Trade Anxiety for Art

I have, for most of my life, suffered from some pretty bad anxiety and panic attacks. The doctors believe that it’s the result of some childhood trauma, some crap that happened when I was a kid that I just can’t get over. It’s like I’m still there, reliving that trauma, all my fear and flight mechanisms are firing at all times. There are times, many actually, that I have been able to push those feelings to the back burner. They haven’t every really been gone, just sitting there, simmering and waiting for the moment that they can spring forward again and send me into a tailspin.
For the past few years those issues have gotten to the point that at times they’ve been crippling. I’ve laid in bed, curled up. Unable to sleep, unable to get up. Just lying there, thinking, full of fear and full of hatred.

But then I started to draw again. I noticed that when my anxiety was flaring up, that if I drew something, concentrated on the lines being created on my page that the anxiety lessened.
These past few months, since I started drawing and painting, that not only has my anxiety lessened but I cannot really think of the last time I woke up in the middle of the night, gasping for air, feeling like I’m dying.

Now, I’m not saying that working on my art has cured my anxiety, panic attacks. What I am saying is that it sure is helping me to feel more like a ‘normal person’ and less like a broken or defective person. Not good for much, and I certainly haven’t been whining about poor little me.

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Inspiration to Improve

I’ve been drawing eyes, practicing all different techniques and styles.
But the weather has turned from the hot, sunny days of summer to the blustery, chill of autumn and my spirit suddenly wants to create something that reflects the season that we are in. Gold and Reds of autumn leaves in the trees, cascading down to the ground inspire more than just that feeling of appreciation for the beauty that I see before me.
The season is leading in to Halloween, a time of witches, Sabbats, Samhain and the dead interacting with the living. This is pushing me towards creating something that reflects the season that we are moving ever closer to.

The problem? Skill. I’ve painted a total of 1 painting, and there is so much that I hate about it. I lack the skill to bring into creation the images that dance about in my head, and it frustrates me. So, in order to do some justice to the scenes I wish to create, I find I must put my eyes away and to practicing scars, decaying flesh, fires and beautiful fall foliage.

I’m realistic about my skills and what I can create. I know that by this time next year I’ll have a better chance of bringing to life the visions in my head, but I can’t just sit back and ignore these creative urges, this call of inspiration to create.

Will my work be good, most likely not. Those out there, those with more skill, will pick apart my work and find the flaws, bring them to the light of day. I’ll be challenged by those that see my vision as limited and accused of not having an ‘artistic voice’ because my images are not stylized or conforming to a look that is specific to me. I know that my beginning work is erratic, that I don’t follow a specific theme. My art is inspired by what I see, what I feel. I can’t do better than that. I may paint or draw for a hundred years and not find a conformity to link my work, and that’s fine with me. Actually I hope that is the truth. For I don’t wish to be pigeon-holed into a specific style or technique, I want to grow. I want to learn. Those that have criticisms are welcome if they are constructive. I’m the kind that shoves my work into the faces of others, not demanding to be complimented or told how talented I am (not that I think I’m talented), but I am demanding that they advise me on my mistakes, how to make my work better. ‘Tell me what’s wrong with this!” is what I say, not ‘How does this look”. Show me the flaws, help me to grow, help me to learn. Help me to become better.

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Boo!

A couple of days ago my husband tore apart my laptop, he even turned to me when all the components were spread around the room and said ” I may have just fucked up your laptop”.

He put it back together, and everything was good except for the power button. Now that sucker is on strike, it’s not working at all. But there’s another button that turns my system on, so it’s all good.

Except now the power supply is shit. I need to get a new one. Until then my laptop keeps shutting down because the power sink, or whatever it’s called, is overheating.

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From Bad to Worse

Yesterday was not a good day, not for me studying anyway.
I woke up with some not very fun or pretty health issues yesterday and as I result I wasn’t able to be there when my daughter took my son out to his bus. Which resulted in her not actually finishing packing him up for school, which meant that his feeding tube pump and supplies, along with his lunch, snacks and drinks did not go to school with him.
So close to 9:00am I got a phone call from the nurse, upset that his medications, food and pump were all missing. There I am, sick and unable to do a thing about it. I felt like the worlds worst Mom.

