Tag Archives: draw

Trying to distract

I’ve really been struggling with flashbacks the last 3 or so days. Yesterday was really bad. Today I’m exhausted but they are still dancing at the periphery of my awareness. I feel like, if I let my guard down for a moment, they will burst through.


In hopes of giving my brain other stuff to focus on, I thought I’d try drawing again. I have not done much realistic sketching for quite a while, and I’ve done even less with portraits. I feel like that part of my brain has been sleeping, and now it’s pissed I’m making it work: I have a headache from forcing the gears to turn…


Anyway, I’ve been drawing and erasing for about 2 hours on this. The expression is wrong, and it’s frustrating. He doesn’t look as harsh in the reference pic but I can’t seem to get the eyes and mouth correct for the softer, lighter look.

I’m putting it down for now to avoid ripping it to shreds. It doesn’t help that I still want to cry hysterically over the stupid flashbacks. Part of me wants to reach out to TL, but her voice mail is full. I also have no idea what I would say to her. I could tell her about the flashbacks and how overwhelming they are, but that would only lead her to ask if I need to go to the ER. She misses that middle-ground of sometimes just needing to feel supported in this. The stuff we talked about the last two weeks is relatively new to me. The contents of the flashbacks are that new stuff, and I’m not sure how to handle them. It’s also not something I’m comfortable talking to anyone else about. I’m not sure they are accurate as memories. They are very disturbing, and they would be met with extreme prejudice… I wish TL had more availability… 😦

To the World & On the Outside – Final

I finished this today…

I wanted to keep the tissue paper with words visible, so I did the left side in charcoal and crayon. Turns out it also works for the concept of not having “the full-color photo” when you only see what someone presents to the world. You have to see the darkness as well as the light to be able to see the real picture. Seeing just what’s presented to the world is lacking in substance…

the mask of distance (aka: WTJ progress)

So, for the last few days, thing have been relatively calm in my head. This is a good thing. I finally started practicing my art again.

20140820_191145_zps9b9oixm0I’ve done a few pages in my WTJ. I disliked the way the “Shrub This Page” came out, so I got some tips on using colored pencils effectively and tried my hand it at again. I think colored pencils have great potential, and I have seen some amazing work done with pencils, so the Knight was pretty disappointing (though better than most things I have done in colored pencil to date). I will be going back over him later, but first I wanted to try it on a smaller scale…

20140822_162741_zpsdgjuv0qwI colored in the lips and pen cap from the “Write with the pen in your mouth” page. I guess it came out ok, but I still need practice. I also suck at teeth… and pens… but that just means I need more practice…  (The white on the lips and pen is gel pen though). There was no reference pic, so the highlights are off… This has been bugging me since I called it “done” but I am not sure how to fix it. ugh.


10628522_10152664962639892_2778590973427399790_nI also did work on “This page is a sign. What do you want it to say?” I re-did the message “I’m still learning” I thought it was appropriate again on so many levels. I’m learning with myself, I’m learning with my art, I’m learning to trust others, I’m learning about life… I’m still learning…

On another note; tomorrow is my session with TL. I’m not sure if I will be able to tell her what I want to. I have it written out, but she always wants me to read the stuff I write out loud. I don’t think I will be able to do that tomorrow.  I hope she is ok with that… and I hope she doesn’t react the way I fear she will. I’m guessing she wouldn’t but the anxiety I have around it all is louder than the reason.


first (independant) creative venture in nearly 2 weeks!

Outside of the assignments tackled in the art journal workshops, I have been having a really difficult time with artist’s block lately. Something finally gave though! I was able to doodle away a bit in my wreck this journal.

IMG_20140819_155027_zpsrkrs4k7jIt was partially inspired by the fb post of the art a mom created out of her kid’s wall scribble, and part zentangle-type stuff. After doing the initial design in black, I decided to break out the gel pens again for some color. I think I like how it came out overall.

The prompt was “draw fat lines and thin”


our beautiful brain – the altered book

very cool idea. I think we have to try this L…

Where I Stand


What you will need:

– A Hard Cover Book to alter – if you don’t have one -Thrift Stores often have hard cover books for a dollar or less.

