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Painting as Therapy

One way in which I have embraced my art is as a therapy for the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Because my work is very process-oriented, the ritual of laying down colors and textures in a certain order and working through the systemic tasks calms my “tics”. Occasionally, I dive into a bit of depression, usually when I am unable to release “tics” or when situations beyond my control don’t resolve within a span of time before my brain starts cycling (obsessive thought patterns — these SUCK). And when I do, I can sometimes find my way out through my artwork.

About mid-September, I found myself in a creative funk. I could not get past a block on the Spooky Season Series (which I had intended to have available for sale BEFORE October), and I was foundering. Then one day as I was visiting my bodyworker, I saw that an Orb Weaver Spider had built an absolutely GLORIOUS web on her porch. Seeing this in person inspired me to complete the Orb Weaver painting and allowed me to move forward.

Later in October, I spiraled into a rather deep depression. Those who don’t experience this will think I needed “cheering up”, but it’s more complex than that. A combination of chemical and situational pressures had me feeling like EVERYTHING was a challenge. It was a challenge to get out of bed. It was a struggle to shower. My beloved skincare routine was a gauntlet. Even picking up the paintbrush was hard. I felt like I was moving through mud.

Morrigan is an important Deity in my work, as well as a symbol of perseverance in the face of obstacles. Raven, Her animal avatar, is obviously a Spooky Season staple. As I worked on this painting, I became lighter, and as she emerged so beautifully for me, I felt my power returning. Now I look upon this piece as a healer, as well as all the traditional aspects of Morrigan and Raven.

 

I write this in part as a reminder to myself: when the struggles start, pick up your brushes. Hopefully, it will inspire others as well.

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