Update A.K.A Where I’ve Been

I have found creating any kind of content very difficult this year and there are two main reasons for this; firstly I use my life in my art, however that presents itself whether in poem or paint, prose or a post and the truth is much of what has been happening this year involves other people. And I do not hold with telling others stories without consent, especially when there is no real ‘right of response’ for that person. And I cannot say what is happening with out including specifics and I don’t think that is right, I choose to share my life, other people have a right not too. Secondly, it has been and remains to be heavy, much and a lot. It is still very much ongoing and currently I cannot see an end point, its a general rule of mine that I create (for public consumption) from scars not wounds and I am currently still bleeding out.

That being said, I miss having these outlets that I can share things and so I have made the decision to not put my life on hold while it is a smoldering wreck of its past self. I can still create from old scars and when this season ends and I have healed and processed, I can create from those scars too. As I said to a friend of mine, who recently said she missed my angry poems on Instagram –

When it comes to my poetry, I’m either writing about hell, or going through hell; I’m currently going through hell. Trust me when I say, poems will be coming.’

So what are some of the ways I have been keeping sane through all of this?

Like I say, I still create when I am in extreme emotion but it generally takes on an abstract form as I haven’t processed yet. And I am a person that really needs to sit with something and pick it apart and understand how I feel but more importantly why I feel that way. So the artistic expressions during these periods of my life tend to be without form and a reflection of a very raw emotional state, like this piece which when I started I thought I felt ‘fine’ but turns out not so much…

This piece started off as just colour but then the black felt right, ‘The Muting of Colour’ helped me see I was depressed.

It is a highly therapeutic practice for me and I find it to be a purging of that emotion or thought spiral. I start,. pregnant with emotion and after I finish the piece, I am sweaty, euphoric, sore and I have an art baby. If you are going through something overwhelming whatever that looks like for you, I really recommend getting some paint and a canvas (both relatively cheap, you can pick up a canvas, set of paints and brushes for less than £15 in the UK) You don’t have to be a painter or consider yourself an artist, just go outside or lay some paper down and go for it. I t doesn’t matter what it looks like,. its not about that. It is simply about expressing yourself,. you don’t even need brushes – I will often use my hands for these works and if you can’t afford a canvas, get an old bed sheet, hell you can even use dregs of wall paint, food colouring, nail polish. The point is to get into it and loose yourself to the process and not care about the end product. It’s not supposed to be pretty. Fuck pretty. It will be messy and chaotic, just like life and their will be a beauty in that.

Visual Diary’s are also a great way of recording where you are at, head space wise on any given day when you don’t have the words too. I was gifted a large blank notebook at Christmas by a good friend for this very purpose and it has really helped not just for the reason’s above but also because sometimes when I’m in intense emotion I feel the paranoia of someone finding a written diary and being held accountable for my private thoughts.

Some examples from my visual diary, I don’t know what they are either.

It doesn’t need to be a special type of journal, anything will do – if you are wanting to use paint, thicker pages are best but really, who cares?

It’s about getting the pain on the page and out of you, so it doesn’t matter how or what that looks like, just that it’s out.

Of course sometimes you just need to scream, cry and hit things (safe things) and that is absolutely valid and important, its not to say you can’t do that while creating – I smacked the crap out of the canvas when I created this piece…

My friend described this painting as ‘Wrath’

Again, I thought I was sad when I started painting, turns out I was pissed off beyond the telling but by the time I downed tools, not only did I have a better idea of where my head was at, I felt calmer and processing felt easier because I knew where to start.

So the next time it all feels too much, have a think about using art as a way to get out whatever it is you are feeling, or think you are feeling – you might just surprise yourself

Have you ever tried art therapy?

I’d love to hear about your experiences or any different techniques you used in the comments.

Until next time,

Go get your hands messy.

2 thoughts on “Update A.K.A Where I’ve Been

  1. I haven’t tried art therapy in the formal sense, but I’ve realised that doodling does help me feel more present, as well as takes me out of my mind, if only for a brief moment. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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