The more I make these dolls, the more I pay attention to my own. I’ve had my doll for several years now. In that time she has gone from all but being hidden in my bedroom to now sitting in the living room with flowers and such around her.
I’ve re-written this entry four times and have settled on the fact that it’s choppy. The entry is a collection of thoughts concerning my own inner child doll named Mia.
I couldn’t look at her for long periods of time and I didn’t look in her eyes. I felt anger toward her. I hurt for her. I couldn’t touch her. It felt like if I touched her I would have this lightening shock between me and her and I’d have to feel everything from childhood and adulthood all in one moment. I felt like I’d be gripped by flashbacks and never stop crying, never stop feeling the flashbacks on my body.
There’s a lot going on here at home, most of it’s in my head.
I feel physically ready to drop.
I feel angry. Part of me feels angry.
I won’t be able to go in to see Dr. D until the beginning of September. I’ve not been able to go in to seen him for over a month. Traveling isn’t the thing I do best right now. The arm situation isn’t going well, it’ll take a very long time before it does. I’ve got to wait. There’s the issue of whether or not I’m going to move. There’s the issue of loneliness. There’s the issue of items in my biggest fish tank being sold off , I had it a week ago. It’s a DID thing, a PTSD thing….. a thing I wish we didn’t do. So, I have an empty fish tank sitting in the dining room. No fish, just a clawed frog in a 10 gallon tank and a baby bullfrog in a 5 gallon tank waiting for a pond. I’m happy Pete is still here. Mary Jane is still here. I still wake with her beside me but there’s been the accusation that she only sleeps next to me when she wants me to feed her or pet her. She doesn’t come over to me because she loves me. Can you say transference?
Of all the dolls I’ve made, this is the first time someone has allowed me to write publicly about how it feels to make these dolls. The first feeling is one of pressure followed by fear I may fail. It takes me a good week to get my head around the project.
The first step is the easiest, sew the body size. Now, I never use a pattern, never. The dolls body size for arms, legs, torso and head are not cut from a pattern. When the person tells me what they want, I visualize it and then draw the doll on the material that will best fit the creation. She’s the size requested but she is cut from her own cloth, not a pattern.
After sewing all the parts (and a few back up parts) I begin working on the facial features. This step gives me the most anxiety and the most emotional satisfaction. For me, the artist, it’s all about the expression on the doll’s face and the expression in her eyes. Some have said that my dolls eyes look like the doll itself is an old soul. I hope that’s a good thing because as I begin to paint the entire doll, features, flesh tone from head to toe, I don’t feel as if I’m painting a doll. Things change quickly from doll making to having to deal with my own trauma issues as a child and adult.
I NEVER use the doll as a pin cushion. I NEVER hold the doll by the hair or have her in positions that are troubling. I start to see the doll as a child that will be adopted by someone who needs to love it, and will. Ah, my issues come up really strong in having respect for the creation. I’m making something that hopefully will aide someone in their recovery process.
The inspiration came from a photo of me with a kitten called Grace. We napped on the sofa together and a friend took a photo. That photo inspired the painting Father and Child.
Sometimes art isn’t all that deep. It doesn’t come from a secret hurt or a wound without a cure. It’s just art, such is Father and Child. Available only on Redbubble.
“Father and Child” was created with my computer mouse, stroke by stroke. They’re laying together in a sea shell of sorts and covered with royal garments. They sleep outside under a perfect sky with trees native to their home. As they hold hands they share this peaceful moment. The original post with close up photos can be seen by clicking this link on Sundrip.
Do you understand my art on your own terms? That’s what I’m looking for when people see my art, a connection that says, I have to take this piece home. Do you discuss it with others because it moved you to speak? That’s what I hope for when I create an art piece. Are you moved to love? True art always moves to love.
Two Etsy treasuries have included an abstract painting of mine. It’s encouraging when others see my art and look at it with an open heart. I appreciate it.
Many know the story of the woman in the Bible that had an illness for which she sought treatment from doctor after doctor. She said she suffered for 12 years, spent all she had but she wasn’t any better, in fact she was worse. … There are millions of people who can relate to her story and who know she didn’t just spend money at those doctors, she spent energy and hope. She left behind her dignity!
I’ve started off this post with her story because it’s one I know so well and one I was thinking of when I denied treatment from the orthopedic specialist. I didn’t tell him I’m not going to do the test, I let him set it up for the 13th of September, I let him set up a follow up test late in September knowing full well I wouldn’t present myself. I will go to my medical doctor soon and discuss the issue with him and let him know why I am unable and unwilling to perform the test.
Unable. I’m unable because the test he wants me to do is a needle emg. They’ll place needles down my arm and into my hand. HAND. Had they said my back I would have agreed but I can’t do needles in my hands, feet or mouth as these are areas where needles were used during abuse. Because of my pain level I would agree to acupuncture anywhere except my hands, face or feet. I wasn’t going to try to explain the PTSD issue to Dr. Oh No! because he gets a bit upset when a patient tells him no. So I just shook my head, accepted yet another brace and left.
No one understands. No one knows unless they walk in my shoes. The world wants more than I can give. Everyone says to pull up my bootstraps. And so begins the discussion of Facebook groups about Fibromyalgia and Lupus.
Before I work today at what I’m too tired to do because of fatigue and pain, I’m going to scream a little bit about the negative messages fed to us on these groups. It is a message that is just as detrimental as the other message we get; push and succeed at any cost.
I sometimes forget that people understand and don’t judge as harshly as I judge myself, so it’s good to be reminded to throw off unnecessary pressure.
I posted a new art piece called The Last Lullaby but I didn’t want to talk too much about how difficult it was to get through that art piece. I felt ashamed and embarrassed by the chronic illnesses that were the driving force behind the art. I was a little more open here on the blog, but on Flickr and Etsy I didn’t want to go into details because I didn’t want to sound like I was harping on my physical and mental health.
I didn’t want to hear that I feel sorry for myself. I didn’t want to hear how I should pick up my boot straps or that I shouldn’t let this situation get me down. …. It doesn’t get me down, it nearly breaks me. Continue reading →
My head is a mess but I’m not playing along.
I’m anxious enough to pull at my hair, but I’m not playing along.
I want to cry.
I want to sleep, scream, drink tea, all at the same time.
One thought argues with the other and brings in a third to take sides,
but he brings friends and they tussle around my skull threatening to break a window, if one was there.
I keep putting my face in my hands, my body’s cue to rock back and forth.
I catch myself, remind myself
I’m not going to play along.
That stuff like above just comes out sometimes so I type as it does. Its raw and true so I just let the words come. I lower my head, close my eyes and type. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense or is written in a formal style. Letting it out is the main goal.
I have a dream from last night that I can’t seem to shake off. A dead ape on top of me, bleeding, a child jumped from a ten story building and hit the ground even though his friends tried to catch him. There must have been 30 kids trying to catch him.
This was another painting that was very difficult to photograph. I did the best I could.
The Last Lullaby
This painting called The Last Lullaby was started in 2015 when I was bed bound due to Lupus and Fibromyalgia. It was one of the worst years ever but I painted all through it and I painted in bed. That’s’ why the paintings ended up being called The Lullaby Collection. This is the last painting of that series as well as the largest. This one was created about 75% while in bed but was completed on my desk.
The Last Lullaby
Although this art is personal to my experience, it doesn’t need to be that way for you. You can enjoy the imagery of day and night creatures living peacefully. Enjoy the flight of a woman’s hair as it blows in the night sky and fades into a rainbow sky. Continue reading →