Martha, on her daughter Kelly's recovery

Martha: Artist Statement


The painting is divided into a time of “before” and “after” in Kelly’s life and her recovery journey.


The sugar skull represents a dark period in Kelly’s life. The puppy dog wrapped in Christmas tree lights shows the impact on her mind – I wonder, what sober person would wrap a dog in tree lights? The broken knife represents the times I had to use a knife in the door-hinge because Kelly was sleep walking and that was the only way I could keep her from going outside, one of my many attempts to keep her safe.


The AA token represents 18 years of sobriety from alcohol and today, Kelly has 21 years in recovery. The photo of Kelly, with the small dog, and with the tulips, show the change in Kelly once she was able to stop taking prescription pain-relievers. The picture in the middle represents my relief and my joy at having my daughter back from addiction and pain.


The four notes chronicle Kelly’s time on pain prescriptions and her time since she no longer takes opioids. It concludes with the statement that for many years, until late 2014, I was trying to take care of my daughter. Now she takes care of me.


The bold colors in the background represent sunshine, love, and freedom.