It paints again…

I didn’t stop forever, just for a while. I finished the Alice painting, which I will post once its owner gets her sexy mitts on it. In the meantime, here’s some weird shit I’m working on. I’m frustrated with it because, well, look at it. It’s a frustrating thing. I suppose that’s why it’s an in-progress picture and not a voila-done picture.

I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s been a weird few days. I’m out.

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34 Going On 12

(an immature 12)

One post since 2014. This makes two.

I would say I feel like a failure for not keeping up with this or that, but that’s not entirely right. I’ve been keeping up with other things — taking care of myself and my surroundings. Simply, unwrecking my world.

I moved and that has improved my surroundings. The lull that I’ve entered is delicious. It’s much needed and will allow me to carry on the next time shit gets wrecked. Wouldn’t have it any other way, though. All good is just as bad as all bad, yeah? A different kind of bad, anyway. Like a Michael Jackson kind of bad.

While searching for new digs, one criterion was having a dedicated room for doing art. I’m still unpacking, but my brushes and paints are out. I found scraps of canvas that I cut a while back and have started a painting.

Confession: I have been notoriously careless when it comes to painting (or doing any kind of art). My needs (what I thought) were to simply get out whatever is in my head. I get the image out, but it’s a bastardized version of what I wanted to do. My impatience let the shoddiness slide just so I could move on to whatever was next. And if nothing was next, then I did nothing. Since coming to this shameful realization this year, I have kicked my impatience in the teeth and now it’s in a semi-conscious state and unable to speak.

This painting is taking much longer than normal. It’s not even a quarter of the way done. This is driving me mad, but I need it to drive me mad. It’s good for me! Plus, the more time I take on it, the more I’m spotting these horrendous mistakes that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen/cared about if I was rushing. Intention is good. Discipline and all that.

Now that I’ve embarrassed myself by sharing all that, let me share what I’ve done so far:

wip jul 17 2014

Illustration Friday: Suspend

I like the word “suspend” and the many images that could be associated with it.

In November of last year I drew a similar picture while in a hospital waiting room. The idea of being suspended by a thread passing through the navel intrigued me. Sort of the second tie to life, with the umbilical cord being the first. However, once this tie is cut, it’s over…or the end of this is followed by the beginning of a new life, depending on your beliefs.

This time ’round I drew a hand above the suspended body, with the thread wrapped around the little finger.

Whitney, Whitney, Whitney…

First, I should say that I have very little interest in celebrity news, gossip, or general goings-on. I don’t care who shaved their head, flashed their undies (or lack of), cheated on this one with that one, or ate a live zebra (okay, if that happened it might pique my interest…a little). I am, however, interested in who volunteered their time/money here or there, supported this or that cause, made an incredibly nice gesture, and ate a live zebra. My interest in these things isn’t limited to celebrities, though I’m interested in anyone that does this stuff.

Now that I’ve said all that, I decided that it would be appropriate to write an entry about the death of Whitney Houston. I’ve never owned an album of hers, but I remember hearing her music while growing up. I also remember hearing about her issues with drugs and relationships. Since this is an art-related blog and Whitney Houston was a musical artist, I figured it was relevant.

Beyond her music or personal issues, I know nothing of her. I don’t know what/if she did anything to help other people, I don’t know what her interests were, or what causes or issues touched her heart. I know that at one point she was placed on this fantastic pedestal to eventually be yanked off of it once her flaws out shined her voice.

It should be of no surprise that since her death, that negativity continues: Crack-this-that-jokes, She deserved to die, I’m glad she’s dead, etc… that is what I’ve been reading on FB, Twitter, and various other places online. I don’t understand the point.

She was a celebrity, but she was a human one. Just as real as you or I, simply playing on a different stage. Long ago I realized that celebrities are portrayed as cheap products that function poorly, are given horrible reviews, yet people keep buying them. There are expectations set for them that don’t make sense, nor would I wish them upon anyone. I don’t think I could handle feeling relatively secure as a person and, as soon as I make a mistake or do something that is seen as a mistake, everyone tears me apart as if I was less than human. In fact, this did happen to me, and I’m a nobody it was awful to deal with. There are always understanding voices trying to shout over the mob, but they’re drowned out by venomous comments, teasing, and bullying. Whether you’re a celebrity, public figure, or average Joe, this happens. Of course, with people in the public eye, it happens on a vastly larger scale than in a small town. It doesn’t mean it hurts any less, though. Truthfully it seems like cruelty, not love, knows no bounds.

