Grief and Beauty

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Visual Inspiration, Written Inspiration | 6 comments

I have lots of work to do. And I have two friends who are suffering enormously with health issues. These two situations do not work really well for me, I have trouble sometimes moving through grief and creating beauty at the same time. As an artist, this is my job, to feel, interpret, explore, illustrate, experience and sometimes, deliver the goods wrapped up and ready.

This time it is harder to do that for me, because my talented and beautiful friend is dying. She is a calligrapher and an activist, a real thinker and hoper and believer. In thinking about her I found a book I painted years ago that applies, both because the words are by Wendell Berry who is also an activist (and a farmer, and a poet), and because it was a calligraphic work of mine and she would like it.

Here are the spreads of this small book.








The book was done with sumi ink, acrylics inks on Arches Text wove. The calligraphy was done with gouache.

Searching for beauty, anywhere, is what I need to be doing right now. I am so, so grateful to have this creative outlet.



  1. Jill,
    Dealing with grief and pain is sometimes so lonely, thank you for sharing.

  2. I am so very sorry about your friend. It seems so unfair when the world loses a good soul.

  3. So sorry Jill! Your book is beautiful and I’m sure your friend will be comforted by it. XO.

  4. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful….

  5. You’ve captured a dichotomy I often feel – both joy and sadness, as in my mother’s dementia and at the same time, the joy of redeemed relationship with her or the joy of friendship and the pain of my friend’s serious illness. Beautiful.

  6. These pages are lovely and unique. Very sorry for your friend.

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