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.

#artofwithdrawal bumps and growing pains

Over the past four months I have undergone a withdrawal psychosis when tapering my medication. It can happen. It happens. It happened. It was not very pleasant. It was downright terrifying at times. It was very draining on my partner. We managed at home.

From about month three I have been able to take a pencil in my hand…and once again the everyday and mundane things have become a vehicle for recovery: the pots and cups.

Below are some of these recovery drawings and paintings. I always find they are very strong…even if technically wonky. Perhaps something from the process of anchoring myself in the reality through seeing, touching and perceiving comes through.

I keep calm and chilling. Despite #brexit. Despite #psychosis. What else is there to do after all. Keep yourselves well. And let me know what you feel when you see these.

NB: problems with uploading images. Please check my handle at Instagram www.instagram.com/arting.me

The Eye eye eyeys have it

This week, while in the second week of another minitaper round I have come up against another withdrawal symptom, at least I think that is what it is…and not my body signaling me something…unsure about this: whether it is detoxing only or my body woking for me, as it always does.

My eyes, started hurting, puffed up, it is painful to see, to watch, to look. Bit of a bummer for a visual art peep like me…or anyone really…methinketh…so I have been resting, tea bags on my eyes, loads of fluids, hoping it is just the CNS adjusting to another lowering of the prescription drug..and not the-my unconscious knocking on the door…who knows?

But painted a bit too

Sleep Come to Me

…but mostly stared into the green in the garden and been digging some of it for next year.

How has your week been?

Arting greetings, to wherever you are-at. More later. AND HAPPY EQUINOX.

Those butterflies…of hope…again

They have made it back into my studio…first as affirmatory messages on my mirror, flutterring their tracing paper wings, then landing in my paintings and getting trapped there.

Butterflies, of hope.

Feeling lot better this week, having started another minitaper round: on 55% of my prescribed dosage now. After almost ten months. Another ten or so ahead. Midway point? Definitely if I count in the sertraline taper last year too: Slowly slowly catch a monkey…and the precision digital scales the #teddylost paintings have paid for have been of great help. Art of withdrawal indeed.

Butterflies of Hope

It is a strange and not always easy position to be in: I have always considered myself and been more of a community and participatory artist…working with people…now by the nature of the withdrawal process being pushed into a solitary confinement of the studio…being grounded…and grounding in the withdrawal process.

Following my #becometheartistyouare process meantime.

If you want to join me virtually at least, head over to the link.

To stay in touch, subscribe to my Arting newsletter here.

In the meantime…butterflies…of hope.

 

 

 

From the studio…notes on creativity gone…out and about and back and forth and bigger better slower more

The withdrawal process is seemingly unpredictable and requires a good measure of “go with the flow”, do what you need to do RIGHT NOW, stay in the MOMENT.

I have been infamously rubbish at it. Learning. Bear with me.

I have been running away from the now, the feelings, the e-motions and physical sensations, allowing my mind either to roam the vast range of regrets in the past or indulge in the promises of the future.

Bugger that. HEEEERE and NOW, my body, mind and spirit require me, to be. Right here, right now, keeping calm, keeping on keeping on….and CHILLing.

Art, i.e. in my case what I call arting has been really helpful. It really is art, I am just still too selfconscious to call it Art with capital A, let alone myself an artist, after thirteen years and counting…when is it gonna finish??? or click?!…, AND/BUT more importantly I really enjoy the processuality of that word ARTING. Bit like playing, messing about, goofing with…whatever.

Anyway…my art…arting has proved a saving grace once again. Above a couple of snapshots from the studio as it is at the moment.

#seemetoseeyourself portraits #couloringbooksforbiggirlswhodontcry, mess on my picture board (how did Nicole Kidman and reinterpretation of Origine du Monde with a butterfly get on there???) and my nest, with the aforementioned affirmative chilling cushion.

What I am trying to say…when I chill, like proper…stop harassing myself for being in recovery, in withdrawal, not in a (proper) job (DOH!!!), being a fake and all the associated nonsense my negative mind churns up on a second to second basis…I can actually just enjoy the peace that is within. AND THAT…is SOMEHING ELSE…then I can create from a place of joy, as in “radost” in Czech, and as we know there is never enough joy…not enough joy in enjoy and “radosti neni snad nikdy dosti”. Only there is more and more…when I allow myself to notice it.

So…I wish you a merry rest of the holiday season, and check out #premrawat if you get a minute. It is SOOO worth it. I just keep forgetting…and need to be reminded…all the time. Honest.

Lighting up Traces of Touch and Memories

Recently I have been playing and arting with my #tracingmyself process some more. I have been capturing touches and then boxing them up or sewing them into transparent lit up objects that conjure up all sorts of things, memories of the night, memories of the touch…memories…of…

 

 

I wonder what these boxes and objects evoke in you?

Let me know. For more pieces see my instagram profile.