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    VOXA VOICES | Artist Lisa Blasdell

    lisa-blasdell-artworkArtwork by Lisa Blasdell

    Art is one of the many forms that allows us to trust our instincts and be defined by our own interpretations. It is not a destination, rather a safe place between places––where we can nurture and heal, rage and strip narratives that are laden with untruths, dismantle beliefs or become grounded, be vulnerable or grow strong, be lost or found, give nonjudgemental permission to feel however the hell we feel, and to be curious explorers of what pours out from within. 

    Anyone can be an artist. Everyone is an artist.

    After losing one of her twins during pregnancy, featured artist, Lisa Blasdell, walks every year to support the March of Dimes Walk for Babies. The first year, she banned together with fellow NICU moms raising over $40,000!  She currently resides in Belmont, New Hampshire where she works as a Learning & Development Specialist for a local energy company and enjoys playing with her 5-year-old son and cooking new recipes with her husband in her spare time. 

    lisa-blasdell-artist

    Lisa Blasdell

    Art has played a unique and significant role in Lisa’s life, which I will let her tell you about in our Q + A below. While she has explored paper quilling, scrapbooking, spray paint, stained glass, paper mache, and photography over the years, she’s currently most engrossed in fluid acrylics, also known as ‘acrylic pouring”. 

    How has art helped shape who you are as a person? 

    Art shaped my personhood; it taught me that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. When I create something I may not be fond of, I often find someone else absolutely loves it. 

    Also, my artistic abilities have always steered me towards career opportunities where I’m able to have a creative outlet as well. 

    Has art been a form of healing or an extension of your voice? 

    My time spent creating is when I gain my strength. I reflect, release stress, and––much like the art form––go with the flow! I deal with PTSD, depression, and anxiety from a very difficult IVF twin pregnancy. The pregnancy resulted in the loss of one twin just shy of 5 months pregnant, and the remaining twin surviving after being born 7 weeks premature with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). I lived at Boston Children's Hospital for about 2 months after our son was born. Our survivor is now 5 years old, but without art during this difficult time, I would not be the mother, wife, friend or daughter that I am today. 

    lisa-blasdell-artwork

    Artwork by Lisa Blasdell

    What ideals did you once have about womanhood that you no longer have? 

    I previously thought that women had to be quiet, agreeable and often keep their true thoughts and wants to themselves. As the world around me changed and I became my own woman, it allowed me to understand that my voice is just as important as any other. I have a purpose and a message to share. 

    How has art helped you ‘undefine’ womanhood for yourself? 

    My pregnancy and postpartum time had an immense effect on me and my mental health. Producing art helps me move through times of joy and hardship with a greater perspective and peace. 

    As a society, we suppress discussions about miscarriage and infant loss. It shouldn’t be taboo. It is not something a woman "gets over" because "it wasn't meant to be."  I want to redefine (and create space for) this conversation because I NEVER want any woman or man to feel as isolated or alone as I did. My story represents 1 in 5 who have experienced a miscarriage or child loss and 1 in 10 who have experienced a premature birth. With so many people impacted by this topic, it’s important that we’re able to talk openly about it and eliminate the stigma associated with it. 

    I’d love to help inform others of the available resources and options they have when faced with a medically complex pregnancy or birth. This could be financial, mental health or hospital housing options––hospital life is expensive but not everyone knows of their options

    lisa-blasdell-artist

    Lisa Blasdell

    You may not even know what you’re being healed of, but [creating art] has a way of making you feel better.
                      — LISA BLASDELL

    What lessons has art taught you over the years? 

    Art has taught me that in life you can make lots of mistakes, but what really matters is how you adapt and overcome those mistakes. It has also revealed how healing the process of creating art can be. You may not even know what you're being healed of, but it has a way of making you feel better! 

    Tell us about a woman that inspires you.

    My best friend, Charilyn Gauntt. She has dealt with a chronic illness called hypoparathyroidism since the age of 7. Originally, her parents were told she would not live past age 14, yet here she is, going into her 36th year of life. She is selfless, funny, and intelligent but her perseverance through all of life's challenges is what inspires me most. 

    Is your art for sale?

    Absolutely! My in-laws and I have a Facebook page for our various art forms under Blasdell Studios .

    lisa-blasdell-artwork

    Artwork by Lisa Blasdell

    Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.
                        — RIKKI ROGERS
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