In its 5th year, the Ontario Writer’s Conference continues to celebrate all art forms. This year we are very excited to include visual arts into the conference with our very first Story Starters contest.

On January 1st, February 1st and March 1st, our website will feature an extraordinary work by a local artist and we invite you to enter a piece of writing inspired by that work.

How it works

Taking inspiration from the picture below, write a short piece (100 words maximum). It can be any form or writing (poetry, prose, dialogue, haiku, etc.) as long as it is original. Anyone may enter this contest. There is no submission fee. English entries only please. The top five entries for each of the three art pieces will be selected by Ruth E. Walker, noted author, poet and presenter, and displayed at the 2013 Ontario Writers’ Conference (May 4th in Ajax, Ontario). At the conference delegates will review and vote for their favourite. The winning entries will be announced at the conference and each winner will be awarded a prize (tba). You may enter as many times as you like. Submit your entry in the comment section below the image.  Deadline for each contest: the last day of the month that the artwork is featured.

If you have questions about this contest please send us an email. Thank you and good luck.


January’s featured artist: Denise Wilkins

Denise Wilkins

Denise Wilkins

Denise Wilkins is an accomplished photographer with a unique approach to capturing life’s moments – from theatre, dance and concerts to corporate events, portraits and weddings.

Since childhood Denise has expressed her love of art primarily in pencil sketches, watercolour and acrylics with people being her main interest.

Forging fearlessly through her battle with breast cancer, Denise continues to employ her talents within the community through her business, Lifeart Designs.




  • Knowing Denise is akin to walking in a field and experiencing a certain tranquility that encourages and transforms our self being to a level only reached on extremely rare occasions.
    Her art transcends the norm and one feels a connection which is difficult to explain and one is left with a feeling of wonderment and serenity.
    I have only met Denise on two occasions, yet I feel as if our friendship isn’t unique but shared by many.
    To quote something I read many years ago:
    “Here’s to you and I and the gap between us,
    If one of us should part, may it be the gap between us”

  • I read somewhere that hundreds of years ago, humans had hair on their heads, faces, arms, and legs. Most scientists won’t claim to understand why, but eventually we evolved out of it. It’s strange to think of; a woman with fine strands sprouting from her skin and flowing everywhere. It’s like something from a horror movie, but I think it’s beautiful. I paint her, fine brushes to define her texture and light, and she is an ancient goddess, both strange and ethereal. She is a woman such as I’ve never seen, but somehow, she glows.

  • Irene Davidson Fisher January 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    With the final stroke of the brush, I am alive and healing. My inner strength shines in the image before me. It reflects my love of life. It is me smiling and happy. I focus on this inner strength when I’m in chemotherapy. It is who I am and Cancer can’t change that. I am loved. I am who I am and I’m glad. This too shall pass and I will survive. I shall survive to paint; to live life to it’s fullest, to be loved, and to love.

  • I must finish
    One last stroke
    Brush touches art
    Paint creates form
    My arm aches
    Life continues on

    Hair no more
    Pills for life
    No more strength
    Treatment without joy
    Heaven not sent
    Bow my head

    A surgeons cut
    Extension of life
    Emptiness if felt
    Loss of embrace
    One more stroke
    Of painters brush

    Canvas loves paint
    Art shows life
    Smile gives love
    Of emptiness undivine
    Eyes grow weary
    Soul aches freedom

    One more treatment
    Tests once again
    Praying for recession
    Hoping the best
    Hand clutching chest
    Heart feels remorse

  • She thought her hair was so beautiful. It was. She thought her lips filled minds whenever breath parted each fleshy side. It did. She wondered about those minds, their fantasies of her as lover. It made her feel strong inside.
    Now strength comes from within. No fantasies. Now she and I have left that sense of beauty, its surreal cost for the self buried within. Now my lips part to take in breath with gratitude when the pain leaves, and acceptance when all I can do is curse. That’s the ragged breath. Still, I am alive. I am here.

