Where to begin

Well, it’s been a while since I really have written a true blog post. I guess for those of you that still follow I should maybe go ahead and let you know a little of why I sort of stopped blogging, filming and perhaps became sort of anti-social.

In the last three years I have dealt with quite a bit of change, more than I of course wanted to. Three years ago my youngest daughter ( as some of you may know) was diagnosed with two inoperable brain tumors. She was born with a neurological disorder called Neurofibromatosis (NF1). This disease does cause tumors to grow anywhere inside or outside the body along or intertwined with in the nerves. As a mother who approaches most of any health condition as natural as possible, I opted out of chemo, as chemo does not really help NF tumors. It would basically have been “let’s poison your child but we aren’t really sure if it will work”. SOOOO… I did my research and became proactive, and raised money to move to Colorado to try the cannabis oil for her, along with all organic diet with whole real foods ( this included lots of salads and smoothies) and herbal vitamins. We were there for 7 months and Mavia’s results were great, her tumors were shrinking and she was doing amazing. However, she along with myself could not adjust to the altitude. She also became very stressed being away from her daddy. He had plans to move to Colorado too, but soon found out his mother was dying of cancer. It was a horrible time for all of us. On top of  that, one day, I woke up and my face blew up so bad I was unrecognizable. I was very ill, bedridden, fever, pain…the works. No one could help me other than antibiotics. Once my face got better and I seem to heal…I suffered from severe spinal pain. It never went away. It all became too much and I couldn’t stay in Colorado any longer. We ended up moving back home and followed up with another MRI for Mavia. She was in AWESOME shape! Two tumors gone and one regressed so much it was barely noticeable! Hooray for cannabis oil! Hooray for organic living! However, I did not get better. I  became very ill and I continued to go downhill. I would have some intermittent days of being ok or “looking  healthy and ok”, but more and more I declined. Some days it was so bad I could not even walk through the grocery store without sitting down. After seeing several doctors, I found one who wasn’t so baffled. Lots of blood work showing my liver enzymes were high, my blood pressure low. She asked if I had ever been bitten by a tick and my reply was ” Of course I have, I live in the woods, I have grown up with ticks my whole life”. She then said ” But was there one that stood out the most” and then it hit me. I was bitten on the back of my head a while back, it swelled and was red and really never went away. The doctor seemed to believe I had chronic lyme disease. Too make a long story short. After three years of battling this disease and blood work to confirm, these are some of the things I faced: hair loss ( a lot of it), dramatic weight loss (28lbs in a month), brain fog, word loss , some days I could not form sentences or even speak, joint pain and swelling, chronic pain… I mean so bad some days I could not get out of bed, muscle pain, spinal pain, migraines, hearing loss, vision loss, memory loss,seeing spots all over, loss of appetite, muscle twitching, could not regulate body temp and became withdrawn. However, out of all those symptoms, I’d have to say the pain and the inability to speak articulately was the hardest for me to face. I have always been an independent woman and I was now having to be carried to the bathroom, helped up the stairs, helped to wash my hair, or even take care of my children. My doctor was set on antibiotics in which I tried but only worsened. So much research was done and I began a natural approach. It was no easy task and called for 50 herbal supplements a day plus an herbal tincture that tasted like motor oil. I also had to switch my diet around. There were times I wanted to give up or I’d give in and miss my supplements or eat bad because I was just tired of the battle, but I quickly learned I’d pay the price and the price wasn’t worth it. Much time went on and blood work was coming back bad which lyme can do… but I pushed forward and I didn’t give up no matter how hard I wanted to. I had a wonderful partner who was there by my side every step of the way and somehow because of her, I am alive and here today. One year ago I would have never been able to even type this much let alone sit this long at a computer. I am on the final days of recovery I believe and I am working hard to stay strong and continue to keep my health in check, for me and for my family. My little girl continues to be my hero , she is a reminder of how precious life is and how we should not take it for granted. So with all of that being said, life has changed for me. I do not film tutorials anymore because I still sometimes find it hard to remember all the things I need to teach. I can do them myself and put them to task in my own work, but to convey it to my students is a different story. My art has changed too, I create a lot of happy animals, even when I felt like dying. These little animals made me smile and feel like a kid again. They were inspirational to me and got me through some really tough times. Man, where would I be without my art? If there was anything that kept me from truly going insane and further into depression, it was knowing I could still create.

I am now on a new quest. I am now in the process of trying to find myself again. The woman who helped to empower others, who created fearlessly and never held back, the woman who danced while she painted. I know that I have a long way to go, but I hope you will continue to stay on this journey with me and share your stories of inspiration. Never lose sight of the creative path you are on… I didn’t… even on the days I didn’t remember a paint color… I just created, some days it was all I could do, even if it was on the floor sitting in a bean bag. I am grateful to be here, and more than that, I am so blessed to continue on as a mother to my children.

