Storytelling: Beauty of the Beast

beautyofthebeast (7)

Beauty of the Beast, click here to learn more:

I recently moved to Oregon, and for the first time since I was little I am around farm animals. The goat shed on the property was transformed into an art studio, and inside was a trap door that opened to a view of the goats and a llama. So, like any artist, I started painting my surroundings. I started with Johnny and Baby.


Then there was Ruby the Rooster, a noisy neighbor. In painting Ruby, I realized that I was triggered. I’d grown up butchering animals and I cut off the heads, de-feathered and gutted many a chicken. It took nearly five months to paint that chicken. Something inside was profoundly healing.


It was as I was leaning over the fence into the neighbor’s yard, and feeling Speedy the goat’s facial structure to paint his portrait, that it hit me. What if I painted rescued farm animals from Oregon sanctuaries? What if I got to know a sheep or chicken, listened to their story on how they ended up in the sanctuary, painted their portrait, told their story and had a show in Portland? What if some of the proceeds of sales went to help these rescue farm animals?


And so, first I went to Green Acres Farm Sanctuary in Silverton, Oregon and met a few animals. I decided to start the painting series with Daisy the horse. Daisy’s owner was a woman suffering domestic abuse who had to leave home, and then with the horse bounced from place to place until the situation for Daisy became untenable. That’s how she ended up at Green Acres. She’s a happy, healthy mare these days, a diva surrounded by male minions. I love her.


Little did I know that this art project would trigger me so profoundly. Bringing up an early life of butchering animals, the project has sparked a new level of healing that is taking me from vegetarian to vegan, from my 50th year back to my 5th year as a little girl in Missouri. The healing has been as profound as it has been difficult.

I’d like to ask your help. I’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign called Beauty of the Beast to help pay for the significant costs of putting together an art show. With your donation, you’ll get the gift of a print of one of the animals! Please go here and donate today: Deepest gratitude.

Besides being a visual artist and novelist, I’m a writing coach.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s