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Dr. D and I discussed the possibility of me painting almost daily at set times. This would allow me to know ahead of time what to expect. I need set times for things as well as lists to feel more control over my environment and situation. Setting a specific time to paint and doing it has helped me to relax more while painting. There are no expectations. No pressure to produce view worthy materials. The goal is to create and to risk. At first I was concerned about wasting paper and paint but truthfully, I have plenty of both so paint I will.

I've learned a few things over the years about size and media for my personal use. If I use paper that is too big then the project is overwhelming and may not be completed. Paper that is 8 x 10 is usually undaunting, however, there are times I'm so closed up that I need 5 x 9. These sizes also mean if I'm confined to the bed I can still paint with relative ease.

I know for a fact that I'm a paper artist. I love paper, especially textured papers. Oh they just do something to me. Pencil, pen, brushes and other tools are musical as they hit different textured paper. I absolutely love it.

I've been asked if I paint on canvas and create larger art but the answer is no, I usually don't. I'm not comfortable with creating larger art. There's been so much discussion on this subject but the bottom line is this: I am an artist who creates smaller works on paper. Staying within these bounds means I stay true to my craft. It allows me to freely paint instead of attempting to become something I'm not. When I allow myself to paint at a size comfortable for me, I am able to express myself and risk creatively.

Be More by Sundrip

"Be More" is a 7 x 10 watercolor and ink piece created in a wire bound Canson notebook. The art therapy piece expresses the need to bring my emotions to a more balanced view.

I see myself in such a negative light and demand a lot of myself. I'd like to lose the idea that there's something fundamentally wrong with me and get closer to the balanced view that I'm just a flawed human being like everyone else.

After creating the piece free style, with no expectations, I looked at it and began to write what it brought up. The first thing that came to mind is that it's disorganized and very raw. This didn't feel negative to say. It seemed to reflect how I've been feeling lately, disorganized and like I'm just flailing about like a fish out of water. I noticed that the two people dominate the picture. They hold hands and share a small red flower. Though both have a missing foot, one has her mouth open and the other is closed.

As I began writing words like disorganized, fearful, disliked, desperation and paranoid, it occurred to me that I should write how I'd like to be and ways that I am at times. The other side of the paper includes words like risk, flexible, fluid, acceptance and giving. Right between the two figures and by their feet is the word 'integrate'. This reflects my desire to be more harmonious with reality. Reality is that I'm not all bad or all good. Things are no so black and white with me.

Be More detail 1

Of all the words that were written, one sticks out the most. It is the only word that appears in all capital letters and that is the word BURDEN. I ...feel...like...a..burden to others! It'll be quite the struggle to get that emotion in check.

It felt really good to complete this art therapy piece. I like free style painting. I like adding converse words/ideas that turn the piece into a learning and mindful experience.

Faith

Today could have been worse but it wasn't. My water heater leaked all over the carpet. They had to give me a new one. It took about 5 hrs to complete the task. Now I've got a big fan on the carpet drying it.

Nothing got destroyed but the day has been long and full of visitors. My apt is tiny so 2 maintenance men in and out plus me and a CNA was a lot. It's been a long day. The fan will stay on all weekend, too. Argh. Could be worse. Nothing got ruined.

Today has made me aware of the need to protect my art a little better. I've got it in an area that feels safe for it, but I want to put it in a plastic tote to secure it even more. I would be devistated if anything happened to my two files of artwork.

The two files I have only hold legal size papers which is good bc I don't do large art. The files let me store artwork for sale and art therapy pieces neatly and efficiently. I love my little filing systems. I literally store hundreds of pieces on the shelf but now I'll take those systems and place them in plastic totes so I feel more secure.

My CNA and I left after a bit bc the noise got too much for me. We went to the store and avoided much of the stress here at home.

