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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ann Bartlett's Jacket: Baring my Soul

I hurt my shoulder over the weekend.  I lifted my heavy bag of paint and jackets off the airplane one too many times.  So, I came back and painted Alex’s jacket with one arm somewhat useless.  I was reminded of all of those advocates out there who work constantly in a lot of pain or while managing a chronic condition.  I finished up Alex’s Jacket, while rubbing my shoulder and muttering under my breath, “I need a massage.”  Well, I could not squeeze a massage into my crazy schedule, but I could paint one.

This is Ann Bartlett’s Jacket: Baring my Soul.
Baring my Soul: Ann Bartlett's Jacket
Ann was one of the first people I received a jacket from.  She met me way back in May to discuss her jacket.  Ann is very fit.  She is a runner who also is a massage therapist and she manages chronic diabetes.

On Ann’s Jacket a woman lies face down awaiting the touch of healing hands.  She is nude and her long hair is tucked bedside her head.   Her arms are placed at tight angles, and her head rests upon unseen hands.
Little tongues of fire rise from her shoulders.  These flames are purple and yellow.  The purple is for healing and the yellow is for reiki light.  It was such a calming meditation to paint this image.  The brush flowed upon the muscles with the same grace as a sumi-e brush flows creating bamboo.

Upon the lower back above the right buttock is tattooed the text 120#bgnow.  That is a twitter reference to blood glucose now.  The 120 is Ann’s target number for best controlling her condition.
In the center between the shoulder blades, a face stares out at the viewer.  This is the soul, this is the almost angel inside of us all.  This jacket is telling us Ann’s words: “the sum total of the patient is more than the body.”
The female divine
But, oh, what a body, can you imagine attending a conference dressed in this?  Can you imagine showing this much skin even if it is only painted skin?  Imagine the shocked stares, the sideways glances, the giggles at the body so displayed. 

I wonder how many people will stop to look a little deeper at the soul inside. 

Fragile hope


  1. Regina,

    I could have sworn I posted this immediately after this post went up, but it appears the Blogspot demons are in my face again. Here's what I wrote -


    Yikes, sore shoulder - I remember that. I'm sure you don't need to be told, be CAREFUL with that, let it heal, or else. Yikes: a disarmed Regina??

    And I'm with ya on the travel-induced damage. The plantar fasciitis I got in April is flaring up, and I keep trying to find ways to travel lighter. For me it's a briefcase (my portable IT department) plus luggage. The luggage could theoretically be checked, at the cost of extra wait time at destination, plus often $ we must pay ourselves. Should we start requesting reimbursement for that? (Do you?)

    But the paints - I don't have to carry the paints. Can you imagine a way to solve that? I expect you don't want, or aren't allowed, to check them. Is it possible to ship them round trip, reimbursable? Sure is a legitimate biz expense of hiring a painter.

  2. Ah, yes, shoulder pain. So you began your journey that lead to new life rather then the death that so often comes with such a diagnosis.

    I am glad I met you in your new life.

    I never check my bags. I only do carry on. I often do order my paints to ship, but as I was flying straight from California to Puerto Rico I decided to pack them. It wasn't the paint's fault though. It was my own for using the over head instead of underneath the seat in front of me. I am just too short for the overhead. I shall remember that in the future...