Updates and Ponderings

Yes, I still exist, lol!

The past few months, I’ve been dealing with more health issues.  My doctor and allergist have found that I have several strong allergies that are probably the main cause of me feeling so crappy for awhile.  I’ve been taking allergy shots, but until my body acclimates to the shot, I’m even more sensitive to all my allergens, even the weaker ones.  So, for months, I’ve felt tired and weak, can’t go outside the house the majority of the time without a reaction, can’t go to friends’ houses who have pets or smoke without having a reaction, have to avoid all dairy and wheat because apparently I’m allergic and even if my allergy to them is on the low side, the shots could cause me to have a severe reaction…. this is all on top of the actual shot which can cause me to break out in hives. With all of this, I did go into a bout of depression and didn’t even celebrate my birthday, which was in April.

Good news is, I came out of the depression and have had time while feeling poorly to work on healing all my past trauma and baggage.  I’ve also had time to ponder the metaphysical and connect with my higher self.  And so much progress has been made!  Yes, there are still some fears and insecurities that I’m working on, but seriously, I have experienced breakthroughs in my thought processes!  Very exciting.  Also, while building up my self esteem and showing myself compassion, I have realized something important:  I am so much stronger than I had ever thought.  I went through so much emotional and mental pain and not only survived (which is amazing considering how many points in my life I was suicidal), but now have the self awareness to identify how my trauma affects my behavior and I’m working to heal that. My learning to love myself and building my self esteem is helping me feel that I am a capable person and that the things I regret doing towards others in my past and the many goals I had never accomplished were due to me doing the best I could at the time in those circumstances.  I am no longer going to compare my journey to others my age and feel that I have failed.  I can achieve my dreams despite my “late start” or the lack of encouragement from those around me. I am letting go of fear and anger from past abuse, so it no longer has control over me.  So yes, I have done so much inner work and it’s paying off.

Until my allergies are under control and some of my other health woes (like insomnia) are figured out, I am limited in what physical things I can accomplish, but THIS IS NOT PERMANENT.   Things will work out and I can create my own reality while remaining positive and continuing to love and heal myself.

So this is what I’ve been up to since my last post.  Not that people are waiting with baited breath to read my latest exploits (lol), but if someone happens upon my words and it helps them in some way, that would make me happy indeed 🙂

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Out of the Ashes Once More

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So it’s been about 2 years since I’ve written.

Wow.

Many changes have occurred during that time, of course… ups and downs, new drawings, a new job, stressful new work schedule, an art showing, relationship changes, surgery, a renewed sense of self, a situation that derailed my progress and brought back my PTSD symptoms…

2016 was a hell of a year. My PTSD had taken hold so strongly.  My existence pretty much consisted of staying alive and trying not to let on how scared and hurting I was… to appear to be “normal”.  Also, I was coming to terms that my trauma was from more than just mental and emotional abuse, that there were reasons I would be triggered during intimacy and that sexual situations I normally would enjoy, now filled me with fear.

Anyway, I’m not writing to focus on the pain, but upon my journey since. So much inner work, insights, and alternative healing methods led me out of that dark period (alternative healing methods were sought after several months of not being able to see a counselor – yay for the American health system!). I am so amazed and grateful to be my own sparkly self again.  I became social, more trusting, and confident. I was creating art again, reconnected with my psychic abilities, and gained clarity on what I wanted my future to look like.

So here I am at the end of November 2016 and this phoenix is soaring high.  I’m filled with ideas, ambitions, and hopes to explore… one being this blog.  The past few months of healing has made me ponder on ways to make this world a better place and how to spread joy.  I also came to the notion that I should share my insights during my journey and happiness projects I wish to execute, in case it would help or inspire others.

My future goals:

~Create art and actually PROMOTE it.  Like most artists, I’m clueless about marketing my talents.  This was brought to light again just recently when I was doing a live drawing at a hookah bar, and an acquaintance exclaimed “How are you not making any money off of this”?!?!

~Compose music, re-teach myself how to play the piano, and record music.  Music used to be such an important part of my life. Not only do I want to create in this medium again, but I also wish to SHARE IT WITH OTHERS.

~Spread joy! To put into action all those kindness ideas I’ve had for so long AND GET OTHERS INVOLVED. Make love and compassion a trend 🙂

~Write and share my poetry and my thoughts about life in general.

