Prepare To Live

Prepare To Live - the second painting in my new series The Beyond Cancer Collection. This painting is a tribute to all cancer survivors, as well as to the surviving family members of those whom we have lost to this disease. When you have cancer, your mind is often filled with thoughts of preparing for death. But many people fight the battle, beat the odds, and go on to live long and wonderful lives filled with passion and purpose. I hope this piece inspires you to prepare to live.

For those who have lost a loved one, it can be hard to imagine life without them. Grief can chip away at our own will to carry on. It's not easy to put the pieces back together after a loss, and learn to thrive once again. I hope this piece inspires you to prepare to live.

Yesterday, an amazing woman I recently me lost her battle with cancer.  Her name was Katie.  I recently wrote a book, and the publishing company that I worked with often publishes around 10 books at a time.  Katie's book launched when mine did.  I felt like I knew her before I met her because I had a chance to read her story in the book she left as a legacy in this world.  I was blessed to sit with her for 3 days during our launch event.  Katie touched my life for a brief time, but will stay with me for years to come.  You can see in the painting near the picture of the queen there its a K inside of a heart.  That's for you Katie.    

I am sharing the link to her book below - The Courage Club - Katie's own courageous journey through cancer.  Good words to live by.

Prepare To Live - a bit a beauty in the stark world of a devastating illness.  (A special note - 50% of all proceeds from sales of The Beyond Cancer Collection will go to our local cancer center for research.)

Hope - The First In My New Series About Cancer

Hello friends.  I am delighted to share with you my new painting entitled "Hope".  Hope is the first in my new series about cancer.  Most of you have either had cancer or have loved someone who has had cancer.  It's a devastating illness. I wanted to create a bit of beauty to counteract the stark reality that is the disease of cancer... and Hope is my initial canvas to lead the way.

My little sister fought lymphoma twice...and won.  My friend fought lung cancer twice...and is winning.  I know dozens of people who have beat this horrific illness, many who are entrenched mid-battle, and so many more who didn't survive the fight.  This series is dedicated to them - all of them.  


Each aspect of this little 4x4 canvas is packed with detail.  The sides are elegantly crafted with blacken and white designs.  The front is a mixture of collage, micro bead art, a jewel & tulle embellishment, and the inspirational message complete with a little glitter.  

My new series is entitled Beyond Cancer.  For people who have survived, there is life beyond cancer that when cured or in remission, may still not be simple or easy.  Cancer forever changes you and I hope my art helps inspire your journey as you prepare to keep living.  For those who are going through treatment, I hope this series is an uplifting message of hope that there is more to you than the fight against cancer, and beyond your illness is a life filled with spots of beauty.  To my dear readers who have lost a loved one to cancer, let this evoke a special memory that makes you smile as you move forward.  

As a special note, 50% of all sale proceeds from my Beyond Cancer Series will be donated to our local Cancer Center for research.

August 07, 2016 by Mary Sterk

Well Behaved Women

As women, we often worry about how we are viewed by judgmental eyes of the world. There are so many pressures to fit in, to be this way or that. But living life in such a limited way will also keep us from exploring a much more exhilarating existence. What might we do, what might we experience, who might we be … if we just broke all the rules and followed our true calling or our hearts desires? After all, “Well behaved women rarely make history” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

This piece is available as a 10x8 canvas, and is 1/2 inch thick. It does not need to be framed to hang on your wall.  It is also available in limited edition prints in both 8x10 and 5x7 and comes matted in black.   This piece will look wonderful anywhere you need inspiration to go out there and be who you truly wish to be!

Find Well Behaved Women right here!

Be Nice

The words in your own head matter.  Be nice.  

We all have a voice in our head that tells us the negative things - you are too fat, not smart enough, unattractive, not good with money, irresponsible, a screw up….. this voice can go on and on filling us with self doubt, fear, and self loathing.  Most of the time this voice goes unchecked.  Most of the time, the sad truth is that we actually believe this voice, and we shape our lives and decisions around it.

