Life Doesn't Fit in a File Folder

Showing My Colors To The World

Some of you are waiting to hear my next report about how I survived the horrors of benzo withdrawal.

I know you’d like to read that I’m 100% well again.

I’m not there yet.


An amazing thing has come out of this horrifying experience.

About 3 months ago, while healing in Arizona, I had the opportunity to hang out in an art room again.

I was astounded by how good it felt.

To create.

To play with colors.

Because I’d forgotten.

When I got back home, I started painting three-dimensional hearts on 4” x 4” canvases.

At first, I didn’t show my stuff to anyone.

I figured if they were good enough, I could hang them in the bathroom.

Or something.

Eventually, I got brave and posted a few photographs on Facebook.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, so I decided to try my hand at larger canvases, too.

To my surprise, people liked my weird whimsical paintings, too.

It never occurred to me that being able to create something out of nothing is one of my super powers.

All I know is that I’m committing art again.

And I’m having a great time doing it.

And people are buying what I make.

Here are a few examples of my 4″x4″ mini-canvases:


I also have greeting cards.

Based on original pieces that have been sold.
Based on original pieces that have been sold.

And here is one of my paintings.


If you’re interested in purchasing greeting cards or original art, or if you’d like to commission something special for someone you love, I’d be honored to make something for you.

More about the events that brought me to where I am now. Eventually.

But not today.

{This post is written in memory of Blaine and dedicated to my friends from Wickenburg, Arizona: Missy, James, Julie, Joan, John, Paula, Anthony, Jesse, Riley, Abel, Grant, Carlos, Nyki, Kris, Rob, Scott, Lauren, Frankie and Darcy.)

64 thoughts on “Showing My Colors To The World

    1. Hi Rick. Yes, I am healing. It’s slow. Sometimes, too slow. But today, I’m feeling grateful and appreciative of all the healing I’ve done so far to get to this point. Thanks for sticking with me. 🙂

  1. Oh, oh, oh! How I love these! And I love that you have found this place. I’m sorry you had to go through such a dark place to get here. But I’m glad you’re here, making the world a more beautiful place.

    1. Leeeeeeesha! I am still coming out of the darkness. Luckily, I seem to be having more good days than bad ones these days. It is going to take a long time before my brain resets, but I’m grateful G-d left the part of my brain that likes to write and create art intact. I don’t know what it is about art that is so healing, but it is. I know you know what I’m talking about.

    1. Hi Carl: I’m so glad to know you are still here. I was absolutely unable to communicate to help you with your big book promotion. I hope that you are selling many copies and even if you only sell a few, I think having a book of your favorite is a wonderful legacy to leave to your grandchildren. I’m glad to know that cartooning helps relieve some of your depression symptoms. I guess it’s helping me discover a new confidence. I had NO idea that painting was one of my super powers. I’ve always done it; it just didn’t seem like a big deal. Apparently, some people can’t even do stick figures. I am grateful to G-d for leaving that part of my brain intact. xo

  2. Your art is inspiring. I am so looking forward to having your strength & courage hanging on my walls.

    1. Tiff: You are one of the people who has really helped me on my road to recovery. Not only have you stuck with me on FB by writing me encouraging comments, but you were one of the first people to buy my 4×4 mini-canvases. I hope you love them. You’ve helped me believe that I really am an artist. Who knew?

  3. Your paintings are beautiful and obviously therapeutic. Keep it up – do what makes you feel good and you will feel good. Thank goodness for art and music and all the other arts. They keep the world on an even keel (usually)

    1. Dear Boots: I am turning the focus inward to myself for the first time in a long time, and it feels really good. I’m not 100% healed yet, but i have faith that I eventually will be. And I believe in the value of The Arts more than ever. Thank goodness I hung out in Arts & Crafts each summer. 🙂

  4. I am so glad to receive this post!!! I had not received a blog from you in awhile. I have been rearranging email to make it more manageable and thought that I had broken our connection. ????????????

    I love your artwork!! I am generally not a heart sort of person–unless texting my grandchildren. Your hearts are the hearts of one who has experienced much. I am glad you are finding a new way to use your superpowers!!!


    1. D’Alta: I’m guessing you have seen that I’ve been healing after a very long illness. I do much more than hearts, but people seem to like my heart mini-canvases so now I’m selling them. Proceeds from those help me to spend time creating larger pieces. I just sold a 16×20 of a whimsical alligator. I love it, and it’s going to be hard to let it go. I am taking pictures of all my creations and I’ve turned many into blank cards. I guess, in that way, I never really have to leg go of any of my artwork.

  5. Ironic. I posted a FB reply to you that I hoped to continue seeing your blog posts, and when I checked my emails, there was a link to this one. I’m not an art connoisseur, but I am a Renee connoisseur. Glad you’ve found this interest, but keep on writing, too.

    1. David: Your positivity has helped to keep my afloat these last 10 months. Don’t worry! I’ll keep writing – of course – but painting is absolutely a JOY for me. I don’t have to work on it. It just happens, almost as if I’m on auto-pilot. All of that feels very good to me right now. I am hard on myself when it comes to my writing. I feel like each sentence has to be perfectly crafted. Being free feels so good, it’s hard to explain. Do you have a thing like that?

  6. You are my hero!

    Yes. I want to commission something special for someone I love…me…from one of the most determined survivors I know…you.

    Too many options noodling in my noggin at the moment. I’ll email when I settle on the message & I want you to let your creativity fly with that.


