Its difficult for me to post art therapy pieces here but awhile ago I decided I would. It's still had though. This piece is art expressing multiple personality disorder. It is a painting showing the need for one of the figures to feel pure or relieved of her burden. The painting shows all the movement, the light, dark, play, rest and chaos inside my head.
In the painting called 'Purify' you'll see hidden people, hidden faces and layer upon layer of color. Sprouting or perhaps bursting forth from the woman's face is a large white flower. A body rests over her forehead and lays over her eye. The arm leads to the main figure in the middle who is almost in a state of mental rest. With her eyes closed it is as if she's blocked out the worries of the world and taken a rest. The taller figure beside her is an odd little girl who wears another little girl in a red dress. She creates the Odd Girl's eyes, nose and hair bow. There are faceless figures and one figure in a box. There are swirls, strikes, smearing and of course flowers. ...continue reading "Purify"
The small art piece shows a white soul standing in front of a tumultuous sky on a black bridge. There is fire raging beside her, a fire that glows in the sky. The sea rages beneath the bridge. The single white, faceless figure stands at her threshold.
This textured, emotional piece is painted on sketchbook paper in acrylics with ink. Though small, it packs an emotive punch with its mix of washed colors and heavy paint strokes. There is swirling blue, white and grey. There are layered brush strokes and haunting color contrasts. Red and orange climb slowly from gray, blue and black. The glow of the orange stops the sky in its tracks. The white ghostly figure on the bridge even has a touch of orange on its side. And there it stands, on the bridge above unsteady waters.
In addition to the emotional process of creating this painting, there is a storm of art mediums. I do enjoy experimenting with different types of media.
In this 6 x 9 painting on paper, I've mixed acrylic with sawdust and sand. There is also ink and gel with a final matte acrylic seal. If you put all that together and mix it up on sketchbook paper, you get the aftermath of a thunderstorm.
In the painting you see a black face woman with lips and eyes like the sea. Her hair flows into the waves and becomes them. Her body floats until it too becomes part of the sea. You see the burning of the salt and the sun and her yearning for land. There is wave after wave after wave with the impending boom and resulting lightening. Or is has the lightening already shown itself in her eyes?
It's a brutal war to fight one's mind and body, but that is what I do with chronic pain and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My body fights to keep going. I feel as if I'm losing that battle. My mind fights itself. I sometimes wish to wave the white flag.
But what if, suppose I could overcome some small part of this turmoil? Suppose I could learn even more coping skills, even more ways to overcome and have a better quality of life? Suppose I could.
This painting is the third and final piece from a series called Suppose I Could Fly. She's a young girl with dreadlocks looking straight forward. Her eyes are tired but she's determined to pull through. She holds on to the flowers beside her with strength and a vow, she will continue on, she will let her inner self fly.
The reason this painting is called Pan is because I hoped it would pan out.
Not all titles are equal.
Pan is an acrylic and ink painting on heavy white board size 12 inches long by 3 and 1/4th inches wide.
Today in therapy I was asked why I do more abstract paintings than before. My only explanation was that sometimes there are no figures, symbols, flowers or shapes to express emotion. But to push and pull colors across the page, to strike at them, stamp them here and there is a language all its own. For me its like saying, there's so much to say I don't know where to start. I'm so anxious, sad, confused, what have you, that I don't even know where to begin or what symbols to draw to express how I feel. I don't know how to form my words but here is what I can do, I can show you in color how I feel. And so we have more abstract paintings because sometimes my 'art words' escape me. Sometimes I'm unable to narrow down figures and objects to express myself through expressionism, cubism and the like.
She's been a long time coming. I don't know why it took so long to finish her but, here she is. I present to you, 'Sweet Anna Bell - Ugly Girl.'
Scribbled on the back of the paper she's painted on dated June 10, 2013, I wrote:
She's tall, skinny and lanky. She's wearing second hand clothes and second hand shoes. She knows she's ugly. She doesn't need to be reminded, yet they do, as if somehow it'll change things. Sweet Anna Bell - Ugly Girl.
Verbal abuse is what that is and what this sweet child holds the bruises of. But notice this, her eyes look up, not down in shame. If you look at them closer you'll notice hope shining. She holds her head up. She hopes. The edges of her mouth turn up in a slight smile. She hopes. ...continue reading "Sweet Anna Bell – Ugly Girl"
A fire white butterfly with wings wide open spans 4 inches on rich earth tone colors. Wine, turquoise, gold, burnt umber and a touch of burnt orange makes the butterfly really pop off the 5 x 7 canvas board. The wings have been tipped with powder blue and edged with gold.
Texture. Texture is key to this piece. I handmade the stamps that created the texture. By layering stamps with acrylic paint I was able to get a blend of colors that's not too much and not too little.
This piece was created in one night. I took the paper that already had sawdust prepped on it and I began adding shapes and colors. My goal was to manage some heavy Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms I was having.
I thought to myself, I want to go to sleep, but I can't. I just kept painting. Painting what? At first I didn't know but as I focused I knew I wanted a woman in a thick field of flowers with her hair wild in the breeze. I kept painting. Her face was divided, half gold, half multi-colored. Her eyes look up or roll up to the sky. Black birds flutter in some areas but soar in others. Their wings are out strong and high, no hesitation, no fear of flying. There are 8 black birds in all. They're in the sky, her hair, on her white chest and in the flowers below. ...continue reading "Let Her Fly"
The art site is going to change a little bit. I'm going to talk openly about the process of the painting and the feelings associated with it. I'm not going to journal issues like I do on my personal blog, but I'm going to be a lot more open about the feelings associated with my paintings.
I was a bit worried about taking the art site to the next level. I worried about posting art that looks crazy, but ya know what? This art site is about healing from PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress disorder can make you feel crazy. It can be confusing and consume you. I use art so I'm not gulped up by the issues associated with trauma. So yes, there may be art that looks a bit 'mentally ill', full of chaos or even crazy, but that's fine. It's my truth in art.
I'm finding the new painting more emotionally taxing than I expected it to be. I decided to go ahead and photograph the steps so I can see it morph into its final state. The painting is called Stay. Dr. D and I talked about what it means. We talked about how the older woman (mother) has her hands around the daughter's shoulder and over her heart. The younger girl (daughter) has her hand on the mother's arm and one arm facing down. The daughter seems to pull back a little bit but she still holds on. Stay means too many things to count. Stay and be safe. Stay and be my mother. Stay and be my friend, be what I need you to be, just stay. The painting is harder than I thought it would be to complete, but complete it I will. And I'll photograph the creative journey. I like to see how the painting grows to completion.