• Finding the good in the bad, plus STORYTIME

    When life challenges me, I don’t always have it in me to rise to the challenge. The level of anxiety that I deal with on a daily basis has been increasing over the last month and a half or so. My doctor recently increased the anxiety medication that I take, so I have hope that I will once again be up for the challenge. I’m making a concerted effort to be grateful for each good thing in my life and to even find the good in the bad. I was listening to a podcast on finding peace and healing in nature. The person being interviewed described being in so much discomfort from a chronic illness that she couldn’t even hold a book. Part of her daily routine was sitting outside to watch eucalyptus trees and birds building nests. She described parting the grass and watching the life that goes on underneath. She explained how this peace helped with her recovery. I want this kind of slow healing for myself. I have been hiking four to five miles a few times a week with a buddy for a while now. It…

  • Creative flow and tools for when I’m stuck

    If you’re following my journal, you know that I was creatively blocked by anxiety and depression for many years. Even as far back as 2006 when I was making art, I was periodically blocked. It was frustrating, to say the least. After 2008 or so, the creativity just stopped. I am so grateful that the blockage has finally cleared. Creative ideas are flowing pretty freely for me now and it’s so exciting. I get inspired by so many things that I see throughout my day. Sometimes ideas just come to me in flashes without reason or prompting. I’m sure that this normal for many artists, but for me, it’s a new thing. Tools that I use for boosting creativity If ever I do get stuck, or if I get bored with the work, there are things that I do that help to keep it fresh. If I want to play with a new texture I just head out to the forest. Besides the calming effect of the forest, and nature in general, the it is full of inspiration for me. I spend time off the beaten path slowly wandering around…

  • Slowly getting back in the swing of things

    Back to work for the first time in thirteen days I was finally able to work for seven hours on 6/6/21. I cleaned and primed several surfaces to begin working on. I made a couple of tools out of some old paintbrushes that I picked up from Turnip Green Creative Reuse over the weekend. These tools aren’t pretty, but they are functional. I’m working on smaller pieces these days, though I still have steps to finish on a few larger pieces also. I’m overthinking the contrast in textures and paint washes on a couple of them. I’ll work it out. I’m excited to show them. Anxiety and panic set in Not being able to create for even this short amount of time was difficult to get through. I experienced high anxiety for several days during my downtime. The worst was when I woke up in a panic. I was agitated all day and at times I could feel my blood pressure throbbing in my neck and my hearing was pulsating in and out. Though I have several tools that I use to combat anxiety, they are elusive when I’m in…

  • Surgery downtime and EMDR therapy breakthroughs

    I’ve had surgery for trigger finger, so I can’t work right now I’ve had trigger finger in my left ring finger for over three years. The finger would either lock in the bent position or wouldn’t bend at all. It was painful in either position, so surgery was needed. I have four stitches and can’t get my hand wet until it heals. Needless to say, I can’t get any work done. My work is wet and messy with lots of gluing and wetting the paper. The cleanups during and after work each day can be quite the splash fest. I did try to do small things like prime a few new substrates, but it overworked the tendon just holding the pieces with my left hand, so I had to stop. I feel like this is putting me behind on my goals which has triggered anxiety and worry and then into the spiral of worst-case scenarios. With nothing to do to keep my hands and mind occupied, my mind wanders into dangerous territory. This might explain my waking up with noticeable depression on Memorial day. I was fearful that the momentum…