Well, that was heavy. I felt relieved after writing that story. Reading over it I'm able to see how close I stuck to reality. I'll put this to bed after I process why I said there's a reflection of me in each character in the story Tea for Christopher.
Content: Physical abuse of a young child. Processing the previous entry. No sexual abuse mentioned or discussed.
I'm primarily Christopher in the story who tries to manage the unmanageable. I had Christopher leave home just the way I did, an unplanned exit on a night of routine abuse. I couldn't do it another night, not another second. I left Feb 2, 1992 at 10:30 pm and I never went back home. I went to a hotel that evening then got up to go to work. I never went back home.
Just like with Christopher, I did watch my little brother beaten with a dowel rod. Just like in the story, he was held down with one hand by my mother and beaten with a dowel rod until he was no longer even screaming. I walked away and left him with that monster. A few days later he was removed from our home by Child Protective Services. I felt so broken by that loss.
It is safe to say, the story Tea for Christopher was triggered by what happenedthe other night outside my window.
Ruby, the mother
It's interesting that the mother wasn't given a name until about the middle of the story. I realized I kept calling her 'his mother'. I didn't think too hard about a name for her but I immediately rejected Diamond. Now, the name Ruby seems appropriate only because of the color.
Why am I the mother in the story? I see how much my life revolved around creating situations that would appease my abuser while ignoring myself and my needs. An abused child is always at the beck and call of the abuser, there is no time for anything else.
I never told her, but I apologized in my heart for being a bad daughter. Though my mother left us repeatedly (a few days tops) there was a constant threat of being sent to the orphanage where my grandfather grew up. She was neglectful in criminal ways. Abandonment issues are still a huge problem for me. ...continue reading →
Art without a wall of its own is sad. "Young Joker" waited a little bit for the right wall to come along and it did. Packaged ever so carefully, this special art piece will travel to its destiny via US Postal System. It's a happy day when art gets adopted.
"Young Joker" is a rainbow dance around a patch of white flowers. Wrapped in the landscape are several who are finding their way through the meadow. A black bird takes the same path.
Art Title: Young Joker
Art by: Faith Magdalene Austin
Size: 8.5 × 5.5
Media: Marker, acrylic
Finish: signed on front and back, unmounted, not framed
Paintings that compliment "Young Joker" can be seen in the below gallery and are available via Etsy or PayPal invoice. See the sidebar for details.
Give art a home.
Feed a starving artist. Seriously, I could use a sandwich 🙂
Summer will bring kids and their parents to my home which means tea and more tea with painting and more painting plus some history tossed in.
Depending on the country, the ceremony or party, the kids use traditional cups dated as late as the 1940's. My number of countries represented in tea is down to 38 countries because my Kenyan Ceylon container is empty. It's on my list of must have. We've got so many good stores around here but I can't seem to find one that will order this tea for me. I want the loose leaf by Safari.
I let the kids use vintage and antique cups without worrying too much about them breaking but I went ahead and retired my English rose tea pot. I'm a bit more protective of that one. No one uses my daily tea pot either. I'm even more protective of it. I don't fret a lot about the cups being broken but I do expect all to use them respectfully. If one should break then it'll do well as a planter and I can go to Goodwill and search for a replacement. Goodwill is where many online shops get their tea cups for which they charge exorbitant prices.
She's a young one with sad eyes called "With all her imperfections."
Can you love her with all her imperfections? Can you forgive her moody ways, her tendency to frown instead of smile? Can you love her shyness, her uneven horizons?
She spits out poetry like she's on a stage show before college kids smoking herbal cigarettes and talking about diversity. She'll never fit in with them because she thinks they're shallow, but she can't bring herself to stop the verse.
Her eyes have been wide shut to ambition, calling it the true path to unhappiness. Her eyes have been wide shut to the clamor of panels on the news telling her how she should feel about the newest outrage, describing it as "woke". She can't stand it. She feels too much, says too much, writes too much and excels at imperfection, but she needs you to love her. With all her imperfections, can you still love her?
Her face is the canvas of her few years of life. There's still room on her cheeks for roses, still time for the love of life to kiss her lips pink. The brow line still rises and behind sad eyes there is living hope.
Can you still love her? With all her imperfections, can you still love her?
There is no update on the eviction threat or my sister. There's a temporary resolution to lack of transportation to see my therapist.
As always, I think of my sister every single day, just not every single second of every day.
I realize I focus on my brother's death more than my mother's. It reminds me very much of being a child who felt it was too dangerous to be angry with the abuser so she chose the safest route of blame and anger.
I can't touch my mother's dramatic exit without trembling. At least there are words to describe how I feel about my brother. I wasn't prepared for the changes his death would make in my life, but I'm not short on words, not by far. I could easily fill the heart of a violin telling him how it feels to be left this way. ...continue reading →
Drawing trees is soothing. I usually draw them bare. I love leaves. i like to see them up close and examine the cells. I recently learned that my sweet potato plant was holding water in the cells of the leaf because I watered too much and too late in the day. Leaves are a beautiful creation but I hardly ever draw them. I like them bare. There's something so beautifully vulnerable about a bare tree.
I love to follow the designs on bark with my finger. There's something so .... spiritual....about trees.
When it comes to art, I have a go to doodle. I think all artists have a certain something they draw in almost a self soothing kind of way. The self soothing art for me is to draw trees with the branches reaching out, twisting and breaking through the things we can't even see. Branches break through the air, they hold themselves erect when gravity tries to pull them over. I love that they take their place in the soil and let their roots reach as far and deep as they desire.
I absolutely love above the ground root systems. Those are fun to follow, too. Of course I have to peak in the little crevices where moss grows. I admire spider webs and small bugs that scramble to get away from my curious fingers.
When I was a kid I was told that if a person draws a tree it usually represents them. I was told that putting a scar on the tree represents personal trauma. I never forgot that. Despite the psychological reasons for drawing trees, doing so is soothing for me.
Two trees displayed in this entry are Pay it Forward art pieces. You can find them in the Community Grabs and PIF section in my Etsy shop.
I started by drawing lines with my eyes closed, later I added watercolor.
Title: Get the Tom
Art by: Faith M. Austin
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Media: watercolor, ink
Finish: unsealed, not mounted
You may ask yourself why the title is "Get the Tom." Well, the answer is simple. I was watching a detective show where a criminal couple stole diamonds. The man thought the woman lost the diamonds but nope, she held up her hand full and, "I've got the tom." I couldn't call the painting 'tomfoolery" now cold I? What kind of title is that? ....... As you can see, I struggle to come up with titles for my work.
Titles don't come easily but fun art does. The fun thing about "Get the Tom" is that I took an art therapy project and turned it in to art for the sake of art. There is no back story, no profound meaning, it's just enjoyable art using watercolor and ink.
"Get the Tom" is listed as a Pay it Forward item in the Community Grabs and PIFsection in my Etsy shop. In its listing you will see close up shots showing details.
"The Last Reign" is in the Visionary Original Paintings gallery as well as in my Etsy shop.
This 5.5 x 8.5 mixed media piece showcases deep colors and moody lines. It is truly a Sundrip piece in that I've painted edge to edge with imagery everywhere you look.
There are masks or what some may call face shields. There are people and washes of color. Blue, gold, black, and red shape images of human figures with history written on their faces. ...continue reading →