  • Marshall Norman Mccarthy January 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    ‘There, don’t you look better as a blonde?’
    No, she answered between his ears.
    ‘Come now, everyone likes a blonde.’
    But it’s not me. She was, as had been her habit, being stubborn.
    ‘Oh stop it. You never knew how pretty you could be.’
    You said that I was beautiful.
    ‘I did, didn’t I.’ Gently, he swept the brush across the canvas, finishing the last strand of blonde hair.
    You lied to me.
    ‘What, no!’ he shook his head.
    Then why blonde?
    ‘Fine!’ he tore down the painting, casting it to the floor. ‘Then you paint it!’

  • Dierra Harmony Logan January 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm


    I wonder what my life would be like without the cancer? Would I still be in London? I wonder… so, here I am lying on my bed thinking of my last chemo therapy. The doctors told me that it would be a rough journey the next couple of months. I decided that to pass the time I would paint; paint what I used to look like. I am always so peaceful when painting. Months later I’m done the painting. As I look at my painting I see a beautiful, peaceful smile … Forever young!

    13 yrs young

  • Detective Cratowski studied the photo with an introspective eye. The photo was of the deceased working on her last painting.

    Cratowski’s mind flooded, who was the subject, what was the significance of the artist’s feathered boa? Why was this photo left beside the body? Where was the painting now?

    The more he studied the print the more he felt the photographer was speaking to him. Was the photographer the murderer or a witness or just coincidental to the crime? Was it significant the painting was gone?

    Cratowski knew when these questions were answered the case would be resolved.

  • People often say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what of a painting? A painting… now that is worth so much more. A painting not only captures a moment, it captures the energy and thought put into every stroke of pigment. No layer of paint is without purpose; every shade and every contour conveys the moment an idea was struck within the artist. This moment is what makes looking at a painting so worthwhile, for you may stare into even the most abstract of paintings and still appreciate every moment of the experience.

  • I

    Why is she smiling at me??
    Eyes closed, it’s my inside she sees
    I may not have her lustre of gold…
    Her eternal youth, though I’m not very old

    She knows my truth, my self, my I
    She knows all that I am inside
    It’s all in her smile, she’s happy for me
    That I am now, all I could be

    Perhaps this is not according to you
    There may be things I can change, or more I could do
    But she knows and she shows it here on her face
    How happy I am here in my place

    Nancy Fraser (289-240-5421)

  • Survivor

    Sated, relaxed, so glad to be here
    No longer in worry, in strife, or in fear
    Of yesterday’s ghosts or tomorrow’s angst
    Finally present….to you Denise, thanks

    Yesterday’s portrait? A child you would see
    Nightmares and daymares… a face of worry
    That little girl is now this one here
    No facial scars from living in fear

    Tomorrow at one time, struck deep down inside
    A fear of unknown …. fear of the ride
    One day at a time I would say to myself
    At night when I closed off..all thoughts on a shelf

    I’m finally present …. finally free

    Nancy Fraser (

  • So Sad

    Yes, I am beautiful….do you know what’s inside?
    Do you know what I’m trying so hard to hide?
    Do you see in the paint strokes the sadness within?
    Do you see any errors? Omissions? Sin?

    Do you see that I’m drowning in depth of just pain?
    Do you see my tears falling like spring sheets of rain?
    Do you see all my losses, my yesterdays past?
    Do you see my genetics? My future cast?

    Do you see that this beauty I do try to surmount?
    Do you see that for me it’s what’s inside that counts?
    Sadly I do

    Nancy Fraser(

  • Free At Last

    Know why I’m smiling for you all to see
    Today is the first day, I’m finally free
    I’m pictured by many by what they want to see
    Not who I am … not what I am … not really ME

    What can’t you see that I’m not trying to hide?
    What can’t you see that’s been hidden inside?
    What did Denise not make obvious to you?
    What did my parents not want me to do?

    Come out and tell you I’m so proud to say
    I am who you see here and also, I’m gay

    Nancy Fraser (

    • Hi Fraser, I see you busking in the High Park area from time to time. I relaly dig your stuff. Keep it up Man! You’re like an old jazzman, reborn a few times over. Well, live it up. K.

