Art has been a powerful form of therapy for me. i’ll show you!
This was one of my first acrylic paintings. I wanted to create something surreal. almost all my experience with art was abstract. It came to me naturally. surreal was a lot harder!
the lizard print is from when I was in high school, one of the toughest times in my life. My parents were in the middle of an ugly divorce and my bipolar was undiagnosed and out of control. I was drinking heavily.
My four years of art class was a haven. We got to use the 2 big art rooms and supplies on lunch or after school. The teacher, Sister Claire was wonderful.
this is a lino print i made in one of her classes. she taught us to cut mattes too, i did a good job, but this photo doesn’t make it look that way!
“lino lizard” 1989
I didn’t paint a lot until 2009. It was a very difficult time in my life.. I felt hopeless and shut down. I found art as a form of therapy. I knew I was creative and i’ve appreciated modern art as long as I can remember.
I didn’t know what to do about it. Then I read about prismacolor pencils online. I bought a ream of card stock and a set of them. I used up the whole ream and half of the pencils.
“pachyderm” an early colored pencil drawing
I drew all day, most days and I felt better, as time went on. I joined deviantart and started to learn. I asked everyone everything.
I worked on learning to paint and draw. It was practice and obsession. It was incredible. The world seemed open again. I tried as many mediums as could.
I made friends with artists on social media sites. We discussed artists we liked, techniques, inspiration and motivation. We validate each other and give and get positive feedback.
As I said, my art epiphany happen in 2009. It wasn’t the only time I painted. Both times my muse was my depression.
In 1995 I was asked to take a leave of absence from a job at E*Trade Securities that I hated, because of my bipolar disorder issues, I wasn’t able to act appropriately in a corporate environment. I cried at work, I missed way too many days, got angry when I was micromanaged, on and on. It was much too uptight, high stress, and just wasn’t what I wanted for myself.
After getting pushed out of my job i became extremely depressed. I was angry and scared. I felt ashamed. Thank goodness I had my husband to save me.
My dear father wanted to help. He gave me money to buy art supplies because he, my husband, and my psychiatrist thought it would be therapeutic. it was.
I went wild! It was feeling the thrill of buying art supplies for the first time. I chose large format canvases, oil paints, linseed oil, turpentine, brushes, drop cloths. I was really excited again. I started painting. Some of it was really enjoyable. I didn’t like making all of them because they woke up feelings I needed to feel but didn’t want to. Therapy! Catharsis!
“comet cleanser” an oil painting i did in 1995. you can see the catharsis!
Unfortunately, I only did that for a year. After that I made notebooks I filled with pen and ink drawings and oil pastels. i have no idea what happened to them, which is really too bad.
at one point I drew on a big pad of newsprint with sticks of charcoal. I put the pad on my old easel. I did lots of scribbling, making marks, (and making a mess!), practicing graceful curves suggesting the human body. Making big strokes and lines, drawing freely made me *feel* free.
I made and sold artisan jewelry for a couple of years after that. it kept my creative juices flowing and was a lot of fun. During this time I also did some oil painting.
one of my necklaces. i sold it to someone in australia!
one of my oil paintings done during the time i was making jewelry, before i got serious about painting.
Now I paint with many kind of paints and inks. I make psychedelic drawings with markers and fine liners.
It’s still going on. I’ve learned so much! That cliche about the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know is definitely true in this case. I think it will get more and more interesting as I carry on my art journey. It is still, and always will be, a large part of the therapy I need for my mental and physical ailments.
“woman on the wind” water color