Art Therapy

I Started to Paint to Forget Cancer

Denise Bishop turned to painting to help her recover from cancer treatment. The novice painter discovered that it helped her to focus and cleared her negative thoughts.
April 2020 Vol 6 No 2
Denise Bishop
Bakersfield, California

I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in May 2018. I knew I would need distractions during my recovery from surgery and chemotherapy, to keep my mind active and focus on positive things, and to keep my body moving.

My daughter-in-law suggested a “paint day” for us, after one of my chemotherapy treatments. Because I’ve never really painted before, she had to walk me through the process.

I chose to use acrylic paints on canvas, and this painting here speaks to how I tried to keep my focus during the most difficult parts of this journey. To trust in my faith that everything would be alright. To let go of my fears, and trust God and the process.

I went on to keep painting throughout my recovery. I found art to be a therapeutic and satisfying outlet to my feelings. It brought me in touch with my inner self and helped to dissolve the “junk” of the outside world around me.

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Last modified: March 10, 2022

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