It doesn't have to be this way.  When you start to pay attention to your own thoughts, you can start to question them.  When you start to question that little voice, you create a bit of space for new thoughts to emerge.  New thoughts that are kinder…. nicer…. and just as, if not MORE, true.  

In my painting above I depicted this by writing down all my negative thoughts about myself in red inside the head.  I then overlaid them with the thoughts that are kinder, nicer and much more true.  These nicer thoughts are the ones I want to pay attention to.  They are the ones I choose to believe.  And these nice thoughts are absolutely the ones I will shape my life and decisions around.  I hope you do too.

P.S.  The original of this has already sold, but if you need a reminder to Be Nice, you can find a print of the piece right here.  Enjoy!

August 16, 2015 by Mary Sterk

All Geared Up...

Gears Gears

It's kind of fun to play with some new things, and the last two paintings I have done included gears!    I like the way they look on a canvas.  It makes me think about time passing and the mechanics of things working together.  Here is a close up of those lovely gears. IMG_0071 Playing with texture has become a hobby of mine.  I love it when a painting makes you want to reach out and touch it.  If there is enough texture, I think it draws the viewer in… makes you want to just graze the top of it with your fingertips. This next piece also features some gears, and it got me to thinking about how our minds work.  How the gears in our minds go round and round.  We can gear up for good thoughts and great lives.  Or we can gear down for depressing thoughts and loose the joy in life.  I certainly prefer the former!  And that is what this piece is all about.  These are the thoughts I hope that inhabit your mind!

The Gears In Your Mind The Gears In Your Mind

And of course, the close up for you! IMG_0078   Makes you want to reach out and touch - right?  Both of these pieces are available for sale.  Just click the links on the pictures to find them. I wish you a fabulous day and hope that the gears in your life are all turning in the right direction!!

She Is Becoming....

[caption id="attachment_1046" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]She Is Becoming She Is Becoming
Prints Available Here[/caption] She Is Becoming.... Every woman lives through her own transformational journey. She grows, she changes, she becomes the best version of herself.  I have been on my own journey - changing and developing as I find my way within the world of art and creativity.  Sometimes this change is welcome and joyful, and sometimes it is challenging and painful.  But I do believe that all change leads towards the life we are desiring.  Often the path there is twisty and turny and different than what we imagined, but the journey itself is filled with moments of exquisite love, happiness and enchantment. When this painting developed into a butterfly, I knew it would become a painting about change.  The day I added the woman in the center of it, I knew it would be about transformation.  I had so much fun selecting the words on this - thinking of all of the things a woman thinks about as she grows into herself.  She thinks about beauty, grace, and fashion.  She feel sexy, alluring, and bold.  Chic and sassy are part of her makeup - and stepping into her vibrancy is so empowering.  I also had fun playing with the title.  She is Becoming.... something new.  And the word becoming also means beautiful.  A fun and inspiring little play on words. I hope she inspires you as you become the best version of yourself on your own journey!    

The Very Thing....

[caption id="attachment_817" align="aligncenter" width="987"] The Very Thing
Available for Purchase Here[/caption] The Very Thing You Are Trying To Avoid Is Exactly What You Must Face. (A Brand New Body Fab-YOU-lous Print!) So true. In this life we spend a lot of time avoiding things - negative emotions, changes in our jobs, relationship issues, internal conflicts, family dynamics....and the list goes on and on. Most of us have gotten really good at avoiding the hard stuff.  It's much easier to bury our heads in the sand and hope that things magically will change without action on our part.  Now don't get me wrong - I believe in magic...but I also believe that the magic lies within the process of facing down the things we most want to avoid. Most often we avoid things because we are afraid.  Afraid of the pain or hurt that may come with facing things.  What I have learned is that the fear of the pain I am avoiding is SO much bigger than the pain itself.  If you face the hard things - it might hurt.  But if you lean into that hurt, really concentrate on feeling it, the pain will soon subside.  And on the other side of that pain is a peacefulness that is beautiful. We also are often afraid of change.  If we face something, we may become aware of the need for change.  You can't un-do awareness.  Change can be hard.  It can mean loss or just as easily mean gain or success.  Either direction can be daunting.  I do believe that dealing with change is much better than dealing with avoidance.  In fact one of my mottos is: "This will make my life easier, more fun, and expand my possibilities". That mantra has gotten me through a lot of changes or situations that would have been much easier to avoid.  So to move forward or create any type of positive change, you must face the things you are trying so hard to avoid. A better future is possible, and it can start today by facing it head on!  