A few hours later the nurse starts to rapid dial me, and I’m thinking ‘crap, it’s lunch time and they are calling to tell me how miserable my son is, sitting there with his empty tummy, watching everyone else eat.’ but no. Seems the button for his feeding tube broke and the nurse wanted me to come and pick him up right away.
I asked if the button had come out. No, just a piece broke off. So my next question was, is that causing any issues. Answer, no. They taped it up and it seems fine. Ok, so he’ll come home at his normal time. If everything is going well, there is no reason for his Dad to leave work early and pick him up.
The husband comes home when his shift ends and we run down to the hospital and buy a new button and supplies (almost $300 later, money we had not budgeted spending) and when we get home I discover that my son is in fact soaked with stomach acid and contents.
Seems the piece falling out made it so that the button was wide open and leaking everywhere. My poor boy. It smelt, and it was gross. Sort of like vomiting on yourself and then sitting in it. (Yes, I wrote an angry letter to the school as well as put a call in to the principal this morning, that is not only gross but so unacceptable), remember how the nurse assured me that he was fine, just missing a piece of the button. Liar!!

So, me being sick and all this other crap going on, is it any wonder that I did not do any ‘work’ yesterday on my art?
I think not!

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Lil Miss Devil

What do you do when you have been working on a picture for 12 hours or so, and the more you work on it, the more you really don’t like it?

All I see are the flaws and the more I try to fix them, the stronger my dislike gets.

I like to take photos of my work, it allows my eyes and brain to see clearly, instead of selected vision that I have when I look and see what I want to see. So I posted these photos online, asking for true criticism to help me improve. I don’t want people pating me on the back, telling me my art is awesome, when it’s truly flawed shit. But nobody has anything to say.

My husband did. He told me that she looks like she has a pig nose, so I tried to fix that. I hate her hair, I hate her ears (which are in the wrong place), I hate her body form.

The only thing I like are her eyes. All that work and all I did well were her eyes!

Also, I suck at drawing hands. I really loathe her damn hand

Edit:
So I have gone back and tweaked her a bit. I’m still not that happy, but I think it is an improvement.
img_0365.jpg

But her thumb. Way too long!

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It’s Still Summer Here

Well it’s September, yesterday was the first day of school and I have to say that this is the most summery September I can remember. For both yesterday and today, we’ve been under a heat warning, with the humidex hovering at a blistering 35 C or higher. This has been one of the hotest, driest summers that I can remember. Everyone I know is so over the summer, they are eagerly awaiting the cooler days of fall, if they ever get here.

I myself am reluctant to yearn for those cooler, crisper days, I know that they are fleeting. Autumn days are gold. Like I read in The Outsiders as a kid, gold is natures hardest hue to hold. The leaves will turn from emerald to their golds and reds and then suddenly they’ll be gone, before you really got that chance to appreciate all that Autumn has to offer, the trees will be skeletal against the sky. The crisp, cool air will turn frosty, our breath will mist in the air and light dustings of frost will cover the ground and car windows in the mornings when we wake up.  What follows after that is just a lot of wind, cold, snow and misery. Winter!
And once we are caught in the vice like grip of winter, everyone who lamented how long the summer was dragging on, will turn their whimsical natures to thoughts of summer, dreams for longer, sun filled days, hanging outside with friends and taking things at an easier pace.

Not me. I’m going to hold onto the summer for as long as I can. I’m going to enjoy it, not bemoan it. I most likely will be one of those who walks around, rubbing my arms, all bundled up in a million different layers in an attempt to ward of the frostbite chill of winter, all the time crying about how it’s just way too cold, and when is summer going to be coming back any way? But all the time I’m complaining, I’ll know that I didn’t kiss off the summer sun prematurely.

a.08.14 666

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