Drawing and writing began as instinct for survival. As a young girl, I taped everything underneath my clothes, and then discarded it all in various alleyway dumpsters. My friend and confidant simply made daily life possible. Today, beyond the ash of torn bits of papers past rises drawing as living beings. Breathing as phoenix in redemption song. Exquisite stories of texture and shape; anxious and methodical lines of reflection and observation. The pieces move and have their being within the context of their environment. Drawing is experience. Words are beings of color, shape, texture, and voice. I see words; through my eyes, ears, and skin. Holes of raw-truth appear and disappear through layers of sanded and burnished paper. Tears of ink roll gently down; absorbed. Graphite is rubbed into every pore until it smiles. Rips are stitched together with threads of prayer. Charcoal from campfires and stoves that heated my studio and home, and ink made from special things from special moments; it is being grounded; the pure joy of standing on your favorite beach, mountainside, or in the garden and feeling the soft, cool, earth between your toes or fingers. Drawing is the love of paper. Fragile and strong, paper echoes the vulnerability and resilience of the human soul. It slips between the thin spaces in our lives and emerges as beauty out of ash. There is no, one story within my work. Line quality is created out of experience. Composition emerges as the woven motions of a heart’s beat. Rape and abuse survivor. Cancer; survivor. Today, living within the new norm of a thus far, idiopathic neuromuscular disease. Drawing. Whispers of truth; soul’s collaborator; hope’s door. Connie Karleta Sales, artist, writer, educator, and public speaker; specializing in large-scale projects exploring intersections of spirituality, social action, and the creative process.