Your Worth...

Your Worth - Click Here To Purchase

Your Worth Is Never Measured By A Number On The Scale. Isn't that the truth? So many of us measure our very worth by that tricky little number. We give the scale SO much power over us - over our self esteem.  Wouldn't it be nice if we stepped on a scale and what it reported back was that we were AWESOME?  GORGEOUS?  ENOUGH? It's time to stop measuring your worth by what you see on the scale. You are enough. Right now. No matter what the number on the scale is - you are enough! And the first person you need to convince of that is - yourself. Now I'm not saying that being at a healthy weight isn't a good idea.  It is.  You and I both should definitely strive for that for a whole host of reasons.  But I am saying that a healthy weight does not equal what you are worth.  And a healthy weight should never dictate your self esteem, your sense of self worth, and your own believe in your abilities to be awesome.  So take this to heart.  You are Body Fab-YOU-lous! Prints of this piece are available for purchase here.  They look like this!

Alluring...Apple Bottomed...Amazing - Rock Your Look!

[caption id="attachment_584" align="aligncenter" width="692"] Alluring, Apple Bottomed, Amazing - Rock Your Look
Click Here To Purchase[/caption] We all have our look. Girl - it's time to ROCK IT!   Some of us are pear shaped women.  Some of us are hourglass shaped women.  And some of us are apple bottomed.  Whatever you are - it's time to love your look!  I believe beauty shines through more in holding yourself confidently rather than by the size of your jeans.  Enough with the message that we need to disguise our look.  Embrace your look! This is the latest painting I have done in y Body Fab-YOU-lous line.    The full line can be found here.  The Body Fab-YOU-lous line is dedicated to helping women find peace and end their struggle with weight loss and body image challenges. I create this line because it comes from my heart - from my own struggle over the years with finding peace within a body that is not model perfect.  You can too.  You truly ARE Body Fab-YOU-lous! Choose today to Rock Your Look!

Introducing.... the Body Fab-YOU-lous line!

[caption id="attachment_541" align="aligncenter" width="692" caption="Click here to purchase!"][/caption] It's finally here!  I am excited to unveil my new art line - Body Fab-YOU-lous!   The Body Fab-YOU-lous line is dedicated to helping women find peace and end their struggle with weight loss and body image challenges. We all spend so much time wishing for that thinner version of ourself to reappear. But here is what I have learned - it's not the thinner version that gives us what we want. What we want is to FEEL the way we think being thinner will feel. We want to be energized. We want to feel strong, lean, and alive. We want to feel beautiful. And we want to feel free - free from the struggle of weight loss and body image negativity. I don't think I have all the answers, and I am certainly not inside what I perceive the ideal body to be.  But I have learned how to find peace from what has seemed like a never ending struggle - peace right now as I am today. The key to ending the weight loss and body image struggles that so many women have begins with changing the thoughts that fill up our own minds. I hope my art in the line will be a beautiful reminder that a better future is possible - one filled with belief in your own beauty!  I want to help women believe - believe in themselves and that peace can be found right now, in the body you inhabit today. The full line can be found by clicking here!  Enjoy the images! Prints of my work can be purchased on my Etsy Store.  Come on over and have a look at the different inspirational weight loss art.  You truly ARE Body Fab-YOU-lous!