So this is me at this moment in time… being a silly unicorn fairy goddess again and ready to create my reality… and taking all of you lovely people with me for the ride 😉

Sacred Water

Tales of My Personal Art History 3: Subconscious Journeys

In the fall of 2013, I began to feel much better mentally & emotionally; going to counseling had helped repair my trauma, my self esteem had improved, and there was love in my heart again.  I started painting a Christmas gift; a gift that wouldn’t be ready until a couple months after and would stall any other creativity until it was completed.  But that project is a post for another day…

 

So 2014 has been an interesting year thus far for not just me, but my artwork as well.  I took my exploration of color and kinetic line (like in my Portal Paintings), and added form.  These pieces started off as abstracts with no plan; just allowing color and line flow freely.  I experimented with heavy washes of paint that would drip down the canvass, splashes of pigment that I flicked off my brush, and thick strokes of color.  But, it was in this unplanned chaos of paint that I saw figures, faces, landscapes, and creatures.  And then, I drew these shapes out.  I really didn’t know what direction the paintings would take; I just put more detail in the figures I saw peeking out of the blur of colors.  Was I tapping into my subconscious?  Or was I channeling information out of the ether?  I’m not sure.  I do know that I enjoyed being pleasantly surprised during the entire process.

 

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You are Loved ~ 2014 ~ acrylic on canvass ~ 24 x 24

(This painting is actual A LOT more turquoise colored than the photo suggests.  Actually, the photos I have currently are admittedly pretty crappy,  but I am using what resources I have at the moment.  In future, I’d hope to have professionally photographed images to display, but there is a reason the term “starving artist” exists, unfortunately)

This painting started out as a swirl of pthalo blue and turquoise hues… and then I saw a face and drew it out…

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I saw another face that became the ‘guardian angel’ type figure and then saw the faces of the little demon guys, and so forth…  I began to see this scene playing out of someone with depression or another sort of mental anguish being plagued with those inner negative thoughts.  If you’ve ever suffered from depression or similar mental illness, you know that the pain of the mind and/or soul can be so much worse than the pain of the body.  It is more than “being really sad”; more than something that merely thinking positively would cure.  The horrible thoughts running through your head and the negative perceptions they cause can feel like being under a curse or being tormented by malevolent creatures.  This painting became an outlet for my own experience with clinical depression and anxiety disorder.  The thoughts and perceptions one can have in that moment are not real or logical, but they feel like the ABSOLUTE TRUTH- that everyone DOES hate you or you really ARE this horrible person.  It is only after you come out of the depression that you can begin to see how false your perceptions were.

In this painting, there is this ‘being of love’ or ‘guardian angel’ bringing in a calming energy… dispelling the demons… letting the person know that what he’s thinking and feeling does not represent the truth, for he IS loved.  The words I painted are:  “The demons in your mind are NOT real. You are LOVED… and never alone”.  Funny how a painting with no plan turned into a powerful message that mirrored my own experiences.

 

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Sacred Water ~ 2014 ~ acrylic on canvass ~ 40 x 30

 

I actually started this piece in 2013.  It was start and stop during my healing time and mostly finished, but I didn’t like it.  But, more on THAT later…

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I wish I had taken a pic when this painting was an abstract- before I drew out the mountains, waterfall, moon, trees, and unicorn, but hindsight and all.  It was a series of drips and slashes of orange… which you can still see the slashes of “pre-phoenix” in this shot.  In the pattern of drips and slashes I saw this magical scene.  It was I place I have had reoccurring dreams about; the “waterfall place” as I call it.  This realm actually became my sacred space during meditation (hence the title).  And throughout the years, I have learned that others have visited this same place in dreams, astral projection, and meditation.  That’s an interesting phenomena that perhaps will be written more about in the future, but yes, another blog for another day indeed.  But in any case, I was happy to be finally creating a work describing this dreamscape that has been in my mind for years.

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Then I added the phoenix… and hated it.  Seriously.  It is common for an artist to be their own worst critic and for the inspiration and drive to flow some moments and in others, stop completely.  So this painting sat and sat in my room.  It may have been 2013 still when I fixed the tail and added talons- I can’t remember.  All I know is I liked the new tail, but hated the talons, ha ha ha. And my painting sat and sat some more.  Finally after finishing “You Are Loved”, I went back to this piece and fixed it to my satisfaction.  Even after that , it took me awhile to warm up to it.  Now I see it as a strong work, but yeah, definitely a lesson in not necessarily trusting my inner critic.

