#artingme challenge outcomes and learnings

As part of my healing process I have dug in into my #artingme process once again. It is a seven day guided creativity challenge. This time I was sharing it with people around the world on insta.

For a week I sat mostly in the garden writing and arting following the guided daily prompts.

Still digging the process a week later and offering the prompts in a form of an e-book to download here: http://www.arting.me/how-do-you-becometheartistyouare-start-here/

Enjoy and let me know how you are getting on!

Feelings and fundraiser

Painting myself through recovery from supersensitivity psychosis following a taper of psychmeds.

Two weeks after the first portrait and a lot of tidying up, resting and writing I have taken to the painting wall/aka easel again.

Here, another portrait and feelingy abstracts.

Also, having volunteered for The Prem Rawat Foundation I have decided to support their efforts, especially the most recent one in the Ukraine. See more on my Instagram. Every donor gets to choose a digital print of my artwork of their choice as a Thank you. Get in touch to arrange that.

Digging myself outta a hole…again

So, I have not blogged for nearly five months…the reason being…or having been, another dip on my taper journey…this time the supersensitivity psychosis kicked in when watching the first images of the Ukrainian war. It took me into catatonic/vegetable like states, needed to reinstate my drug and taking it slowly, digging myself outta that hole again: hence kittens, tea and gentle connections on whatsapp…with family and friends. My partner has once again proven himself to be a lion in disguise.

Feeling so grateful for every day I do not rhyme, stutter or get stuck over something petty because of paranoia…spliced with moments of heightened awe and insights into peace and human condition over puehr tea.

After my mum and sister visited and combed my hair properly in months, I took this photograph and even ventured as far as capturing this somewhat volatile and shaky state in a feeling self-portrait. This is what I look like and feel like on the inside, respectively.

Will keep you posted about my recoveries discoveries. Watch this space.

And let me know how you are getting on :-).

Tulips Continued, and me too

Tulips
Tulips Again

The two artificial tulips hanging in my studio have become a starting point for exploration of or a metaphor for my inner states of being while in withdrawal from prescription drugs. Definitely on the feeling side kind of paintings. Felt lot better for having painted them. Pain, doubt, loss…all transmuted into something else. Hopefully!

What feelings do they evoke in you?

Prints available, get in touch.

Tulips and Tea Cups

Tulips

This week culminated in these two paintings while listening to bbc6 and dancing myself out of whatever is inside.

I am learning that truly all of my art is art as therapy. At the moment I seem not to be able to paint otherwise.

So…sharing, from the deep life to darkness to a teapot for two. Enjoy.

Tea for Two

For more go to my insta feed. Prints abailable, contact me for more.

Meanwhile have a great and restful weekend!

Painting myself through…

Prayer…almost cathedral
Mount Misery Tea Pot
Isolation Memory
Child in me

Two weeks ago I started taking another generic form of my drug…and sure enough the fact that its producers are only obliged to guarantee eighty percent of active substance…lead to me going through some really intense experiences which I painted myself through:

through the feelings, flashbacks and realizations of who in me was locked up at that isolation cell in a czech clinic when I had my breakdown all those years ago…true #artofwithdrawal.

My body seems to have gotten used to it now…so perhaps some time for more cuppas. Hope you are all well in the new year!

To arting!

You can join me now for not only these intense paintings at http://www.instagram.com/arting.me for #21daysinmyartworld challenge with @taraleaver

See you there!

Psychiatry sucks, seriously. Or is it the psychiatrists?

This week I tried to take part in a writing challenge online. I dropped out. Decided to leave the group…after many many people had cheered writing by a retired forensic psychiatrist relating the story of a former patient in no less sensational (detective story style way) manner than the headlines of the gutter press. In comments to her post on the writing challenge people mainly admired her bravery, she admitted that there is a backstory to most of the cases, and that she does dive into it in the upcoming book. I seriously hope so. I did leave a comment to that effect saying it is the stories that help understand why people may have behaved in certain ways. It does make sense, always. I was seriously disappointed with that shared paragraph of an upcoming book with a publisher and people’s general reactions, though there was one brave woman who commented on the lack of depth of it. I do hope she edits it, or her approach, I really wish I just read too much into it, but I am afraid I usually don’t. I only have an English lit degree, and translation experience, studied pragmatics, art therapy and have a lived psychiatric inpatient experience.

Anyhow, now onto something completely different, kinda. I am sharing a blog of a fellow traveler in arms…Katerina Paskova, she bravely shares her story of a Psychmeds Refuser and Withdrawer, in Czech. I seriously pray for her and cheer her on her way. Go, Katka, go!