  • Mirror Mirror

    This self portrait I’ve done here for you all to see
    Is truly what’s inside, when I look inside me
    Self Portrait?? I hear you, I understand
    My outside beauty is not quite this grand

    If you knew me, really knew the real me
    You’d be amazed how I captured all that is me
    Happy, content, sexy, elated,
    Artistic, talented, not fashion outdated

    So when you look at me again look down and deep
    You’ll see this beauty … this self-portrait, ME

    Nancy Fraser ( (289-240-5421)

  • Bliss

    What do YOU see here? Stand back and see
    How happy I am at this moment…it’s me
    Eloquence lacking at this moment in time
    So painted instead … this feeling, sublime

    Captured on canvas what words cannot say
    I’m reborn this morning, a new me today
    At just 1 minute past the start of this morn
    My first child, my heart beat, my baby was born

    All of you parents now look again at me
    Now that you’re looking what do you see?
    You! Though different in sizing and colour
    This painting is me, me now a mother!

    Nancy Fraser ( (289-240-5421)

  • Beauty is one of the greatest gifts our world has given us. Whether it is made by nature or engineered by humans, if we allow ourselves to take the time to appreciate something beautiful, it will brighten our world and bring us joy, hope and renewal; no matter how hopeless our situation may be.


    I paint her in parallel
    With the way I feel:
    Two sides of circumstance
    And our DNA.
    Marilyn, a fashion icon
    And prisoner of the press;
    And I, held hostage
    To cells gone awry.
    A feathered boa rests
    Upon my shoulders;
    An empathic tactile sense;
    While golden waves o’er lap
    My hairless head.
    I,a survivor;
    She, with frozen smile,
    Her own mortality made.

    (c)Alex Hamilton-Brown
    (613) 332-4405

  • Hair envy came early for me. It started with my first best-friend, she had long, flowing, thick hair. It was the color of chestnuts and sand. In the rain we would jump in puddles together. My hair drenched would lie lifeless against my face, like it had surrendered. Once dry, my hair would frizz out, like a dried dandelion eager for wind. My friend’s hair would fly around her head in perfect wet ringlets, making her brown hair chocolate color, highlighting the freckles painted across her nose. Once dry her hair naturally feathered, softly around her face. Damn I thought then, so unfair.

  • Beauty fleeting,
    Inside out
    Smile leaving
    Frown lines deepening
    I’m here, I matter.

    Hair falling
    Inside out
    Courage fading
    Heart sinking
    I’m here, I matter.

    Strength showing
    Inside out
    Newness beginning
    Life continues
    I’m here, I matter.

    Surviving instinct
    Inside out
    Battle lines drawn
    I’m winning
    I’m here, I matter.

    Glory hallelueah,
    Inside out
    Recovering and reclaiming
    Returning to myself
    I’m here, I matter.

  • My teacher said, “Paint what you see. Reality is your strength.”
    But there is a new reality – you’ve gone from the world.
    I can see you no longer.

    I scroll through my photos and you are not there.
    Well, you are, hiding behind your hand or your glorious hair.
    “Not nearly ready for my closeup, Ms. DeMille” you’d say, laughing.

    So I paint what my mind’s eye sees: our last night together.
    We slipped into our sexy little black dresses and adorned ourselves
    With dollar-store boas.

    Before I picked up my brush, I shaved my head
    To honour you.

  • Hmmm…

    You may see hair, I see survival
    You may see beauty, I see strength
    You may see eyes shut, I see mind open
    You may see red lips, I see love

    You may pause to take in the beauty
    I pause to wallow in today
    You may walk swiftly on by
    I stop and breathe

    You may see desire, I see content
    You may look at, I look within
    You may want changes, I am sated
    You may not like, I just love

    You take my world … I will take yours
    You may find …. you just may not

    Nancy Fraser (

  • I see this woman, without a face, deep in conversation with a canvas
    Her brush collides with the earth to create eternal life, liberating everything vulnerable within her
    I see this woman, without a voice, mirrored in a portrait of youthful beauty
    Using loud strokes to lengthen her hair, she bares the pain we normally keep tucked away
    I see the gray in this woman, the life that exists between strong black contours and soft white lines,
    Her choices. Her passions. Her struggles. Her FIGHT
    I see this woman clearly

    She’s smiling

    And her smile is the colour of hope

  • It seemed like just yesterday they said how I looked so much like her,
    And with each stroke of the brush grieving the loss of what was.

