Although Art has influenced Emma Kay’s life from an early age, she hadn’t pursued the art within herself. That all changed as she explains…
    It was the Spring of 2010 when I heard the words “Padgett’s of the nipple, a rare form of breast cancer.” Hearing the words ‘breast cancer’ was like getting punched in the stomach. Of course, I have never been punched in the stomach, but this is the best way I can describe it. 

Two Powerful Words -- Breast Cancer

The rug was pulled out from under me. Immediately I thought about my loved ones. My thought was ‘NO I can’t do this to them!’ I felt like my body had betrayed me. So…. through a number of emotions, I found 

MY two powerful words -- God Heals.

 I had a mastectomy. The good news - the lymph nodes they took were clear. I had no chemo or radiation --

God Heals.

    So off I went living the life of a single “boobed” woman. Since I elected not to do reconstruction, wearing the “cutlet” (as a friend calls it) with its special bras, I was forever trying to get things even. 
    This is the point where I began to paint again. I felt the need to express my feelings using the talents I had let go of for much too long. I needed to get the emotions out of me and onto canvas. I was painting using a lot of color and in ways I had never painted before. My healing of body, mind and soul began. 
    Walking Through the Storm was my first abstract. I had never painted in abstract before. My next was Out of the Darkness followed by Into the Light.

My beginning walk was now on canvas…

    During a routine mammogram in 2014, I again heard those words - Breast Cancer. So here I go digging out my powerful words -- God Heals. Another mastectomy, but again no chemo or radiation so --God Heals. I do now take the little pill everyone talks about. Man those hot flashes are heck.
    By this time I had been painting different styles and learning my own style of painting. With this new experience, I began painting abstracts on bust forms. What better way to show my burning fire of passion coming out of my soul than a bust form! I paint from my heart and soul so I can share the powerful words:breast cancer and God Heals. It was another great way to share my experience of survival and Faith.

Do we all survive?

    I say yes we do - in whatever form GOD chooses. Some have the ultimate survival in death and live in God’s glory, others survive here with us helping others in their own way.
    My latest pieces were completed after the loss of my Momma (May 2017) and, just five weeks later, the loss of my youngest granddaughter, Zoe. This was a dark time for me. I could not seem to be inspired to paint. When I was finally able to pick up a brush again, I started painting Zack’s Girls. Today it is unfinished…and most likely will remain so.
    All these painting still bring tears to my eyes.
    From my innermost being, reaching up from the depths of hell with a heart that had been torn from my soul, I painted Reaching for God and Angel in the Heavens.
I still have a hard time talking about these works…

…This is My Story.  
Emma Kay Staggs
"The Fight-The Flight-The Phoenix" Acrylic on Canvas 
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​"Reaching for God" - Acrylic on Canvas
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"T​he ugly of Breast Cancer & Psoriasis" - 3-D Form
"Petroleum Building" Oil on Canvas