Was I incredibly saddened to hear she died? Honestly, no. I think any death is sad, some more than others. I felt bad for her family, as I would with anyone that lost someone. I don’t think the world lost a hero, I don’t think her death will spark a revolution or a create major shift in anything (with the exception of her family). She was another person that, throughout her life succumbed to various things that affect people, eventually died for whatever reason, and that is sad. Of course, to her massive amount of fans, it’s probably a tragedy, and that’s okay too. Sometimes I think fans create this sort of familial relationship, so when the center of that family dies, they all take it hard. I’m sure that if Steve Martin goes before I do, I will feel very sad. I felt shocked and sad when Michael Jackson died, not because he was a performer, but because of what I knew about his upbringing and every event that followed him throughout his life. I feel deeply sad when I hear of a soldier dying, even though in order to hear about those deaths, you have to sift through a lot of other stuff…

Death is an incredible occurrence that can shake foundations and traumatize anyone. So is cruelty. Combining the two will never lead to anything good. For the ones being unkind to the ones receiving it nothing good, no one benefits. I know I’m not alone in my thinking, but I often feel like I’m trying to shout over the mob.

A thank you post…

Those that know me know that I can get really mushy sometimes and the level of mush depends on the circumstances and how I’m feeling. People that aren’t familiar with me either think that I’m being “sweet” or that I’m being disingenuous (those that think this tend to be the most cynical about everything) or a sort of sycophant. When it comes time for me to offer a thank you, I tend to get nervous because of the very reasons I mentioned.

There is this feeling inside my torso that I get when I’m really, really grateful for something (this happens a lot). If I don’t acknowledge it, the feeling builds and that’s where the level of mushiness really comes into play. If I let it build too much, I become this sobbing blob of fat that blubbers about how wonderful this or that is (this really happens) and it actually becomes physically painful…like I want to explode and allow rainbows and glitter to shoot out of my disintegrating viscera…or something equally exciting. Rather than that awesomeness happening, I just cry REALLY hard for a few minutes, and then I’m over it and can get on with making horrific drawings or ridiculous cartoons.

SO, now that all of you are aware of these truly embarrassing things about me (things I don’t share, mind you) I want to say:

THANK YOU FOR READING!

I think it’s terrific that people read this blog (for whatever reason) and like it enough to “Like” it and even follow! I’m grateful for that. So, thank you!

I also think it’s neat that the people who Like/follow the blog are so similar to one another – we all seem to share the same sense of humor/writing style/interest in art/etc… So, of course, if you spot a fellow Liker on a post, click on them and see what their deal is if you don’t already do that! It’s almost like watching a video on YouTube and then continually clicking on the suggested videos until you end up in an unknown land that may or may not traumatize you. Almost.

One of these years is not like the others…

Out of all the adjectives that have been used to describe me, “introspective” has never waivered in its accuracy. I am 100% introspective and I always have been. It’s something that I’ve enjoyed at great length, but also a source of misery when my introspection becomes an obsession and I can’t get out of it.

I have a strong, seems innate, drive to check in with myself, see if I’m making progress in my personal evolution, if I’m following the path I set for myself as a child, etc… Once in a while, I do need to remind myself of the things that are important to me about existence. If I’m not well (mentally) it’s very easy to get derailed and lie in bed for days focusing only on how much the entire world sucks (it does) instead of realizing the “suckiness” and trying to figure out how to make it better (it is possible).

During these times of self-reflection, I like to pull out my journals and see where I was then compared to now. It’s no secret that I deal with (I don’t like to use the word “suffer”) depression. I have PTSD and a variety of other initialisms under my belt that really affect my day-to-day. I think that’s also why it’s so important for me to keep a journal to record my highs and lows and other symptoms to get an idea about how well a treatment is working and to remind myself that: 1) It can get much worse and 2) It will get much better. Since it’s New Year’s Eve, I was curious to see where I was at this time last year. Once I found that out, I wanted to see about years prior. This is what I found:

December 31, 2010 – I was severely depressed. Didn’t want to eat, move, speak, and just slept (and slept, and slept…). I wrote about my frustrations with not being able to do artwork or write. I was also going through some issues with family that were borderline devastating to me. I didn’t write any hopes for the upcoming year (2011).

