By Leslie Neustadt

February 2nd, 2020

Rooted is a collage. I used acrylics for the background, along with a polymer face and composite elements.

Making visual art, as well as writing poetry and essays, have been central to my healing journey. Both forms of expression enable me to express my emotions in a variety of ways. I have used poetry to document significant aspects of my cancer journey. Though most of my artwork is not focused on cancer, I find the process of making visual art to be healing. I often work with a group of women who are non-judgmental and provide support for each other. While some of my creative expression was done at Gilda’s Club in the Capital Region of New York, I have found my own group for writing and making visual art. There is something healing in being with a caring group of women who aren’t worrying about the final product. We consider being creative a healing art and a spiritual practice.
I have Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and amyloidosis, both of which are incurable. I have been though years of treatment and am very fortunate to be in a durable partial remission. I took early retirement from practicing law in large part because of my health challenges. Crucial to the healing qualities of my visual expression is not having objectives, other than self-expression and relaxation.