Art therapy

It’s no secret that we’re all having a rough time in 2020. For the most part I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve been able to keep working at my real job, though with fewer hours which has been most welcome. But sometimes the isolation gets to me, not so much because of being alone (one is never alone with furry beasts) but because it’s left my mind free to think about the personal events of the last two years. There were some wonderful accomplishments, but also probably the worst moments of my life (so far, hopefully ever). Most days I feel good and fine and all that, but some days the pain of those wounds returns and I’m forced to accept that I haven’t healed from the losses.

Today was one of those days. The two savings graces are:
1 – my faith (I need not say more for the benefit of you who don’t believe; I remember how obnoxious it can sound)
2 – a visual in the mind’s eye

Item 2 is the relevant one here; I felt like a dark hand was gripping my heart and my throat. As an artist I have a choice; I can sit and wallow, or I can make the image and in doing so push it away and hold back the despair.

I’ve talked about how I dislike doing self-portraits, partly because I can’t make them as good as when I can be behind the camera (vs the timer), but also because I find them self-indulgent and narcissistic. But I share them to encourage my fellow artists to embrace “art-therapy” and for all of you who are hurting from moments past or present so you know you’re not alone.

In that spirit I’ve made a “now” and a “future.” The future one has a heart made in the Kintsugi style from Japan. Gold is used to repair broken pottery. It makes for unique piece but also reminds us that our scars are part of us and we continue to be both beautiful and useful. I hope that those of you who are broken hearted will keep the image of the heart in picture two in your mind.

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