Cancer scare got Lorelei painting

Lorelei Burdett painted "La Femme" for her fundraising calendar for the Breast Cancer Foundation...
Lorelei Burdett painted "La Femme" for her fundraising calendar for the Breast Cancer Foundation of NZ after waiting for results from a biopsy following a routine mammogram. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN
When Lorelei Burdett was waiting for the results of a biopsy after a routine mammogram, the possibility of having breast cancer sent her into emotional turmoil.

So she channelled her feelings into creating art for a calendar to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

“When I was waiting for my results, I thought I can’t be sick, I’m about to have a grandchild,” Ms Burdett said. “So I decided I would just paint and help people get to know how I was feeling.”

The results came back clear, much to Ms Burdett’s relief, but she continued painting and compiling artwork for the calendar.

She developed a passion for art when she was at high school in Whakatane, and says painting is not hard for her – she just lets her feelings flow on to the canvas.

Ms Burdett’s feature piece for the calendar La Femme portrays femininity and hope.

“It had to be beautiful and feminine,” she said.

Family is an important part of Ms Burdett’s life and the inspiration behind her art, which is mostly done using oil paint.

“Every painting has a story, people may not get it, but they just have to use their imagination,” she said.

Each painting generally takes Ms Burdett about two days to complete, depending on how “hyped-up” she is about it.

Many of the pieces in the calendar are colourful and dedicated to members of her family, including her late husband Peter, who died in 2009 from pancreatic cancer.

After Peter died, she dedicated a calendar to him and painted another one for the CD Kids Hospital Appeal in 2017.

Ms Burdett said her art may not be perfect, but that is part of the beauty of it.

“This is not perfect, I’m not perfect, but this is through my eyes, and that’s how I like it,” she said.

•To buy a calendar for $20,

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