May 4th, 2009

I’ve been working simultaneously on the artworks and have finished Madison’s too. I’ve printed out Madison’s goodbye letter shown on either side of her cigarette. I wanted to create a feeling of a declaration being made where Madison renounces cigarettes for good. I feel there is a firmness and rigidity in the design that reflects how she feels about quitting and moving forward. Apologies for the shadows – one of the photo bulbs blew just as I was about to take it. I hope you like it Madison!

Madison's Last Cigarette & Goodbye Letter

Madison's Last Cigarette & Goodbye Letter


May 4th, 2009

Finally I created an artwork for Shirley. If you look back at the package that she sent to me some time back she sent me a lot of self motivational messages and I included one of those on the main focus of the artwork. You Can Because You Can Believe  You Can. What a powerful message. Shirley’s last cigarette is also included underneath the gauze as is her goodbye letter. I kept the artwork very simple so as not to detract from the great message.

Shirley's last cigarette

Shirley's last cigarette


April 7th, 2009

Polly quit on April 1st and sent me a great package via Fedex with her last cigarette and  extra “materials”. Take a look – it was great and now I’m under serious pressure to prepare a Temple of Honor that matches these awesome packages I’m receiving from such wonderful people. Here are some (bad) photos of Polly’s hard work.



Polly "Last Cigarette" package

Polly "Last Cigarette" package

Polly "Last Cigarette" package

Polly "Last Cigarette" package





March 8th, 2009

I had yet another new package in the mail on Saturday – this time from Madison. Her quit day was Feb. 24th and she is working hard on keeping that quit. Good for her.

This is her goodbye letter and a picture of the package she sent me.

dear smokes,
i am going to miss the feeling of you between my lips. i am going to miss the ‘relaxation’ feeling you always gave me. i am going to miss having you for my comfort zone. i am going to miss sharing you with friends. i am going to miss the fun times of flicking you out the window trying to hit a mud puddle. i am going to miss your ashes in my ashtrays. i am going to miss throwing your empty pkgs away. i am going to miss your butt for other reasons as well. thats only to name a few. but most of all and most importantly, i have got to leave you behind. i am making new changes and there is no way i can let you come with me. i’m sorry. i have chest pains which i know i never had when i quit. i can have cleaner teeth, fresher breath, shinier hair, more friends, i can have it all, money in my pocket, new clothes in my closet, new CD’s on my dresser, candy on my chair where your ashtray sits, i can get a hair cut, new shoes, i can walk to the library for books to keep you away from me (and i’ll get a lawyer if i have to), my home wont be smoky smelling, i can do a lot of things that i cant do with you as my friend. so i guess what i am saying here, gosh this is hard, is goodbye. i just dont love you anymore. i dont need you anymore. i fell in love with someone else. i love me, madison! i now need to care for me not anyone else. just me.
Madison also had her ‘burial’ service for her last cigarettes and this is her obituary to them:
Generic Uvall Brands, 27, of Florida, formerly of Sandwich and Sheridan, Il passed away on Tuesday, July 29,2008 at home after a long battle with cancer. He was born June  30, 1981 to Misty Light (Long) and Marlboro (‘Red’) Long and was loved very much by his adoptive parents Awl Brands and Menny More.
He will be remembered for his chemical dependancy by his special partners Bic and Cricket Lighters.
He is survived by his non-smoking wife, Madison, his sons Kool and Camel, his daughters Virginia Slim and Misty Menthol.
He is proceeded in death by his cousins Terreyton, and Viceroy, and an Uncle GPC & mother-in law, Doral.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday July 30, 2008 at the Florida Fake Funeral Home of Oak Tree Ground near Roots at 9:00 a.m. Upon his request, there will be no prior visitation. Memorials may be directed to cigarette companies of your choice. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to FFS at ALA
*All available information is given here, please do not call and ask any questions. He really wont be missed by many.
Thanks Madison!


March 3rd, 2009

I got a new package in the mail yesterday from Shirley. What a surprise – not the fact that she sent me her last cigarette (she had promised that to me a long time ago) but the entire contents – her last half smoked cigarette, a beautiful letter to me, printouts from modules from the AMerican Lung Association quit smoking modules, her reasons for stopping stopping, her goodbye letter to cigarettes, words from her daughter that she has posted on her fridge, her track pack exercises from the ALA too and some post it notes that she pasted everywhere.

Shirley quit on 1.27.09 and is a fantastic quitter.

Here is a few snapsshots of what she sent me. I felt kind of bad having Shirley’s “post it” notes so I thought it would be nice to post to them here for her to see.







Thanks Shirley! DDA – Desire Determination Action

Tribute to Betty

February 8th, 2009

Betty sent me her Goodbye Letter a few weeks ago and I’ve made the artwork below  for her. I didn’t have her last cigarette so I included some packaging for Marlboro Ultra Lights – the brand that Betty smoked. The artwork is not as “clean cut” as the earlier ones but I think it works well and it is heavily influenced by the words in Betty’s goodbye letter – the words “I thought you were my friend, But were my enemy”  are haunting and prompted a more forceful response in the imagery in the artwork. I think it is more reminiscent of a mausoleum than a temple and I think subconsciously I wanted to emphasize that there is no going back – no more smoking – and that is why I tied the poles and barred up the symbolic doorway.


Goodbye Letter to Cigarettes

January 19th, 2009

Betty has a wonderful quit going and she has sent her goodbye letter to me to create an artwork to add to my wall of honor. She quit on October 20th, 2008 – good for her. Her 3 month quit date is tomorrow – Congratulations Betty!

Betty’s Goodbye Letter:


I will miss my early morning coffee with you.

I will miss leaning on you when I have a problem.

I won’t miss the way you make me feel.

I won’t miss coughing, being out of breath, wheezing, the lung infections.

I thought you were my friend, but you were the enemy.

I won’t miss the mess you leave behind (dirty house & car).

I won’t miss all the trips to the store just to buy you.

I will be glad to have the money I will save by not buying you.

You Really do stink!

Betty –

Great News

January 7th, 2009

I have been awarded a solo exhibition at the Erik Lauritzen Gallery, at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada during February/March 2011. That is truly wonderful news! My goal is to collect 100 last cigarettes and GROW my Wall of Honor – it will be so beautiful.

Also, I have been collecting materials for my next phase of this project – to create an installation. I just have to firm up my ideas before I start. Also because I have no idea where it might be exhibited, how I would store, move it, I am kind of in a quandary as to what materials I should use and how to keep the cost down. I’m excited though 🙂 

Wall of Honor

September 7th, 2008

It has been 14 months now but I have no more cigarettes from donors to create new artwork! When I started this project I was sure I would receive many but it isn’t an easy thing to do. If anyone would like to send me a last cigarette send it to me I would love to continue to add to my wall of honor. Left to right on the photo – Vicky, Erica, Mary, Jackie (me), Linda & Binshenjit. Congratulations everyone!

Temple for Ellen

August 25th, 2008

Ellen has 7 weeks today – I hope you like the artwork to celebrate that achievement. Once again I used the temple format, used the gauze, bells, nails etc as a visual language to describe the experience of quitting i.e. one of celebration , death (of old habits, dependancies, beliefs), healing and renewal, with temptation always lurking around.