Let’s get the worst out of the way first
I’ve been having ups and downs with anxiety lately. There have been days when I shut down and days that creativity flows. On Tuesday of this week, I started work at 6:15 AM. I was playing with recycled canvas strips, thank you Turnip Green Creative Reuse, glued onto recycled peach crate wood to insert into rectangular cutouts in the sculpture. I was excited and the ideas were coming fast. I was really enjoying myself, and BOOM, at 9 AM a wave of anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. It just appeared out of nowhere and without any worrying thoughts or triggers. I knew at that moment that it was all over and I couldn’t do another thing. I became frustrated, angry, and then tearful.
I quickly prepared and drank an herbal cocktail, turned out all the lights, lit candles, and put on meditation music. I laid down and practiced the 4-7-8 breathing technique. I talked to the universe and visualized my work and what I want for my life. After about 15 minutes, I began to feel calmer. The herbs help to calm me, but also make me very drowsy. I wasn’t able to do anything for the next few hours but sit and watch Youtube videos of some of my favorite artists. I got very little done after that.
Focussing on the positive
I’ve been practicing not being so precious with the paper when I’m molding it over any substrate. This takes some of the intensity out of the work and allows me to feel freer. In the beginning, I tried very hard to blend the lines between each piece of paper. Now, I like to show the breaking points of the paper. Especially around the sides of each piece.
As you may know, I use the tip of paintbrush handles in a tapping motion to knit the paper fibers together. I started experimenting with a different technique for knitting the fibers. I found that rolling the cut edge of a tin can across the fibers gives a more consistent linear texture overall. I can hardly wait to see this with paint.
I’ve been slowly working on older projects as well as new ones. Some small, some larger. I’m building two new larger substrates from recycled canvas frames and recycled plywood. Thanks again Turnip Green Creative Reuse. The smaller pieces are fun to make, but they aren’t as challenging as the larger pieces. There’s so much more surface area to play with. As I explore this technique, I find that there are endless possibilities for textures, paint, and embellishments.
Remember, if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, there is help
In these very scary times, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with it all. If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, or just going through a difficult time and need a little help, please click this link to my mental health resources tab. There are trained professionals available to help you through by talking or directing you to the help that you need. There are crisis hotlines and other resources there.