Kelly, on recovery

Kelly: Artist Statement


My artwork feels very scattered, and that also reflects how my life has felt. It shows many different moments and stages in my recovery journey. I got sober in 1997 and have included my AA medal, reflecting 18 years of sobriety at the time. Since then, there have been times when I have struggled with suicidality, chronic pain, and multiple health conditions. At one point, I was taking 13 prescription medications at a time.


At some point, I learned about Kratom, an herbal remedy that has helped me get off all the other drugs. At first, I thought it was snake oil, but it has truly helped me to reclaim my life. I have incorporated into this painting leaves from plants in my garden, and Kratom tea leaves in the shape of a heart, as well as a passage from Genesis that tells us there are healing gifts for us in the earth for us to use and respect.


At the center of my painting are pictures of my mother, because she has been the center of my world. I wouldn’t have survived without my mother and now I can take care of her.