    With each stripping of dignity I acknowledged the lies that I believed made me beautiful,
    Made me a woman, made me whole.

    Instead I find what has emerged was an essence of a greater truth…A woman with eloquence and richness.

    For with each precious price paid a more valuable gift bestowed.
    And with each staggering fear of loss, a fuller life has now begun.

  • ME

    This mirror I’ve been looking in
    Did not make me close my eyes
    I love my soul reflection
    Eyes shut, I realize

    Please do not take these statements
    And recall all my flaws
    I know I have a lot of them
    Some of them had cause

    Important to remember
    There’re not the best of me
    They do not take away my pride
    Of who I was….. I am….. to be

    Nancy Fraser (

  • The green-eyed monster
    with her crowning glory
    looks at me
    and tells her story.

    She smiled With her flowing locks of gold
    All her happiness Disappeared when she was told

    That woman in the picture
    never experienced pain
    and never fell asleep worrying
    If she would wake up again.

    That woman in the picture
    thought she would live forever
    now she’s counting down the days until
    Forever turns to never.

    That beauty is who I was and she never knew pain
    but my new beauty is in my strength,
    strength that I want others to gain

  • Who I was, so care free
    A woman without fear
    Now I see
    It’s meant to be
    I know why I am here.

    There’s poison flowing through my veins
    Destroying part of me every day
    But not just my body, my soul as well
    Slowly withering away.

    But now I feel no envy
    Of her carefree life or flowing hair
    Because I know that in order to be who I am today,
    First I had to start there.

    I won the battle
    I won the war
    Even though the enemy’s still trying
    To settle a score.

    We must all strive.

  • Alexandria Woodland January 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I was in my room wondering if i would ever get rid of cancer. I know that a lot of people get rid of cancer. I hope that I’m another one of those people! When i paint a picture it really relaxes me and i know everything is going to be all right. This time i decided to paint a picture of myself. I know I’m going to win my battle with cancer, and from that day on everything is going to be all right. I still wonder to this day why such innocent people,animals are affected with cancer.

  • I see the changes physically, as my hair gets thinner and my skin gets more pale, I feel the changes internally but I tell myself, “I can do this”, “I will survive”, “I will beat this thing”, “it’s all going to be over soon”. After each Chemo treatment which started shortly after having a Masectomy, I felt and saw my appearance change but | am the same woman as I was before this horrific disease, a mother, a wife, a teacher and a fighter. As I dress in my finest, I sit down and finish the painting I had started at the begining of this journey. My long beautiful hair, a charismatic smile and as I finsih I say to myself, “I will survive”.

  • The image of his transformation was nearly complete.
    He could feel the change spreading through his body with each brush stroke. The clothes, makeup, walk, and voice were only the surface changes – the real difference was deeper, a profound metamorphosis that had started in his heart, in his mind, in his soul.
    One last detail remained – his hair. Wigs looked like wigs. He had shaved his head to better accommodate wearing them, but they still looked artificial.
    He could not imitate her beautiful hair. What he could not copy, he had to take.
    The screaming lasted for hours.

  • The nurses watched as she painstakingly created her art, an everyday occurrence. Always she wore the same dress, sat in the same place and painted the same woman, the only thing that ever changed was the colour of her boa. They knew the woman in the painting was her sister who died a year ago of cancer. Her head had been shaved in support of her sisters diagnosis, now it was more of a tribute. She came here after her sisters death when she sunk deep into depression. But they knew today was a good day, today the boa was pink.

  • Crowds would gather to watch her paint. Everyday she sat in the hospital lobby head shaven, dressed finely with a feather boa on. She would paint hoping to take some fear away from those there for cancer treatments, give them some beauty to distract them from harsh realities of their world. Sometimes they would ask her why she wears the boa, always she replied, “it was a gift from my courageous sister to bring joy to my world long after she lost her battle to cancer, now I want to share the joy she gave me joy”.