December 31, 2009 – Suicidal. That’s it. I wrote that I was suicidal, but I did mention my hope that 2010 would be better. It wasn’t.

I looked further back. I found one from January 1st 2006. I wrote of thinking about divorce and being mistreated. Wanting a different life and wanting out of that place I was in. Still grieving from a miscarriage that occurred in April 2005 and angry because of how much medication I was on and how it sucked everything – my light – out of me (it truly, truly did).

December 31st 1996 – I was 16 and wrote “I broke up with him”. I was sad. Things weren’t good at home. I wanted a place to go and couldn’t wait until I grew up.

So now it’s December 31, 2011. This year is not like the others. I’m not going to write a journal entry in one of my books. I’m going to write it here and share it with you because it has been monumental for me. Even typing the last part of that sentence caused a lump in my throat because as the thoughts form in my brain to flow through my fingers they’re full of an intensity that is difficult to contain. Maybe you’ll read this and think “That’s not really a big deal” or “What the hell is she going on like that for?”. That’s okay (I get it often). Maybe you’ll see what I mean and you have or will experience it in your own life. That’s cool too.

Here it goes (in my regular journal entry form):

31 December 2011 Saturday, 5:15 p.m.
New Year’s Eve once again and, once again, I don’t have the kind of plans I always want to plan for myself for New Year’s. I am scheduled to walk the neighbor’s really, really cute dog. Last year if I knew that was what my plan was going to be, I would have thought “How ridiculous” and wished for something BIG – thought I needed something significant! But now walking that cute, fat, little Sheltie (who waddles, by the way) and watching my cats’ reaction to dog smell when I get back is a wonderful way to celebrate. It’s not a party per se, but there is laughter, smiles, treats, hugs, and general foolishness.

This year has been crazy, quite literally. The lows were severe and my mental health issues were worse than they have ever been. I’m always wary to use the phrase “it can’t get any worse” but this past year is certainly worthy of a nod in that direction. There were 2 deaths, relationships were smashed, other relationships were rebuilt, another was reinforced, illnesses, tumors, psychotic breakdowns, and then…calm. Hope. Security, strength, liberation, confidence, independence, honesty, courage, love and love and love and love and love…

Something in my head changed. I don’t know what it is, but the way I would see things when I was manic is similar to how I see them now, sans the mania. I grab experiences/feelings and, in my mind, I break them down, unravel them, take them apart piece by piece. Not in a destructive way, though; more like a curiosity. I want to figure them out from a rational, not emotional, standpoint. Even the horrors. I delight in the smallest of things, even my own achievements. I’ve never been hard to please and I could easily become ecstatic over the most seemingly insignificant thing, but it has been years (YEARS) since I’ve known that. And this time ’round, the events that bring me light are even smaller than before.

As I write this, a part of me keeps saying “You’re being weird“…it’s that part of me that thinks I need to be serious, sound serious, and take life seriously…the part of me with a furrowed brow, trying to look more adult-like (or how I used to think adults looked – no spark in the eyes, strained faces, hardened words, tired). Then there’s the part that is saying “Then be weird. And let the furrowed-browed pissy chick be a furrowed-browed pissy chick. Just let go...”

“Just let go…” I say it every day. When things start to build, I let the words slide out of my lips along with a stream of air…like a whissssssssper. It’s soothing and it’s the best advice I’ve ever given myself and the best advice I’ve ever learned how to take.

This year was remarkable in the amount of destruction and creation/restoration that occurred. I don’t wish the same thing for next year. What I wish for next year is to keep evolving toward this lighter existence. Keep reminding myself that it’s okay to go outside and I don’t have to be afraid. Let myself know that I do have good ideas and I am capable of following through with them. It’s okay to trust myself and take care of myself. I will have very bad times and I will continue to have psychotic breaks now and then, but they’re not permanent. Like very bad times, I will have excellent times as long as I allow them to happen.

I hope you were able to get something, no matter how small, from spending all this time reading. Certainly much longer than I wanted it to be…maybe it would have been better to break it up. Or maybe I should just let it be as it is. For 2012 it would be awesome if everyone could spot something spectacular in something insignificant…and in turn, make it significant. I’m losing steam and getting sleepy, so I’m going to close this.

For 2012, just let go and be excellent to each other (party on, dudes)!