Questions? Contact

« Art Saves • by Vanessa Valencia | Main | Art Saves • by Heather Kowalski »


Art Saves • by Maya Donenfeld

I am an optimist by nature. It’s not because I’ve led a privileged life, nor because it’s been one free of plight. Instead, I believe that any challenges have made me appreciate the everyday joys more deeply. Art and creativity have been woven through each chapter of my life — the dark ones, as well as the happy ones. It’s what I’ve always held onto for sanity ... and what I continually turn to for celebration.

Birth to my Own Creativity
During the second trimester of pregnancy #2, I miscarried. I hemorrhaged so severely and swiftly that I came close to dying. I was so grateful to have survived, but the loss was deeply painful. We had a beautiful little 4-year-old boy, however, who still needed his mama ... especially one that was present and available. It was a daily struggle to deal with my leftover expectant energy mingling with heavy disappointment. I turned to art.

I began painting and making collages regularly. I needed to find a place for all of that sorrow, or else it would remain captive inside me. Late at night, when the house was quiet, I drew the wound out of me in bright vermillion watercolor and in collaged paper flames. It was the most vibrant color work I’ve ever done, to this day. Unlike other art I’ve created, I didn’t save much. It was more about the process of getting it down on paper (and wood) and out of me. I kept at it.

And then one night I had a dream. It was so vivid and real, that I tiptoed out of bed and painted it before it disappeared. I had dreamed that I was giving birth, but it wasn’t a child that I labored over. Suddenly a rainbow of colors and blossoms was pouring out of me! The act of re-creating my dream on paper crystallized the significance. With joy and relief, I realized that I was giving birth to my own creativity. I might have lost a baby, but I now had the opportunity to nurture a part of myself that hadn’t had attention while I was busy mothering. I recognized this dream as permission to make art a larger part of my everyday.

Much More About Celebrating & Less About Healing
We did go on to having a second child, a wonderful little girl who was worth waiting for. Miraculously, this child is an artist who continues to teach me to let go and create anywhere — fearlessly and with abandon.

Art has saved me time and again. As I grow, I’ve happily discovered that my creative process is much more about celebrating and less about healing.

To learn more about Maya Donenfeld, visit her blog at


I am so sorry for your loss, Maya. Your reconciliation with such a painful experience has painted & created *you* as much as you've painted & created the raw emotion out of your soul and onto paper. I applaud you for going with it and letting it flow so that you'd be healed enough to imagine another child. Life is amazing at both ends of the rainbow spectrum.

Loved reading your story.... your art is beautiful!

Such a moving story, and beautifully told, Maya. You continue to be an inspiration.

Maya, this is so eerie, as I was a professional artist that stopped making things when my first child was born, then my third pregnancy miscarried and nearly carried me away with it as well. My recovery was also made possible after a dream of birthing rainbows, though it took me a few months of meditation to realize that is what it meant, and resuming my art making career.
Also? My name is Maia.
thank you for sharing and inspiring.

Very sorry for your loss, but from your blog and all that you share I can see that your creative life is a celebration and not just about healing. Thanks for sharing your story and so much through your blog, much appreciated.

Thank you all so much for your loving and heartfelt comments. Miscarriage is so common, and yet it remains the story that is often whispered. This felt like a perfect space to share it "out loud". Hearing Maia's story (in the comments) makes me wonder even more about the power and mystery of dreams. How many others have birthed rainbows, I wonder!?

I am also sorry for your loss; but pleased you listened to your dreams and allowed the birth of your creative energy! It is a powerful message and story; I am glad you were open and shared it!

...what a moving story...thank you for putting your heart out here for us to see and connect with. i love how you say, "As I grow, I’ve happily discovered that my creative process is much more about celebrating and less about healing." although my journey is different from yours, your words inspire me and i look forward to the day that my art is more about celebration rather than healing. meanwhile, thank you for spreading hope!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.


Contact Policies Search


Advertise with Us!
Self-Serve. Easy Peasy.

Crochet Hemp  

Some links on this blog are affiliate links for which CRESCENDOh receives a small percentage of any sales generated by the link.
Related Posts with Thumbnails