MRI Digital Art for My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain

Here are the first eight digital art images I’ve created with my MRI scans for My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain:

First I photographed some sections of my old MRI films, then used photo editing software to transform the photo into digital art.

I really enjoyed the creative process of altering these scans. The process of experimenting & transforming each image provided me with an openness and freedom to explore different themes in a way that I couldn’t before.

As I faced each image and reflected on my experiences, I started to focus on those personal strengths that I believe have helped me the most in times of need related to managing illness: hope, bravery, learning, perseverance, and gratitude.

To my surprise I started to view these images, my driving need to create them, and my overall experience as a celebration of so many important things related to support, treatment, trying to stay healthy, active, being positive, gratitude, and balancing life.

I thought about everything I’ve been able to do, enjoy, create, give back to, and appreciate since my diagnosis 10 years ago.  While it hasn’t all been easy and can surface feelings of denial, isolation, frustration, worry, and uncertainty, there’s still lots for me to be thankful for.  These images are a reflection of that.

 My experience has inspired & contributed to making choices & doing things I didn’t think I could do, but I did- and it’s all good!

A big part of helping to be able to start this process of art-making with my MRI scans has been the inspiration of Elizabeth Jameson and her art, so this is definitely worth another mention. I’ve so admired her work, story, and advocacy from a distance via the Internet for awhile, but throughout the last few months I’ve enjoyed an e-mail correspondence with Elizabeth which continues to motivate me even further, has helped with additional reflection about how one views illness & has put much into perspective for me. Very grateful for this connection and support!

I hope to continue to develop this series further through perhaps using the images to create an altered book, a video or maybe use for some digital storytelling content. Making progress… 🙂


Published by

Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC

Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, ACTP: Registered Board Certified Art Therapist, TLC Certified Trauma Practitioner, Art Therapy Community Organizer, Artist...

9 thoughts on “MRI Digital Art for My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain”

  1. these are quite amazing Gretchen… great way of interacting what ‘d otherwise be something that describes us quite bluntly. playing with, speaking thru them like this is reclaiming your history in your own way, it feels. I find them quite moving, and heartening! good on you. inspired by these!

    love to you

  2. I wish I”d seen them, years ago when we had some eeg s done for my younger daughter – would have given us a buzz and helped leaven some of the fear we had going, for sure! xxx

  3. Gretchen, your work has a quality of bravery and courage that paves the way for many to use medical imagery and art as a means to express, reflect upon and accept illness–and to heal as a result.

  4. Gretchen: I love your work, also. For the past five years I’ve done nothing but artwork dealing with my MRIs. My website is I love the fact you incorporate words into your art work involving your MRIs.congratulations!

    Elizabeth Jameson

  5. Thank you Elizabeth! I am always so inspired by your work and story… and have much gratitude for your support…. I can’t wait to share more of this with you and others… still working on my next steps for this project…..Keep up your amazing work– I am so glad we have connected!

  6. Gretchen, these are astonishing and beautiful! Thank you for being so transparent and expressive. I have been wondering what to do with some similar that I have put deep in the cupboard and mine need to see the light. Sending magical light…

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