Let life give you wings and no matter how hard life gets… use those wings to lift you up and continue to soar.

Thank you all for being amazing supporters, for being my artist family.


Karrie Evenson

20 thoughts on “Where to begin

  1. So sorry Karrie that you are going through this. Glad you have your family, friends and your art ! Love your work.

  2. i love your art Karrie and have signed up for some of your classes. Thank you so much for sharing your story it is very inspiring

  3. Karrie, You are a huge inspiration! Always have been and always will be! I have been in touch with you recently, and am glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery, and that Mavia is doing so well! I continue to hold you in my prayers, and am always grateful for you, your enthusiasm and your lessons! You helped me to overcome my fear and enjoy painting again! I do hope you can return to your tutorials one day…and I will be here waiting and watching! Blessings My Friend!!!! (PS, a local news station just did a story on a small boy who draws and sells his work in hopes of helping his younger brother who has Neurofibromatosis! I am sending him art supplies to encourage him and his family!!!! Thank you for sharing Mavia’s story with us, or I would not have recognized this boys diagnosis!)

  4. What a rough time you have been through. You are brave and fearless and your words bring hope to others who are suffering. The sun will shine and strong women persevere . Thanks for sharing.

  5. You are just as beautiful as your art…your spirit is alive, young, and playful, I like that . You are an inspiration and a testimony too many. Your story has touched my heart. What a woman of perserverence you are. A strong will…great determination…a loving family…and a mission. Way to go Karrie!

  6. Karrie, your strength is amazing. I am sure your story will inspire others. God bless you honey. Am adding you to my prayer list.
    So good to hear from you. Pat in Memphis.

  7. Hello Karrie, this is Cheryl from Ohio (Sauerkraut Festival). My lord, what a journey you have been on. So sorry that you have had to go through all of this. But look at you now…you hung in there and slowly, the tide is turning. Mavia is amazing! Whenever I see a pic., of her, I smile. Hang in there sweet lady and know that I will be lifting you and your family up in prayer. Take good care of yourself. We will be here waiting to see your beautiful work when you return. Remember…All Is Well.

  8. I’m glad you are connecting with us again and are starting to feel better. I knew you were fighting with Lyme disease from a post we shared so I’ve had you in my thoughts and prayers since then. I love the animals you are creating as well. I’m glad Mavis is doing well. Love sent to you and your family.

  9. Soooo sorry u have endured all these painful situations. Been thru a few n know some..only some of your struggles n i had to stop n pray 4 u n your child n your art. This art blesses people n i share each time those cute faces come up. I haven’t painted n over 2 yrs so I try to stay connected to that one of a kind feeling knowing it’s there..just out of reach but still there n me trying to get out again..i am so thankful yours stayed with you..blessings to you n your s..thank u 4 sharing your story n your art..

  10. Love you and your art, Karrie!
    Your art has made so many of my clients happy and the paintings have brightened my office – all 14 of them! I’m wishing you health and strength!

  11. I am so sorry for all you and your daughter have gone through…your work and your smile inspires so many of us..I personally have loved every art piece you have shared with all of us….your encouragement is so contagious…may God truly bless and heal you –just know you are loved by so many..

  12. So sorry for all your hard times! Just wanted to say how much seeing your happy animal pictures make me feel so good! I’m praying for your family!!!!!!

  13. Oh Karrie, what a journey both ypuband your family have been through. Reading about your experience I cannot help but feel your tenacity, determination and the love that surrounds you (both that you have for your family and they have for you).
    Reading about finding yourself again, I couldn’t help but think of the 12 month Life Book art program that Tamara Laporte at Willowing.org runs. Weekly lessons by many artists through the year delivering projects based on healing and finding yourself. It’s a flexible program (many of us are way behind, some pick andnchoose which lessons they’ll do and others have their weekly lesson done within 24 hours of it being released). And some artists who already have their styles adapt projects to suit their own style. Anyway it may be something of interest. http://www.willowing.org/life-book-2017/.
    Have been following you for some years and truly wish you and Mavia all the very, very best in your continued recovery journies.

  14. I happened onto one of your tutorials and became obsessed with your enthusiastic way of teaching. Life sometimes kicks us in the pants but there are ways to move on and you’re a great example. Can’t wait to see you back dancing at the canvas!

  15. Karrie, you’re incredible!! Thanks for sharing your story. I am pulling for you bigtime and I know you will keep getting better. Keep taking it one step at a time. XOXO Kristen

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