  • Today she dressed up for the occasion, today she would finish what will be her last painting. Her sister helped her slip into the black dress they had bought last year in Paris and with a laugh had decided to accessorize with a pink boa. Both were memories of happier times. She was dying, everyday holding the paintbrush was harder, her eyesight grew blurry and her headaches stronger. But she was determined the cancer would not take her until she had finished her painting, it would give her family something to remember her. With one final stroke it was finished.

  • Today was peaceful, she had decided to paint today. On painting days she always painted the same woman. A hauntingly beautiful version of the person she once was years ago before the accident. Now her hair grew only in some spots because others were riddled by scars from the operation which saved her life. She had cried the first time she shaved the ugly sparse hairs which had managed to grow on her head. Her nurses were watchful by the door, she was prone to violent outbursts but they to knew today was peaceful, today the boa was pink.

  • What I see in these still pools of paint is the reflection of what I am inside. Today I celebrate the life I have had with my long flowing locks of hair. They gave me the strength I needed. The peace I’ve sought. The happiness I’ve found, and the love I feel.
    Although now I have to say goodbye, I have survived, and this smile I see is one of triumph.

  • There lying! She’s real. She has to be. Look at my painting! How could I paint something so real so detailed, of something that does not exist. The doctors are lying to me. They must be. I remember they day I picked up her dress from the cleaners. They tried to take it from me. But I put it on so they couldn’t. They say I am imagining her. But I remember living with her, walking with her, Hell even talking to her. How can I have imagined a life with her? Where did she go? I miss her!

  • “That is perfect my dear.”
    “Can you see it?”
    “See what sweetheart?”
    “The beauty?”
    “Of Course.”
    “Can you feel it?”
    “Feel what sweetheart?”
    “The love?”
    “With every breath.”

    Watching the tears run down my husband’s face, realizing saying goodbye is inevitable.

    My hand shakes as I gently brush the last stroke against the canvas, painting a face I once knew.
    She is so beautiful, full of life, full of love.
    The tears begin to roll down my cheek, admitting to myself I have not much time.

    The women on this canvas…..She is courageous, she is strong. She is me.
    This is not goodbye my love, for this is me. Remember me brave, strong and true.
    I love you; my very soul destroyed at the thought of touching you becoming my past.
    I fought so hard, I felt so deep, I never gave up. You never gave up.
    Remember my love….Remember my eyes, remember my touch. Remember my smile for it was created by you.

  • Alexandria Woodland, Age 11 January 15, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    It was a Saturday night; I was at home sitting in a chair. Deep inside me I was aching to pick up a brush and start to paint. I laid a canvas on the easel and picked up a brush to dip into the wet paint. My paint brush whipped across the canvas. I formed a face delicately and added the long blonde hair. After, I added the necessary details to the face like eyes, a mouth and finally the nose. I let my painting dry. It looked phenomenal. Nothing can stop me from being an artist. Not even cancer!

  • Will I now be immortal?

    These golden tresses forged in resin and wax and pigment are my anchor

    An anchor to ground this flailing vessel to the sandy earth leagues below

    Temporarily tethered against rocks that will dash it to pieces

    But not yet

    Still, when at last my iron crumbles and my moorings wash away

    This golden flag

    This flat life

    Will proclaim, I am here, I am fluttering in the wind

    Even after my vessel has floundered and splintered into dust in the sand

  • Unwrapped

    This package is not perfect
    Though you may disagree
    Because of what you’re looking at
    Because of what you see

    If you could look inside … not at
    And listen with your heart
    You’d see all, the whole of me
    Not just the outside part

    And … now, am I still valuable?
    To you, or will you walk away?
    Knowing now just who I am …
    can you love me anyway?

    Nancy Fraser

  • Ecstasy

    That’s what I feel when I think of you
    You, who I brought into this world
    You, my precious reason to breathe
    You, my little girl

    Life’s complications thrown at me
    Loses intended duress
    When I stop and think of you
    It stops intended stress

    If a genie gave me just one wish
    You ask, “what would that be”?
    To be blessed with a child like you
    You are the best of me!