Faith - dry and safe 😊

sunflower visions fma

Title: Sunflower Visions
Art by: Faith Magdalene Austin
Medium: Watercolor and colored pencil on watercolor paper
Size: 9 x 10 inches, 
Finish: Signed, dated, unmounted
Style: Surreal, Abstract, 

Art details: Sunburst, faces, swirls, eyes and hands reaching out are just part of what you'll see in this colorful, jam packed art piece. Lively orange, vivid purple, lime and sage green glow beside sunflower yellow. This is a visual feast, a mindscape, a surreal watercolor art piece. 

"Sunflower Visions" and other original art can be found in my Etsy shop at www.sundrip.etsy.com. You may also contact me for a PayPal invoice.

Thank you for visiting SUNDRIP - Art for Life

wild things fma

Title: Wild Things
Art by: Faith Magdalene Austin
Medium: Acrylic collage on heavy cardstock
Size: 9x12 inches, 
Finish: Sealed, signed, dated, unmounted
Style: Collage, Surreal, Abstract Figurative, raw

Art details: Cut outs of my own art have been arranged to create "Wild Things." Sunflowers, koi fish, African faces, Asian faces and more have been mixed together in a wild collage. This is a visual feast, a mindscape, surreal art piece. 

"Wild Things" and other original art can be found in my Etsy shop at www.sundrip.etsy.com. You may also contact me for a PayPal invoice.

Thank you for visiting SUNDRIP - Art for Life

These pieces were worked on in the last two weeks. There's been a lot of art lately but hardly any of it has hit the internet. I'm falling behind on it, however, today there are a few to show.

They're all four different from one another. Creating them was quite emotional, especially the last piece when Robert spoke with Dr. D about some difficulties he was having.

The black and white mask is also by Robert. The other two are by Michelle. All are created in watercolor. The last one has crayon as well.

Today in therapy we talked about how difficult it can be to sit here with our CNA day after day and not have her know a thing about our DID. Today two of our snails died just before the CNA arrived which means we had to just swallow it down and not think about it. That's difficult for a kid who just lost her pet. It can be difficult for me, Jordan, to stay out for 6 hours, 6 days a week but so far it's happened. So far we've kept our secret.

Jordan

I'm sensitive. I'm raw.

I'm hurting because of the situation with the old CNA and all that happened the day I had to fire her. The pain of that day influenced how I responded to the new CNA today. I almost didn't allow her back based on pain caused by a different CNA relationship. I fear I'll get comfortable then have a huge surprise, again.

I'm bruised and cautious.

Dr D is a bit exasperated about the situation, too. He suggested I set firm boundaries and keep them. I said that's hard to do but I try. I can't tell you the type of people that come through here. It's hard to keep boundaries with them. I'm trying but it's hard. They're off their rockers. Seriously, these are not normal situations that pop up. It seems like I get mentally ill people, crazy people and hoodlums. The mix is insane and hard to control! Dr D was all irritated which triggered me because I feel responsible for the drama, like maybe it's my fault I can't get a good, stable CNA.

So a new one arrived today. We had a tiny spat but nothing I should hold against her. I'm going to let her work here and hope for the best. I'm not going to put on her shoulders the "sins" of the other CNAs.

It's time for a hot cup of tea. That sounds so healing right now.

Content : Sexual abuse. Sadism.

I went in to see Dr D today at his office. We talked about how I feel guilty about asking people to pack up my wheelchair and me to take me here or there. I feel like a burden to others and like baggage. We talked about feeling that way as a child, too. About apologizing in my heart for being a disappointment to my mother.

We talked about how she said she couldn't remarry bc no one wanted 2 teenage daughters. The truth is, my mother couldn't hold an adult relationship if she tried.

We discussed how much other family members knew about the abuse. For a time, my cousins were not allowed to ride in the car w my mother bc my mother's conversation was so sexual.

In the car, mostly when she was driving, she'd recount what she had done to us and ask, "Are you turned on?" She wasn't looking for a verbal answer. But, she'd ask that question and look me in the face to see my response. Because she was looking for a response, I didn't give one!

