Painting my Soul

Long ago in a land far, far away, I was in my twenties and my PTSD hadn’t put me to a full stop yet. I was a Marketing Consultant, pulling in a ton of cash working for myself and basically living the life of a young affluent city gal. If someone at that time would ask me what I was I’d say I was a painter. It was what I loved, I made money on it…it was just who I was.

Once the PTSD brought my life to a screeching halt in my mid-thirties everything in my life basically stopped. Except my painting. It morphed into angry, screaming drivel yes. But I kept doing it because it was the only thing giving any oxygen to my soul.

I hung onto painting because I was never allowed to express creativity when I was a kid. I was “gifted” in those days before the category was created. I was smart, so smart that I was attending college courses in grammar school. My parents decided to keep me with my regular class and not advance early because I exhibited chronic socialization problems. I didn’t seem able to form bonds with kids teachers anybody. They assumed it was because of my braniacism and not the sexal assaults that my mother consistently denied. So while my sister was able to draw and color and play violin I studied. Bitch. I never even owned crayons.

Anyway, for my 22nd birthday my girlfriend at the time took me to an art supply store and set me up with oils guache brushes the whole nine yards. Trying to think about what to possibly paint the first time she told me that it didn’t matter. That whatever I painted no one else in the world could paint exactly my vision and that was what creativity was all about. I fell in love with it immediately.

Anyway, I’ve had a few fairly successful shows but for the most part my stuff is Impressionist which is not a popular style these days. It doesn’t matter to me if anybody else likes my work as long as I do. And I’ve done very few things I don’t adore.

So I’ve been happily painting along until about this time last year. My therapist at the time was on me to bring something in for her to see. So I brought in this really cool still life that I’d recently finished. She said wow I had no idea how cool your stuff is blah blah can I keep it I was so shocked to get any kind of reaction from her of any kind so said sure. I mean, I can always paint more, right? Right.

The next time I was in her office my painting was leaning against the wall I would stare at, straight ahead of me. It stayed there for nine months, until the day I fired her. For other reasons than this, but it did have an impact on me, this cavalier disregard for my stuff.

Today is the first time I have picked up brush to paint and canvas. It’s like blissing out. I can’t really describe it, I just paint what I see and there it is. My old self-portrait of a hundred individual tiny little slivers all rimmed in black no longer applies. I’ve only just started this one but most of the black borders are gone. There are still alot of us,. 42 I believe, but the lines of delineation between them just aren’t there for the most part. That tells me that what I am feeling internally, that there’s actually communication going on, that the littles are gaining shape and that things are very confusing. The littles are feeling things for the first time and even though I’m not finished with it I can feel them there. I recognize everybody, which is also a great surprise.

So there it is. I get my creativity back. There used to be a single internal, the Painter, who did it. But today it was a thing by committee. Parts that have never known of others’ existence are deciding on color texture and all the decisions you make when you’re painting in oil. The best part of the whole thing is that I gave this back to me. I gave the best part of me back to us. Cool breeze.



  1. Melissa said,

    May 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Just been reading over the last few posts and hadn’t realised what immense steps you’d been taking. This all sounds so important and so brave, and I’m delighted that you have your creativity back! Can’t wait to see more. xx

    • May 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm

      Yeah alot’s been going on for sure. Right general direction. I’m guessing. I hope…. πŸ˜‰

  2. Karita said,

    May 2, 2010 at 7:58 am

    This is so great. πŸ˜€

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