 

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I Am My Own Knight ~ 2014 ~

acrylic & high gloss varnish on canvass ~ 24 x 48

This painting has not been subject to my inner art critic of doom.  I absolutely love it!  I can actually see that this work is good and has potential- seriously that doesn’t always happen, ha ha ha!  Again this one started with drips, slashes, and chaos.  I had this weird, large, white shape in the middle of my canvass, and even though I had no idea where this painting was taking me, I was digging what I was seeing so far.  So at first this big white shape was going to be a scorpion and I was going to go with an astrological theme and call it “Scorpio Rising”.  But there was also something horse-like about it and friends who were around commented that it looked like a white horse.  So, immediately the song “Ride a White Horse” by Goldfrapp popped in my head.  It’s one of my favorite songs in general, but also to sing for karaoke.  But I resisted going that direction at first because of the drug reference… I saw this land as a dreamscape, not a drug trip.  But I added a tiny horse head and started blocking in a rider.  I was seeing that this was a dreamland (people have mentioned that the horse reminds them of Falcor from The Neverending Story, lol).  That this woman/ me was having an awesome dream of riding this mystical horse and being her own knight in shining armor.  And then the concept struck me… this was an artwork of empowerment; a subject that I have been working with in my own life.  That’s right!  She’s her OWN knight!  She’s not waiting around for someone to make her dreams come true, but making those dreams a reality herself!  I am woman- hear me roar!  Feminism not withstanding, I love the dream-like quality and color scheme.  This really is one of my favorite paintings I’ve created thus far.

 

So this the path I’m currently on.  I have started a new painting this week, that started out drippy, but I have a feeling it will have figures soon.  Maybe I’ll add a dinosaur… yeah, dinosaurs kick ass!

Tales of My Personal Art History 2: Goddess Paintings

I moved to Austin, TX in the spring of 2013, and it was definitely a time of adjustment and healing for me.  I mustered up the courage to leave an unhealthy marriage, and a week and a half later I hitched a ride with my best friend who was already moving to Austin.  She needed a travel buddy for a long trip- I needed a change of scenery and a fresh start.  I had packed some clothes, toiletries, artwork, and art supplies because that’s how I roll apparently.  You can read the post I wrote when I first arrived and the one about healing to get a glimpse of that time if you wish.  But soon after, I had stopped writing my blog.  So much had happened in between feeling like a phoenix and posting again the other day.  A lot more healing was needed than I ever imagined and I had struggled with repairing the damage for several months.  My challenge was to rediscover who I was and to “unlock my inner goddess”.  Even though finding inspiration to create was hit and miss, my art became a form of therapy for my soul.  With these next two paintings, I had a blueprint of what I wanted before I stood at my easel.  I had looked to old sketchbooks to rediscover images I had done when I felt whole.  It was fitting that I chose images of powerful and magical women during this time; I time when I was trying to regain my own power.  I may have had a planned composition in mind before I put brush to canvass, but I still let the painting “choose” how it formed.  These works are a combination of free style and formulation.

 

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The Star ~ 2013 ~ acrylic on canvass ~ 30 x 24 

 

This was originally a doodle on my Galaxy Note

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What a difference a change in materials can make!  And on canvass she became more of a powerful celestial figure…. controlling the chaos rather than being captured by it.  The imagery also reminded me of The Star card in a tarot deck, hence the title.  This piece was the first one in which I built up a series of washes and drips in the background; a technique I would continue with later on.

 

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One ~ 2013 ~ acrylic on canvass ~ 24 x 24

 

Here’s the original idea in my sketchbook:

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This shows the difference the change in scale can make.  She did lose the lunar goddess imagery of the original, but I believe she gained something in the painted version.  I’ll explain in just a bit, so bear with me.  I had this original sketch, but still wasn’t sure what direction the painting would ultimately take.  I liked the contrast of the rectangular forms against the curves of her hair and body.  I originally had painted the orbs in her hair to be planets in various bright colors.  But I wasn’t feeling it.  It was only after I painted the shapes white and silver, did it seem to make sense.  She was ONE with the universe; the universal goddess of all.  There was now a feeling of calm that the work radiated.  She evolved from a lunar deity to a cosmic force.  Quite an awesome transformation to inspire me during my personal reconstruction.

So this was my 2nd art period.  A short one perhaps, but part of my artistic and personal journey.