She'd call me a bitch with the utmost disdain in her voice. I was little so I didn't quite know the word, but I recognized the hatred in her voice so I knew it was a bad thing. She truly hated me. As a small reflection of herself, the hatred was palpable.

Jordan

2

It's not been a good day to say the least. In addition to firing someone I really liked, I jacked up my already jacked up foot. This is the same foot that I smashed in the door.

Well, I was using the pedicure tool suggested by the surgeon and accidentally ripped a two inch hole from the amputation site. I didn't feel it at all. I looked and I was bleeding. (sigh) I put some medical grade honey on it and a bandage and let it go. I don't know if I want to use this thing after this!

At the time I was quite emotionally devistated by it. I also thought I deserved to be hurt bc I fired someone who is hurting. There I was bleeding and thought, good, this is what happens to people like you! It took a second to get my head straight and realized just how triggering her situation has been. No, I don't deserve to hurt and neither does she. It was an accident, not a punishment! Not a sign that I'm a bad person.

It'll take a moment to wipe the visual of my CNA hurting herself. It wasn't a good thing to see. It'll take a little bit to accept my new normal of not getting the feeling back in that foot properly. I try not to let it get to me. I try to take it in stride ya know? But sometimes the realization of my physical condition hits me hard, like today.

So I'm going to to take a few deep breaths then do some art work. I will turn on some music and let this moment pass. No stuffing. No running but also, I refuse to just sit in it. I'm about to work it out the best I can, with art and tea.

Faith

2

Content - Suicide of brother. Suicide threats by nurse's assistant (CNA)

An anniversary rolled around for my brother's suicide. It was somber. I looked at photos and wondered how on earth he could be gone. It was a tearful day but I made it through.

The very next day something happened with my CNA that doesn't allow her to return here. I waited to talk to my therapist about it. He too feels it's extreme. I told her she can't come here threatening to kill herself bc that's the thing that will cause me to fire her. Well, she showed up threatening to kill herself and did so w full knowledge that I'd fire her for it. She even knows about my brother.

I'm not a cold hearted person. I know how it feels to want to die. I know what it takes to be pushed to the edge. I've been there, but here I am on the other side of a suicide, too. It's a complex problem for me, one I take very seriously.

I don't talk to her about her suicidal feelings bc I felt manipulated. I didn't appreciate how she threatened her boyfriend w suicide when they argued. I didn't appreciate being told several times how she nearly killed herself before work, b4 arriving at my house. What exactly am I to do with that information? I directed her to the stress line and other resources several times. I can't personally take her pain away. I can't save her. And I think it's dangerous to keep trying to talk someone down who shows signs of needing more than a listening ear.

For privacy matters, I've left out a slew of details as to exactly why the CNA can't return. Let's just say it was terrible and gruesome when she showed up.

I feel terrible letting her go. I really feel terrible! She's going to get out of the hospital and realize she can't return. That'll be a blow to her. I don't think she'll understand. I feel very bad, but things came to a head and we aren't able to turn around.

All of this took place the day after the anniversary date for my brother.

1

Ouch.

I went to the grocery store. When I was getting back in the car I thought I was all the way in but my bad foot wasn't. I shut it in the door. That's a pain that's going to linger.

The problem is, I can't feel much other than pain in that foot so it's hard to tell where it is or what position it's in. I found out real fast that it was in the door! Now it's all red and inflamed and ugly looking. Not good at all. My nurse will be here to look at it.

In better foot health news, I've finally got my pedicure kit the surgeon suggested. This will help with skin thickness on the incision area as well as help the amputated area look nice overall.

I've said before, I'm conceited. I can't go around looking like anything at all. I'm not an anything - will - do, kind of girl. Nope. It matters to me that the amputation site is soft and smooth, so I am not ashamed to go without socks when friends are around.

This is the second time I've crushed the amputated foot in the door. I've got to make sure I know where all my body is at any given time. Lol. Oh me!

Jordan

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