Dozens get colorful and creative for Tri-State woman battling cancer

Over the weekend, dozens of people spent time getting colorful and creative in Newburgh and learning about silk painting.

It's something instructor Evi Slaby describes as a massage for the soul, but the art lesson was about much more than just relaxing. It was for a great cause.

Silk painting is an art all its own, and Evi is a master.

"It is not like pencils. It is not like oils. It is not like acrylic," she says.

Evi picked up a paintbrush 20 years ago, and in 2008, she opened her own business, Angelsilks.

"As you put the dye on, you have to lose control. The more you lose control, the more beautiful your scarf will be," Evi says.

On Saturday, that beauty invaded the St. John Newburgh school cafeteria as Evi helped more than 70 people create custom scarves.

Not for themselves, but for a greater good.

"I thought I was going to cry when I saw them all, but actually I just smile from ear to ear. They're so beautiful," Jill Kincaid says.

These hand painted works of art will soon cover the bare heads of Tri-State women fighting cancer distributed by Kincaid and her group, Chemo Buddies.

"When a patient receives one of these scarves, the transformation on their face is incredible. Because regardless of where they're at or what they're thinking at the time, they see this, you get a smile and you get happiness. They bring joy," Kincaid says.

But there is some sadness, too, for Tammy Featherstone.

"Honestly while I was painting it, I was thinking about Sam," she says.

Tammy's son died last January from brain cancer. Saturday would have been his 20th birthday.

"Hair loss really bothered Sam, so we knew that if he was here, he would be participating in this project," Tammy says.

He is in a way, along with Evi's unborn daughter, Emma, who died 24 years ago. They are the angels of Project Angel Hugs, inspiring creativity and compassion.

"When they receive a hand-painted silk scarf, they are usually baffled and surprised that somebody would take time out of their busy days to paint something beautiful for them even though they don't even know them. So it is just such an uplifting experience on both ends for the painter and the receiver and really that's all I want. That's what I'm looking for," Evi says.

In all, 73 scarves were made on Saturday. It's a long process from start to finish and Evi hopes they'll be complete and ready to donate by the end of next week.

Click to find out more information about Chemo Buddies.

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