I finished a painting yesterday and I realized as I cleaned my brushes that I seem to always come up with a painting when I have one of my major anxiety attacks and relapses. I reset. I paint.
So, here are some of my paintings that I have accumulated over the years (yes…YEARS…sad but true).
30×30 Acrylic on canvas
This is one of my favourite pieces. I remember agonizing over whether I had too much blue…it seemed so cold, so sad. I was planning to paint a daisy…something with yellow, something that whispers of sunshine and happy days ahead…instead, my hand seemed to gravitate toward BLUE. So, here is it…no yellow in sight.
30×40 Acrylic on canvas
2013 also had a relapse…and a painting. So, back I went to the art store and purchased a bigger canvas. I was determined to have something that I could look at and say, “Yes, that brightens up my day and everything is going to be OK.” Instead, I again seemed to gravitate to darker colors and darker moods. I remember it was the middle of summer and I just wanted to crawl into my proverbial cave and close my eyes and hoped I would feel better when I do open them. I wished it was winter. At any rate, here it is. Eyes closed and a scarf to keep me warm. Still no yellow in sight.
“A Million Suns”
60×60 acrylic paint on canvas
This is the biggest piece I have ever done. My husband actually had to make this canvas for me since they don’t sell this size in your normal art store. This was a painting inspired by an accountant turned artist, Jonah Calinawan ( incidentally, also my brother!). His work discovers the endless possibilities of choice, destiny, and identity using a 19th century printing process called cyanotype–which gives his images a deep blue color. You can check out his work at amillionsuns.com. As I was doing this piece, I was thinking that life is not really black and white, that we have a choice in making our lives happier, that our outlook in life can be more positive… if we want it to be. I used to scoff at these sayings like “choose happiness”. Very cliche and I roll my eyes. But you know what, there was something to be said for making that choice that “Hey, I can do this. I choose to be happy, I choose to have a more positive perspective.” Of course, there were days when it just seemed so hard to get out of bed when I felt storm clouds in my head and I did not want to move a muscle for fear of letting all my inner demons come out and dance in the rain. (Laugh). I found this was when my mindfulness practice helped me the most. In this painting, I finally had to courage to use Yellow!
So, perhaps, this is why this recent setback has really shaken my resolve. I was on a roll and I was doing fine (or so I thought), then boom! Episode in the stairway (see my previous post “May 21, 2015“).
24 x 36 acrylic on canvas
This is my most recent painting and from looks of it, I am getting more comfortable with using more “happier” colors. This set back has been brief ….maybe because I just needed a quick little reminder to “pause”. Oh, I forgot to mention that I have gone back to work this past week…slowly integrating back…a few hours a day.
I will leave that story for another time.
At any rate, I look at my paintings over the years and while they were made during difficult times, I am glad I made something beautiful out of it (or so I think anyway!) .
I am also realizing that at the rate I’m going, I will be running out of wall space pretty soon!