1. Section Editor(s): Foley, Sylvia

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Patricia Hartnett lives and works in McLean, Virginia, with her husband and nine-year-old son. A lifelong artist, she has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Michigan State University.


Of this piece Hartnett says, "The assemblage incorporates one of many paintings I've made that show a woman with a bird on her shoulder, her eyes closed, tilting an ear toward the bird (and her heart). It's about listening to one's intuition-a small voice in the back of the mind, a hunch, a dream. Around them the worn-down wood, the rusty nails, and peeling paint represent time and aging. Our bodies are complex systems; our minds can get disconnected, and we might miss signals such as fatigue, indigestion, and pain. Intuition brings back awareness and can guide us toward wellness."


Our cover this month features a watercolor by Hartnett. "Strange Curiosity is about overcoming fear," says the artist. "It was inspired by watching children at an aquarium's petting pool. The children struggled with the pull of their desire to touch the strange sea creatures versus the push of their fear. Fear often prevents people from seeking health care and making rational decisions about it. In recent years several people close to me have dealt with health problems, including my mother, who had several heart attacks before agreeing to see a physician. And shortly before I painted Strange Curiosity, a 55-year-old family friend died of breast cancer. I was saddened to learn that she'd felt a lump earlier but was too afraid to seek treatment, until it was too late." For more of Hartnett's work, visit Contact artist:

Figure. A Little Bir... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. A Little Birdie Told Her,