    I’m proud I am your mother
    If I weren’t, I still would say
    I am blessed that you are in my life
    Each and every way

    Nancy Fraser

  • My Friends
    I love you all, my dear, dear friends
    Your love, my wings to fly
    Each time I feel I can’t go on
    On your love, I rely

    I know it’s unconditional
    Or you would not be here
    Losing you, a horrible thought
    Strikes me down in fear

    So thank you all for staying
    And being by my side
    Thank you all for all you do
    Creating this fun ride

    If I could pay you handsomely
    For all you’ve given me
    You’d never want for anything
    The best your life would be
    Nancy Fraser

  • Falling …

    into memories, and oh,
    how they make me smile
    I think of us and what we’ve done
    Smiling all the while

    Do you remember when we ?
    And then we thought, why not?
    Laughed until our stomachs hurt
    And laughed at just the thought?

    Can you recall that crazy day?
    Not that one, but the other
    We swore that we would tell no one
    Especially not our mothers

    That’s why I sit here smiling
    As it comes back to me
    Our treasured times we’ve had together
    More of them to be …
    More of them to be …

    Nancy Fraser

  • A beautiful icon
    Known world wide
    Related to me
    By the struggles inside

    As odd as it seems
    Our worlds connected
    Struggling for survival
    We were affected

    When I look at you
    Do you know what I see?
    Other than cosmetics
    I can see me

    Remembering who we were
    Before the diseases
    And wondering who’ll be
    When it all ceases

    We are a legacy
    Both, in our own right
    And I’ll always remember you
    As I continue the fight …

  • Healing

    Within this smile there is a hug
    A big one just for you
    You warm my heart each passing day
    Since the day we met, us two

    Hug me tight so you can feel
    My energy released
    Within this loving hug with you
    Our depth of love increased

    If hugs could heal all problems
    My loving arms would be
    Your medicine for all that ails
    And worrying set free

    You, you are my medicine
    Your return hug is so pure
    Together, our hugs healing
    Gifting me with cure

    Nancy Fraser

  • This Smile

    I’ve always stopped and smelled the roses
    In oh so many ways
    I’m always present in the moment
    So I don’t waste any days

    I’ve never had to eat an elephant
    One bite at a time
    Never saw a problem quite that large
    Perhaps, challenges, sometimes

    Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder
    But is it not there for all to see?
    If not, I do not understand
    Why it’s called, beauty?

    Adages, for me, are sometimes baffling
    They make me think alot
    I live every day like it’s my last
    Like I’ve only got ONE shot

    Nancy Fraser

  • My Wish

    This cancer doesn’t own me
    It’s squatting here, within
    It’s not polite at all in manner
    Creating my life’s spin

    Some days it roars its ugly head
    Sometimes, it sleeps so still
    Vacations it does take sometimes
    Then I forget that I am ill

    Sometimes worried, because cancer
    Won’t allow me to erase
    Just when I think I can relax
    It puts me in my place

    Though I’m not alone, I sometimes feel it
    Like it’s a fight for just us two
    My smile wishing soon a cure for this
    So it cannot, take on, you!

    Nancy Fraser

  • When I was young, I did behold
    The family friend in time to be told.
    A wail and a scream shattered the dreams
    Of befriending me at the age of three.

    When I was twenty-five, I wanted to die.
    The bacteria consumed my kidneys.
    If one were to choose, the bacteria should lose,
    But the pain said otherwise.
    The family friend at my bedside,
    “Away, you fool,” I beseeched of he.

    At forty-eight,
    A feat too great
    Of cancer to believe
    That no more
    In bones
    Did it naw
    And decay.
    When I
    Did he say,
    “Welcome home.”


    Others, as well as myself, thought I had it all.

    “You are soooooo lucky!”