Having said that, I am hereby declaring I am also not far off from embarking on another stage of my recovery journey, as I will be tapering aripiprazole, the second time round. I had previously tapered off successfully sertraline, and hopefully healed by now. Long story short…psychiatry sucks, seriously. If anything, the moral of the story I was trying to write in that challenge mentioned above was Hugs not Drugs (killer title, right?)….and that kind of sums it up in a neat paperback form…for those who do not want to look no further or deeper…but now reconsidering: Psychiatry sucks, seriously. Sounds more like it. May the force be with us.

If you want to follow my journey in arting my withdrawal process…go to my instagram and click follow.

Thank you for reading, liking and sharing.

#seemetoseeyourself online while in lockdown

See me to see yourself end of March

Quick note from the studio again, so blessed and honoured to be creating more for the #seemetoseeyourself ongoing project portraits.

See, I draw and paint women in #recovery, helping them see themselves for who they truly are…on the road, journeying, full of potential, full of light despite what they had been through or had put themselves through in the past.

The process is quite simple, yet intuitive:

I sit with the sitter, I hold the space…

Whatever comes up comes up

We meet. Each other. Each oneself.

I hold the space.

The sitter shows up, as in puts down the protective masks and shows up in their heart self.

I take up my pencils and paints and capture that.

I hold the space.

The sitter is witnessed for who they truly are. I bear witness to that.

They connect to it, themselves, the resulting piece a reminder of that meeting.

Simple. Not always that easy perhaps, for we are making it difficult for ourselves most of the time.

But finding that recently sitters have been more open with themselves, opening their hearts more readily…perhaps because I have done so too? Mirror mirror on the wall…

Funnily enough, it works online too…despite the distance and technical disembodiment of the experience.

If you feel like it, being part of the ongoing project, let me know #seemetoseeyourself.

At the moment, especially with what is going on with corona, I would like to serve as many women in recovery as possible, so the sitting is on a donation basis, covering the materials and p&p. Get in touch.

 

 

First and Next Show, find ten differences, and an Invitation to Arting in the times of Corona 101

 

It will have been fourteen years since I first showed my art publicly (when I don’t count the picture of a sun when I was four that got hung up in the kindergarten, up on the noticeboard for all the parents to see…since then I don’t think my pieces ever made it up on the noticeboard again, see I was never very good at drawing inside the lines, and that is what mostly counted as I grew up in the communist and later transitioning Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic).

WIN_20180404_13_26_09_Pro

Here it is miraculously, surviving all the moves and transitions since. The four year old me’s reminder to grin at it and shine. All the time. I owe her a lot.

My first show was a group one, and it was of works by clients of a psychiatric clinic I ended up at when twenty five. It was called, Art is a State of the Soul…could not agree more…however reflecting upon the exhibited works, my soul or psyche had not been in such a great shape then despite, or perhaps because of?, the care I had just received…it looked a bit like this, though this is a later work.

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To cut a long story shorter…I am here now…in London, preparing another solo show, for Goldsmiths gallery, which just had to be postponed, understandably due to the corona situation and lockdowns.

It is called #artofwithdrawal and maps the period of my prescription drug withdrawal, not always and easy process…but very nourishing and enlivening for the aforementioned soul/psyche. Hanging in there. Both with my soul and the show.

I am looking into ways how to take the project online at the moment and make it more participatory…earlier I had opened up my photographic series #everydaycourages to sharing and contributions by other artists and artingers. I might do something similar this time too.

Would you be up for it? Do you have some experience with #recovery from #psychofarmaceuticals? Is art/arting one of your coping and survival strategies? I would love to hear from you for an open conversation about the possibilities.

1_Everyday Courages

If you feel drawn and inspired by this…and not too put off by my unofficialness…it really at the moment is just me in my studio…and/but the Goldsmiths space too in the foreseeable future…let me know :-).

Let’s talk…abre el corazon…I have just opened my heart in Spanish, been tandemming and picking it up after years of non-usage, the same with German…what I love about this whole corona situation is the fact that people, when not destitute, and worried sick for their livelihoods were able to slow down and take the time to do things while in lockdowns that they normally would not have given themselves the time to, or simply would not been able to make it. Hope you are among them too, and/or getting support you need.

I have opened a free challenge #21DaysArting in the Arting Group  aimed at the first three weeks of lockdown over here in the UK. You can still join us, not too late. It is a creative first aid of sorts for artists and artingers. After day two, following the process, I have come up with yet another angle, another inspiration, I literally breathed it in…so invite you to do the same. Come over.