Embracing a road not chosen is a choice that is put in front of all of us when facing an illness or disease. How we choose to deal with our emotions and our pain differs, but we all find ways to cope to get us through each day. Painting provides me with that outlet to express what lies within my heart and reflects my personal vulnerabilities, as well as my many successes. I feel incredibly grateful to be able to pursue my passion, and share with others my own journey. Marfan syndrome, for me, has been many things depending on the day, month, or year. It has been a curse and a blessing. Really, it is just a part of who I am.
My love of nature takes an active role in my work whether I am painting or working in beautiful pieces of glass. My unique connection with nature and my intrigue with the human form are driven by my fascination with things that are vulnerable, yet have incredible strength. I believe that humans mirror that vulnerability and that our great inner strength changes and empowers us.
My new series of nine 12” x 12” paintings is a reflection of my own “Afflictions.” As a woman, I feel we all try to hide and place a protective façade around what we feel are negative attributes instead of embracing these layers that have contributed to the person we have become. I am not just a person with two mechanical heart valves, a scar down her chest, or a connective tissue disease. These are my vulnerabilities, but they are also my greatest strengths, and I need to celebrate them. So, here on bold, colorful canvases, I peeled away my façade to show you my layers.
Tracy Fitzgerald, of Lebanon Township, NJ, is a long-time member of The Marfan Foundation. Her exhibit will be on display throughout the month of May at the SOMI Fine Art Gallery in Flemington, NJ.