The morning that we met was beautiful – blue skies and peaceful. The lighting was perfect. I had no idea what to expect from a planned photo session with my friend, Pat Miller and her artwork. We have known each other for 15 years, since our kids were in pre-school. Pat is an artist, a mother, and a wife. She is active, youthful and attractive. She loves her kids – 17 year old twin boys, Adam & Jacob. She attends their sports events and volunteers for their team and their school. She describes her husband Alan as her ‘best buddy’.
2 years ago, Pat was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Her treatment lasted 360 days, but the story of her recovery and her acceptance of what most people would consider to be her burden, continues.
When the chapter of Pat’s treatment ended, a new one began. Through her art, Pat began the process of healing. Her paintings and projects of different mediums tell the story of the discovery of her disease, her method of coping with her medical procedures and her feelings – her hopes, fears and struggles as well as her passion and her victories.
Each painting, plaster mold, engraved stone and resin form is a page in her story. Her emotions are etched and painted on every piece – she is an open book. She describes her work as imperfect and unfinished. The emotional reaction from people viewing her artwork has ranged from unsettling and curious to empathetic and supportive. Deep down, Pat has a sense that there is a place and a purpose for her art.
I had no idea what to expect from our photo session. What I left with was less about what I saw and photographed and more about what I felt – the beautiful day, peacefulness, and hope. It is difficult to explain. I am looking forward to hearing about what comes next for Pat and her projects; her next chapter. The story is hard to resist.