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Artist Coco Larrain painted this month's cover art, Chemo Going Through Me, Me Going Through Chemo, after learning that she had breast cancer in 1997, shortly after moving to Cape Cod in Massachusetts from New York City. She says the painting is a kind of "visual diary . . . a documentation of the physical experience of the chemical invasion. I've done many self-portraits over the years in various mediums, and the importance of this experience demanded that I summon the strength to record it in oil. The challenge I gave myself was to go beyond literal representation and convey the sick feeling that was erupting within me. So, for the first time, I chose to use color expressively."

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The artist holds a BFA in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and has studied painting at the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League in New York City, where she lived for 19 years. During that time she worked as a storyboard illustrator, taught art at the Pratt Institute, and ran a commercial and fine-art photography studio. In 1997 she moved to Brewster, Massachusetts, where she taught art at The Laurel School in Brewster and worked as registrar and assistant to the director at the Truro Center for the Arts in Castle Hill, then became administrative assistant to the director at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis. In 2004 Larrain returned to painting full time.


Her work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions on the Cape and in New York City and in numerous publications, including A Sense of Place: An Anthology of Cape Women Writers (Shank Painter Publishing, 2002), Cape Women magazine, and View Camera, as well as on this month's AJN cover and in Art of Nursing (see page 31).


Of the cover art, she adds, "the background is the original wash put in during the initial stage of painting. I didn't have the strength to finish the background then. There were moments during its creation when thoughts snuck in that it might be my last. When such thoughts came, I took a deep breath and shifted my focus back to what I was seeing. This brought me back to the present, where I was fine-feeling sick but fine-and doing what I loved, painting, which gave me joy and peace."


For more of Larrain's work, visit