    1. Oh Gloria! I’m not thru this mess yet. I’m still chugging along with plenty of weird symptoms, but I’m so glad to have discovered something that distracts me from my pain – and that is actually bringing other people happiness! If you’d like to commission something special, just let me know. You can email me at or reach me on Facebook. Or tweet me. 🙂

  7. Through the darkness, emerged the light. I’m so glad that your art is so whimsical and free. It shows how much you have healed and that you still have light and warmth shining through you. I’m happy the art helped you get to this place and that people appreciate what you do. Good job, girl!

    1. Misty
      I’m not thru it yet, but each day is not filled with insufferable pain the way it was in the beginning. Painting is a great distraction for me and I’m starting a pottery class on Monday while Tech is at summer camp. I am glad to hear you are feeling better too. Thank you for supporting me during my darkest hours. xo

  8. Thanks you awesome, magical Lady! I am truly touched and amazed at your perseverance! It is an inspiration to me and many others, I’m sure! One thing I really adore about your artwork is how it can make your soul smile! the colors and the subject matter are just great. I completely agree with everything, Mistyslaws, said above me.
    I found my octopus and cards at my front door this morning and It made my day! keep on doing what your doing because it totally seems to be working!~ LUUUUUV YA!!! XOXOXOXO

    1. Riley! I’m so glad everything arrived safely to your door. Thank you for your encouragement! It means the world to me. So glad you are digging your WHIMSICAL OCTOPUS. She is truly one of a kind. So glad to know you in real life, Riley. 🙂

  9. Me,me, pick me!!!! I want greeting cards! How do I order them? Absolutely LOVE the hearts, they are funky, bright, deep, loving and happy. I have been thinking about how I am going to fill my empty nest and time when the kids are gone and have been contemplating art. So glad it has given you so much pleasure. 🙂

    1. Hi Maria! I have two sets of greeting cards available now. The hearts are actually available on blank cards with those colorful background colors. If you are interested, email me and I’ll send you the details. Art is a great activity. Don’t wait until the kids are gone to start! Model your passion for art by starting now! I’m starting a pottery class on Monday, if you can believe it! I’m sure there will be a sharp learning curve, but I aim to enjoy it and not get hung up on the product. Good think I like whimsical things. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to produce something fabulously lopsided.

  10. You are a hero to me Renee. I so enjoyed your blog prior to your “showing your colors” but now have an even greater respect and admiration for you. I am interested in purchasing some of your greeting cards and 4″x4″ canvases. How do I go about doing this? Many thanks,


    1. Hi Wende: Thank you for sticking with me thru my darkest hours. If you’d like greeting cards and/or you’d like to talk about commissioning a 4×4 canvas, just email me! My address is on my CONTACT page. I think you’ll find my prices are very reasonable. xo

  11. OK, at the risk of being a pest…just curious if you have considered magnets out of your art? I ask because that is what I have bought at art festivals a few times from artists whose works I could not decide on.

    1. Hi Andrea: You know, I did consider magnets, but someone told me that people don’t love magnets anymore because most folks have non-magnetic stainless steel appliances. (((shrugs))) At this time, I am not considering magnets – but I think it’s a great idea. And I know PLENTY of people who still have plain ole black and while appliances. 😛

  12. The healing power of art never ceases to amaze me. My first example of art’s ability to help me transition from trauma to healing was when my son died. One day I felt the need to create. I still can’t tell you why this feeling came over me, but I remember it was intense and insistent. I went outside and painted flower pots in big, bold colors. While the act didn’t take my pain away completely, it gave me hope to know my energy could create something new and pleasant in a world that, at the time, was dark and foreboding. I witnessed the same healing power in my community after the May 22, 2011 tornado. People created paintings, photographs, songs, poems, and many other things that helped them find beauty in a storm-ravaged environment (and, believe me, a tornado of that magnitude does not leave behind a lovely landscape). Art heals, and I’m so, so happy to see art help you find beauty and meaning in life again, Renee!

    1. Dawn: You leave the BEST comments. And yes yes yes. Art is so healing. I’m so thrilled that I have discovered my creative muse again. What a relief. When I was in so much pain – every moment – I couldn’t believe that I’d ever be able to create anything ever again. I had to rely on others’ – their faith in me and in G-d; they seemed to just know that it would get better when I didn’t. Thank you being a light in the darkness. I’m not 100% healed, but I’m on my way. I have faith I’m going to recover, just like folks in your community did after the horrible tornado. I know trauma changes us forever changed, but I believe I am a better person because of the experience.

    1. Hi Denise. I’m no phoenix, Denise. I’m still struggling every day with residual symptoms from using these evil prescriptions drugs for 7 years. And yet. I’m so grateful that G-d chose to leave intact the part of my brain that creates art. It has truly been a wonderful distraction and tremendous confidence builder for me. So glad to share all of me with you.

  13. Way to go girlfriend!!!!! I love your works of heart and want to purchase notecards and wall hangings!!!!! I’m super proud of you and honored to be your friend!!!! Xoxo

  14. Whimsical, weird (everyone has to have a bit of weird in them!) and just plain authentic. Love them … keep creating!

  15. This brings tears to my eyes–really–seeing how so much light can come out of so much darkness. I know you’re not fully “there” yet . . . but maybe there’s going to be new near– not a better or worse one, just a different one. You know so much more now about your strength. And look at all this life and color that is pouring out of you. I would love to buy greeting cards! I’m always looking for beautiful, different cards to use as thank you notes and this fits the bill. I liked the “give” ones you had on FB. Let me know!

    1. Professor! I’m JUST starting to be able to respond to comments again and I saw your wonderful, positive note. I’m not quite ready to decorate motor vehicles, but who knows? Maybe in the future, right? Anything is possible. 🙂

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