    I’d smile in empty acknowledgement. I’d heard it so often it began to fall on deaf ears … the same ears once shielded by the long and lustrous locks that curled up about my face in blissful ignorance … and then dropped like bombshells to the hard and certain ground … dropped as ominous notes in a thunderous lullaby that rocked me … to sleep … hairless … a babe in God’s hands.

    “Paint me lucky” I begged.

  • My name is Denise and I’m an artist.

    I’ve drawn portraits of flowers and mountains.

    Today, I’ve drawn the last portrait of my life. I’ve drawn how I want this world to remember me. I’ve drawn a happy, successful, vibrant business woman. I don’t want to be remembered as another victim to cancer but as one who won life. When I open my eyes in heaven, I want to hear “Well-done faithful servant”. I want to stand unashamed for not burying my talent in the ground but having used it wisely.

    Friend, what talent are you painting or burying today?

  • I love life and I am very happy. I close my eyes and smile. I am beautiful on the outside and on the inside. I feel glamorous, sexy and strong. It feels so wonderul I almost want to cry with both joy and sorrow. I am alive! I know now to live life each day by doing what makes me happy and by doing that I will also make my loved ones happy as we share in the joy of life together because it is so precious.

  • Paint on canvas
    a work of art
    an interpretation
    of energy and thought ?

    You think
    that I do not see her
    that I do not exist
    as living energy

    But I do

    Within her vulnerability,
    the essence of life
    shines simply
    of Brilliance

    With each choice
    of colour
    of stroke
    perspectives of self emerge

    And you see me

    Difference may be observed,
    a separation
    of artist
    and creation

    Although we appear distinct
    we are
    without doubt,

  • She was experiencing the semicolon of her life, where her sentence could have ended but didn’t. It was at risk, and along the way she may have lost a few words, a few pieces of herself, but her sentence was still whole, because she kept it together. She battled to keep it together, and to not miss those lost words.

  • “It’s a fake”said the art dealer.“Delia Winwoorth would have never painted it.”
    I was astounded. Granny, my dearest, my sweetest unforgettable love of my life, who rocked me on her knees, who put band-aids on my bleeding scrapes, who was gone but never forgotten, had been displaying a fake in her living room all these years?
    —That can’t be. My Granny was a friend of Delia. I’m pretty sure it was a personal gift from her, and she was a great artist.
    —Oh yes. An authentic Winworth would sell at auction conservatively . . . between one and two hundred thousand dollars.
    —Oh my god . . .

  • Marilyn in the Ether

    Inspiration receives the artist
    the paint, the brush

    Canvas captures pigment
    the strokes, the beauty

    Eyes scan the image
    memory forges a copy

    Beauty, memory and painting fade
    one to time, one to the ether and one to dust

    Take heed beauty and soul
    still trapped within the flesh

    Make time for art and artist
    before it is time to rest

  • Whatever shall I create upon this blank canvas before me? My mind wanders free of thought as the brush takes over streaking my love and emotions upon the page. It is almost complete already. Just a couple more brush strokes and then as quickly as it began it is now done. It is my greatest creation and with it I shall inspire all of mankind. Now I am so weak and weary that I really should rest, but without even thinking I have somehow already placed a new blank canvas before me. Surely I must have time to begin another.

  • I awake and gaze into the mirror realizing that I am myself again. Nothing has changed. To make sure my reflection is real I must touch it, but I reach with fear. I know the hidden evil can somehow appear and draw me through at any time, back into the darkness once again. What a horrible nightmare of pain and torture I keep having. I am glad to be back in my world full of joy and happiness where everything is always perfect. I smile as I admire myself, comforted knowing I am still strong. And I am still beautiful.

  • Don’t pity me, don’t you dare
    I’m power with a paintbrush
    Kundalini energy
    coiled and ready to strike
    softened by a cocktail dress
    and feather boa.

  • Sometimes I find myself
    brushing dreams
    Things are rarely
    what they seem
    Face of the past
    ’cause now I know
    Blonde’s no match for
    a red feather boa.

  • SUBMISSIONS TO THE JANUARY CONTEST ARE CLOSED as of 11:59pm on January 31st. Thank you for all submissions. If you’d like to enter our February contest, please click here. Best of luck to all entrants!

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