Sarasota, Fla. – A woman’s passion for paper flowers blossomed as she underwent treatment for ovarian cancer.
When Sandy Payson was diagnosed with cancer six years ago, she had a lot of downtime as she recovered from treatments. That’s when she began making paper sculptures because it was easy and didn’t take a lot of physical energy.
“I just enjoyed it so much I just kept going,” Payson explained. “When COVID hit, I had a full chunk of time, two years to spend a lot time snipping and cutting.”
Payson, who is a ceramic artist, says she was in a thrift store when she saw a book full of beautiful flowers, but what got her the most was the introduction in it.
“It talked about how flowers accompany us through all these stages of our life. How appropriate when you have a baby or get married or pass away and how much they’re tied into our emotions. They can almost be an emotion when you see a red rose,” she shared.
Payson’s paper flowers fill an entire room and she calls the exhibit “An Amazing Flower Show.”
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“I’m feeling happy because they’re pretty and nice and bright and I feel like a child in a playroom,” Payson said. “I feel like a child in a playroom. When I was a little girl I used to play with Barbies and have this feeling that I was in my own little world, while I was creating my own little microcosm. That’s how I feel sometimes, that same childhood feeling when I’m working in here comes over me.”
Payson says creating the paper flowers is labor-intensive, but she loves doing it.
“It brings so much to your life when you make something. When I see people seeing my stuff I hope it inspires them to also try a little outside the box and see what you can come up with distinctly on their own,” Payson said.