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5 Years for Artist to Attempt Art Therapy (and other dumb stuff)

My subconcious creative side has been caged by CFS / ME for five years but by setting out to paint, design and bring CFS from the inside dark cranies of my confused tired brain onto a canvas, or scrawled doodled into a sketchbook - it can tell me about itself and maybe give me some breadcrumbs to follow for my own wellbeing and treatment. And I've actually gotten excited enough about the project to actually do it (doing seems to be the tough part!)

I started asking myself --

What does CFS look like? like a wolf walking the beach, like an elk with a crown of roses

What color is it? paynes grey? Maybe too many bright colors all at once...

What are the lines, symbols and shapes involved? links of chain

What is the landscape it sits in? the ever large trees and shadowed forest

What is it's color pallete? changes every day

What symbol does my inner child use? the chain link

What am I doing in my inner world? Sitting under a tree, or staring into the water

The subconcious speaks in metaphore. It's something I've been obsessesed about since I was about 12, (because I was such a dorky awkward lonely only child haha.) Advertising companies use it all the time. Propaganda became a bad word during World War II so in the USA but you probably know it by how it was renamed as Public Relations or PR (Edward Bernays is an interesting fellow to study who really perfected this and manipulation of crowds.) It works well enough that the Pepsi company redesigned its logo into a smile...(famous example)

In art school symbols and hidden sub-context became huge in my life because you're learning a mode of communication that is entirely symbol based.

The Internet is LOUD. (The Internet is too loud and too full of BS and it makes my brain quite lost...)

Sometimes it is hard to hear yourself
, especially the subtle stuff that maybe you dismiss because it doesn't fit into a regular life in a sensible fashion. It's easy to dismiss ideas that are 'out there' or creative I think, I got to where I only wanted to paint work I knew would be popular (Doh! That never ever works...) and it shut me off to self-expression entirely.

I don't usually know what the symbols I use mean. Sometimes, sometimes it takes awhile. Sometimes it's metaphor and sometimes literal...for instance...

Like lately I've been obsessed and haunted by oranges. I'm allergic to the darn things but ended up drinking quite a lot of orange juice anyway and being quite mad at myself, but I started to feel better and a little light bulb came on -- ah' ha -- there is a reason why you wanted oranges silly. I need to listen better. I need to listen actively. (Here is hoping they don't put me into the hospital though, seriously, I am allergic...)

I'm trying to make the quiet space and start poking about asking questions - who knows what we'll discover asking weird questions right? I don't know - I'm busy painting a wolf on a beach and an elk with wild roses in its antlers. *grin* (( And I have no idea what either of those symbols mean...but I'll get there, I have faith they're important. ))

As crazy as it sounds, our root operating system runs on metaphors (dream state - if you're lucky enough to dream) and runs on symbols. And the arts - whatever your passion there may be - offers a way to bring what is hidden on the inside, to the world outside and make some discoveries or be better able to process and deal with emotions, trauma, joy -- you name it. Have a dialog. Exercise part of the brain, that at least for me feels like it's held hostage. And maybe what is brought forth is painful or surprising or funny or confusing -- but for me, it's a change of scenery long over do; my life has been endless Google searches and psychobabble -- that has been the last five years of my life. I want to do something else now - I'm going to do something else now. I'm stopping to listen and give the disease a voice -- give myself a voice.

Anyone can art - anyone. I truly believe that.

So you're invited to do whatever art you do, scribble, nature journal, guitar playing - to take that inner journey and find your joy and find something meaningful nomatter how small. Would like to hear what your art is and how you express yourself (comments!) :) Would like to hear further questions we can ask ourselves.

My best art starts with a doodle - but sometimes it takes pages of doodles to get there.

**In Kindness**

below bits of painted doodlings - my CFS pictures are in progress - gotta get that wolf on the beach ;-P



-- paula from the woods
AkA Runner5


thanks so much for posting! I get so hungry for color. Being inside so much.
In the past few months I've started to have creative impulses. I have to recognize and appreciate that there is some energy there to even have those impulses. I don't have the energy to actually do anything about them. If I did, I might wash the kitchen floor. Yesterday I hauled myself out of the house to buy markers. But can I find the coloring book? No! That's the level I'm at. And still, we're still human, we're not BEIGE, we are alive to channel all the colors there are.... but too tired most of the time. Thank you again for posting. Keep at it.

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