I wanted to share some of my recent artwork with you!

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Dear <<First Name>>

You can see all of my work at with newer paintings in the later galleries (13 and 14)

I'll only do a mailing every month or so.
Any of my paintings can be made into gift cards (12 cards for $25 delivered.) or mounted and framed giclee prints on canvas.

Our story is related to this series of paintings of Monhegan Island I want to share with you. They have become an allegory for our experience. It may seem too personal, or too medical, in which case you could just go see the new paintings on the website. I mean only to share our human experience.

Back in June my wife Louisa began to experience sinus inflammation which she has never had before. We flew to California in July to see my mom and thought maybe she'd get better. (You can develop allergies as you age.) On the flight home her left ear plugged up. That's happened before from wax buildup and we were always able to clean it out, but not this time.

Louisa went to urgent care July 15'th to see if they could help. She happened to complain of shoulder pain that she had experienced only that morning. She also told them we had just flown home from California and they thought, 'all the way'. They wanted to rule out a blood clot as the cause of her pain and decided to run a D-dimmer test which came back at 120, the cutoff for if you get a CT scan or not. The rest of her blood panels were spot on normal.

The CT scan revealed 'an unusual mass' in Louisa's lower right lung field that was not there in November. They listed infection, TB or malignancy as possible causes. This is not news you ever want to hear. We could only hope.

A PET scan (shows metabolically active tissue) was scheduled for July 27th. That revealed the same lesion and some slightly enlarged lymph nodes on both sides of the trachea. This was even more frightening news. Our lives were upside down. I was finishing the Trinity painting at this time.

A procedure to go get samples of those lymph nodes was scheduled for Aug 8th. Pre-procedure we were told by the surgeon this was inoperable metastatic lung cancer until proven it's not. After the procedure we were told, 'we have no idea what this is'. All of the samples examined during the procedure were negative for cancer or infection. Talk about a roller coaster... We grabbed on to these inconclusive results to hope with all our might.

A needle biopsy of the actual lesion was scheduled for Aug 17th. That too was non-diagnosing and strengthened our tender resolve to hope. Around this time I was painting Couple.

We met with the surgeon again on Aug 26th to schedule exploratory thoracic surgery to go have a look on Sep 1st. On that day Louisa's creatinine had risen to 5.78, an indication that her kidneys weren't functioning well at all, so surgery was cancelled, she was admitted to the hospital, and a team of kidney docs were brought in.

They used the Occam's Razor approach, that the simplest explanation for all of Louisa's symptoms would be the answer. So what affects sinus, ear, lung kidney? Granulomatosis with polyangitis. In English, an exaggerated autoimmune response causing unwanted inflammation in small blood vessels. At this point I revised Couple to include a pathway into the painting, where before there was only obstruction.

To be sure, they performed a needle biopsy of the left kidney, sent samples off to Mass General and verified the problem. Having already started treatment, Louisa was already beginning to improve. Her sinuses cleared, along with her ear. We're assuming the lesion in her lung is clearing, and now hope for her kidneys to regain their function after being stunned. In the meantime Louisa has been having dialysis and plasmapheresis and some pretty heavy duty meds.

How relieving to know... I painted Heading Home which we are going to do any day now. All of this has changed our sensibilities forever. We most certainly know how we feel about each other, about life, and about all of our family and friends.

Trinity - The Headlands, Monhegan Island, Maine
14 in x 18 in - Oil on Panel - 2016

Trinity, certainly. That holiness up on high to which we strive within and without, to help bring light into the world. AND two trees (a couple) with an uninvited guest rising up from below, the three of us facing our mortality...

Couple - The Headlands, Monhegan Island, Maine
18 in x 20 in - Oil on Panel - 2016

Here we are at the edge of a cliff, one of the highest on the Maine coast, with rocky shore and pounding surf below. Now a pathway through... fragile life.

Heading Home, Monhegan Island, Maine
18 in x 20 in - Oil on Panel - 2016

The storm is clearing. The sea is calm. It's a good day to feel home, and all the love we have to give.

I'm working on another, Sunrise at Clear Lake, California (Terry's Outdoor Office)
Do come join me for my next show...

Oceanpoint Integrative Health Art Show/Open House

    Friday, October 7 from 7 PM to 9 PM    

    813 Broadway, South Portland, ME 04106  



Now is a time for 'keeping still', and persevering in 'what is right'... 


Copyright © 2016 Stephen V Beckett - Maine Artist, All rights reserved.

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