.

With the announcement of cancer for the third time I began to write my Memoirs. I completed it a few weeks ago and now it is published on Amazon. Two Souls: Lucy and Me, a Memoir of an Artist and an Elephant, Crusaders for World Justice and Peace.

Ironically now that my major projects are completed I would like my career to take a new turn and benefit from your program.

In 2009 Lung cancer had a 11% five year survival rate.  My second surgery had an increase to 13%, still with 5 years. I said no to chemo and my tumor shrunk from 8.1 to 5.7. Now it shows there is no growth and no treatment is recommended although I follow a simple strict diet. I manage on Old Age Pension but it would be a true gift to have stillness and nature surround me and allow my life to  find a rhythmic flow harmonizing with the universe. I rarely leave my apartment and the site of trees, nature and my contemplation of silence will likely provide an  opportunity for inner knowledge to be revealed. My thoughts and feelings will mold my new art.

I can already feel serenity and smiles as I ponder my next narratives. I can contribute my expression of joy for this chance and still the thoughts and experiences that have impoverished my life.  This experience will enhance my projection of the world view I want to create so others may share my experience. Thank you,

Barb Mann


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