The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002

Caryn Oil on canvas, 1994 18 x 24 inches

My great-grandmother Florence Soisson was an incredible woman, definitely the head of the family. When she decided to go for the chemo treatments for leukemia, we each gave her something to reflect our personalities. I chose "Caryn," a portrait based on my cousin Karen. I wanted to make her room as much hers as possible.

Lee Oil on canvas, 1994 18 x 24 inches

Working with my hands creating things allows me to focus on something that I am able to control, and, in turn, helps me to understand the things I cannot. The painting "Lee" started off very dark and abstract, but, as my attitude changed towards death, I found that my work became lighter and more human. The colors gradually became more vibrant and the line less hard and more flowing as I became more accepting.

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