16 ways, sixteen days. RECAP: lessons in art and life

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Breast cancer; in case you were afraid to ask. It was sixteen days of radiation after a successful surgery…just in case. During a season when I had little time to be in the art studio, I just had to do something artistically expressive so I turned my daily shoes and accessory choices into an art project. We creatives are like that; express or die.

Shoes are a metaphor for life after all; we “kick up our heels”, we “take things in stride”, we “put one foot in front of the other”…The shoe life lesson here is ALWAYS choose joy first, because I could have led with gloom (dang it).  Joy is the fuel for our existence so the rest can fall into place with grace. Quite literally, the hormones produced when experiencing joy override and numb-out the hormonal feelings of discomfort and fear. Others before have modeled this for me—Mary Ann, Dee, Bonnie, Jules, Joyce… So I offer my own example to you passing it forward.

This choosing is the hardest lesson to learn and even harder to apply. We are all so, so very busy, we all have various struggles and tribulations, our lists are endlessly long. I can’t tell you HOW to do this; you have to figure out how to prioritize it for yourself. An older woman once told a younger me, housework will always be there but your kids will not; in other words, learn to recognize what is important. At the end of our life is it the proverbial tidy that we will remember or those moments of joy and fun? I choose fun— and shoes!

And now for the art lesson…

Assembling color seems to be difficult for many people. Given all the choices it is understandable. When you walk into a paint or fabric store you may be drawn to a certain swatch but then get hung up trying to figure out what other colors to put with it.  Consider these tips:

  1. Use proportion.  Most designers use the rules of proportion when assembling color, expressed as divisions of thirds—1/3 to 2/3’s—or more accurately, expressed by the use of the golden ration 1 to 1.61803.  My daily color charts in 5 parts showed this exactly; 2 square parts to 3 square parts = the golden ratio.
  2. Use neutral. When you mix grayish, brownish, blackish or white/beige colors with colors straight off the color wheel it makes them feel more lively and more balanced.  The most playful color combinations are using the greater proportion of color wheel color and the most subdued combinations are those that favor more neutral.  My daily color charts showed this; 2 squares of color to 3 squares of neutral and vice versa.
  3. Use color theory.  To decide what other color you want to use, find your color on a color wheel then pick a harmony shown there.  I like to use the Gardeners Color wheel because it shows more divisions of color plus pastel.

Below are the color combinations I used in the series.  Feel free to use them…

I am signing off for now.  Back to my garden….

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DAy 3 color grad

day 4 colors

16 ways color grad DAY 5

color grad day 6

16 color grad day 6 best

16 color grad day 8

16 color grad day 9

16 color grad day 10

16 color grad 10b

12 color grad DAY 11

16 color grad DAY 12

16 color grad DAY13b

16 color grad DAY 14b

16 color grad DAY 15

16 color grad DAY 16

The shoes I wore on the first day…because I promised.

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26 responses to 16 ways, sixteen days. RECAP: lessons in art and life

  1. Sarah Harvey

    I was afraid to ask and I’m sorry to hear that you had a diagnosis of breast cancer. You went through treatment with beauty and a fabulous attitude. All my love to you Jane ❤

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    • janebalshaw creative Post Author

      I suspected Sally. This can be an uncomfortable subject which is why I decided to just put it out there. You know that I care about you too!! Hope you had fun with the series…

      Like

  2. Writer Lori

    Hi Jane, Didn’t ask because I didn’t think it was any of my business — figured you would share if you felt so inclined…. That said, I am very happy that you are done with your treatment and fervently hope that you are all clear for the rest of your life. I love the lesson you impart…so important to remember how much our attitude and outlook can affect every aspect of our lives. Sending you big, health-filled hugs!! Xoxo, L

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  3. Karla Connor Meyette

    You are one gutsy lady! Although I suspected the reason for your daily trips, I am saddened I was correct. However, your love of life and color came shining through! I hope I have learned from you. By the way, I sure did chuckle about your instructions for women over 60 on how to walk in high heels! Hilarious! Best wishes. Karla

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    • janebalshaw creative Post Author

      Thank you Karla. I am thrilled you read the series and perhaps got something from it! Even it was only how to rock shoes at over age 60! Giggle, giggle…

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  4. Sandy Hodsdon

    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.” For years I have attributed this to Shelley. Nope, it is from Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats. Still true, and a joy to ponder with an artistic friend. Choosing joy.

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  5. Kathy Wall-Polin

    Thank you, Jane, for the inspiration… you sent a wonderful message (and entertainment!) to us all! I appreciate you! Now to find the shoes for the day! I hope you are feeling better and stronger everyday.

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    • janebalshaw creative Post Author

      Thank YOU Kathy for taking the time to read and absorb…I am honored. It is great fun for me to hear from my friends back home! I hope you found the perfect shoes and are off and running today. Cheers!

      Like

  6. Anonymous

    You own your own power, Jane – and if it helps someone else, well then, so much the better for the giver and the receiver. Well done. xo

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  7. Lynn E.

    I am re-evaluating my shoe choices. They are WAY too conservative. Thanks for being an inspiration, Jane. See you at the end of the month!
    L.

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  8. Bonnie Gates (Dave's former co-worker)

    Yesterday I went for some simple blood work and decided to wear my PLAID flats. You are an inspiration. Sincere best wishes to you.

    Like

  9. ebbsf

    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for sharing this. I did wonder what was happening. You gracefully turned something that most people can only see as negative and turn it into a positive, along with sharing the bigger lesson you took from the experience. Brava!!!

    I found your series fun and inspirational while simultaneously sending up prayers on your behalf with every post. Continuing to pray that your treatment is complete and successful.

    Wishing you good health and happiness – Beth

    Like

    • janebalshaw creative Post Author

      Beth, I am sure I felt your prayers, each and every one, each day. I am happy that you could join me on the journey, recognize the “spin and have fun with it. I thank you very very much for commenting!

      Like

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