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How I fought chronic fatigue syndrome through art

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Barry53, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Barry53

    Barry53 Senior Member

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    Seems to not be the usual BBC ME/CFS wonder-recovery story, but about how someone - Jasmine Farrow - has discovered art helps her cope. True, the story uses the word "recovery" rather loosely, but it does clarify with "She said she is now well enough to get out and about on her electric scooter".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-40721644

    Quite an understanding local news item I thought.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  2. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

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    I experiment the same, when I was deeply depressed (because of the illness, pain and fatigue), I started to do painting, and it was a fantastic help...unfortunately, I had to keep working, so with fatigue, it wasn't easy to find time to do it, so I have not finish any of my painting...:rolleyes:

    but finishing was not my first goal, the goal was to be face to face with my subject, and slowly building it.

    I choose oil painting, because it is a slow process: I wanted it to be slow, maybe to fit with my slow brain?:)

    I really needed it at a time, and would have spent more time painting if I had the chance of doing it!

    So I recommand it highly!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  3. Barry53

    Barry53 Senior Member

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    My wife (who is the one with ME) is also very creative, and puts heart and soul into her quilting etc. She is currently doing a distance learning course, having done several before. They are very challenging but very rewarding, and she can pace herself as suits. It results in the house being "happily chaotic" at times, but it's great :). It relies primarily on her own self motivation and drive, and she puts to shame (if they were capable of it) those who claim ME is due fear of getting on with life. She is typical of most people with ME in that regard I think.
     
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  4. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

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    NOTE: She did not take up art suddenly- she had already studied Art, design, video and photography at college. Whoever wrote this has not read her website:
    https://www.jasminefarrowart.com/philosophy/

    I have found art to be a wonderful way to express myself...but in no way does it 'fight ME'
    I think there are many of us on here who work creatively when we are able.
    It is finishing things that is the problem....I do my work lying in bed and am still adapting so that I can do something creative more often. Felt tips and colouring are good for times when I need something a bit easier.

    If you want to check out my artwork
    https://thechronicelephant.blogspot.co.uk/
     
  5. PhoenixDown

    PhoenixDown Senior Member

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    Kind of gives the impression that art contributed to her recovery. I'm not impressed. This might lead people to believe that ME is psychosomatic.
     
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  6. Barry53

    Barry53 Senior Member

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    The BBC as usual misuses the "recovery" word, but most people reading it with a bit of nous will realise it is all about helping her cope not cure. The electric scooter comment and MEA's comment are good context.
     
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  7. Barry53

    Barry53 Senior Member

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  8. SamanthaJ

    SamanthaJ Senior Member

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    Yes, in a way it's not very different to how they would write about any other disease - not particularly precise but quite sympathetic. The (unfortunate) headline doesn't represent the overall flavour of the article.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  9. Barry53

    Barry53 Senior Member

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    Yes, typical journalistic speak, which for ME is quite refreshing.
     
  10. SamanthaJ

    SamanthaJ Senior Member

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    @hellytheelephant, love your drawings of the person (you?) curled up in bed. So effective.
     
  11. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

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    Thank you! It was an experiment to see if I could 'sketch myself' from how I was feeling rather than what I could see I looked like.
     
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  12. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    I used to be an artist and unfortunately I can not at all practice art since ME kicked in. This happened gradually and I don't understand how it is possible to heal through art while you can't even hold the brush steady, allergic to most art media. I did quite a lot of conceptual installations too. Less hands on, less media and chemical stuff. But still incredibly demanding both physically and intellectually. It also involves a lot of office work, networking etc. To me it was impossible, my dream job I have given my years, a 1st class BA and and MA, all the experience, all useless now.

    I have give up my studio, closed down completely. I find this very very upsetting.

    I also have 3 artists, 2 stopped practicing like myself for similar reasons and one passed away from severe illness.

    And when I read the title and the 1st post I don't know what to feel. I must admit, I did not have the energy to read the rest of the thread.
     
  13. Barry53

    Barry53 Senior Member

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    I think that for ME especially, everyone is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all. In your horrible situation I can see the story of this thread must be really hard for you, and impossible to identify with. One day, sometime in the future when many of the mysteries are unravelled, people will know why some things worked for some and not for others. No helpful advice I'm afraid, but thoughts are with you.
     
  14. SamanthaJ

    SamanthaJ Senior Member

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    The title did make my heart sink, but the article itself puts it slightly differently. I understood it as her having been severely ill, then improving somewhat, then finding she could paint again within her limits, as opposed to painting having a magical healing effect. Although it could be it's a little fuzzy and others will read it differently. It sounded as though she'd had to give up music so had rediscovered painting (although now I can't remember if that part was in the article or on her website). Of course, the more ill you are, the harder it is to find a creative outlet that doesn't harm your physical health. For some it's going to be impossible. I can see why this article would rub salt in the wound for someone who can no longer paint, especially if that was their passion. I would feel the same. It would be heartbreaking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  15. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

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    Well you certainly are right, the media for painting are often toxic, and probably oil painting is the worst on that matter.

    In fact when thinking about it, I wouldn't recommand it for one of us!
    As an artist, you may be able to advise the media the less harmfull?
     
  16. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

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  17. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    I guess water colours are least harmful. But water colour painting you have to be very skilful and precise. Not talking about just as a hobby. I mean real occupation, career wise. There is a way to use water colour non-precise and a bit more adventurous. This is very difficult and again involves a lot of skill, with ME hands, cognition, vision very tiring. Beyond tiring.

    I didn't even care much about the precision, fuzzy vision makes it very difficult any media.

    After this I was experimenting small scale sculpture. But if you really want to do it it gets complicated and media gets chemical with this too. Actually in the past I believe I caused damage by using resin in an experimental sculptural work. This was when I was healthy.

    Maybe craft type of art could be entertaining, bead work, weaving etc. and less chemical.
     
  18. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

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    I really do understand @erin I was a published illustrator before ME, only part time, but had to give it up too. It made me so foggy, awful headaches. I'd get tremors and my work got so spiky. I couldn't read this article either :hug:
     
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  19. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    Illustration is a very demanding serious work. Requires mega concentration, hand control, extensive understanding materials and colours, many coordinative skills and a very sharp vision. Not mentioning the deadlines and dealing with the clients requirements. in my opinion it's not possible to do it if you have ME.
     

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