– Something to stick things down with – I use all types of things when gluing, Mod Podge, White Glue, Double Stick Adhesive, you can use whatever works for you.

– Mod Podge to seal your Masterpiece

– Acrylic paints, colored pencils, crayons, pastels, markers, and pens to doodle with and to add color

– Anything that you would like to use to collage – virtually almost anything can be used in a collage. My favorites are pictures from old books, vintage jewelry, and patterned textured paper.

How it works:

An altered book is an artist-made book recycled and modified into something new in appearance, and meaning. An altered book offers a long-term art-making process for healing. Altered books can be…

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100-theme challenge 2014

I have participated in 100-theme challenges twice now, and I really liked some of what I produced because of them.  This year however, I wanted to put my own spin on things.  I wanted to come up with one myself.  A lot of my list can be interpreted in therapeutic ways (though admittedly, some were inspired by objects/events in the living room at the time of its creation), so I thought I would post it here in case anyone wants to participate.  The rules are simple: interpret the prompt however you see fit.  You can choose to post your work publicly somewhere, or keep it to yourself.  It can be in any form you wish as long as it can be considered creative in some way (drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, music, sounds, pictures, words, collages, performance, anything).  It’s really just supposed to give you topics you may not have thought of on your own to help spark creativity… I have liked the challenges in the past because I did things I never expected to do.  It forced me to take time out for creativity and story-telling.  Since I have been focusing more on my own art therapy of late, I figured this next one could be a way to help me express to De what I need to get out.  I will try to post anything I do of relevance.  I must warn you however, I go in spurts with these things.  Sometimes a whole bunch of work will show up at once, other times, there will be months without anything.  What I’m trying to say is: don’t hold your breathe for me to get the list finished in a timely manner.  I have had 2013’s list for the past year and only this past month have I started it…  I really liked that list though, so I will continue working on that one as well (rather than incorporate stuff from that list into this one).

Without further adieu, here’s my 2014 100-theme challenge:

1) candlelight
2) magnified
3) left standing
4) aftermath
5) breaking ground or ground breaking?
6) reaching out
7) trust
8) broken
9) in the daylight (everything is different)
10) rats in the walls
11) shattered
12) open to interpretation
13) flashbacks
14) heaviness
15) lighter than air
16) combustion
17) lights
18) hope/hopeless
19) under pressure
20) disclosure
21) history
22) presence
23) disappearing from…
24) gone away
25) at the dinner table
26) unbalanced
27) highlights
28) even snakes get the blues
29) enlightenment
30) despair
31) rave with me
32) the itch you can’t scratch
33) slippery slope
34) in my travels
35) it’s the end of the world
36) here there be dragons
37) firefight
38) spirals/spiraling
39) a blank canvas
40) just a thought
41) reflections
42) big trouble
43) happiness
44) wrath
45) associations
46) to the world
47) on the inside
48) truth in advertising
49) memory
50) deception
51) hollow
52) survival
53) turmoil
54) bad choices
55) comfort
56) falling (is like this)
57) open up
58) feety pajamas
59) what would you do?
60) superpowers
61) once upon a time
62) AWOL
63) hunger
64) the light’s gone out
65) running
66) awareness
67) transition
68) humility
69) conscience
70) memorable
71) convergence
72) destroy
73) buildings and bridges
74) the last time
75) vision
76) burning bridges
77) why
78) the first time
79) meditation
80) technology
81) walls
82) containment
83) distraction
84) anxiety
85) heart
86) it hurts like this
87) play it again
88) talk to me
89) open book
90) animals
91) brutality
92) nature
93) family
94) obsession
95) release
96) skeletons
97) peak performance
98) water
99) drowning
100) rescue
In case anyone is interested, the list I’m working on for 2013 is this (I think I have pieces to cover 7 of the topics… I’m seriously slacking!):
1. Break Away 2. Bites the Dust 3. Innocence 4. Drive 5. Sound of Settling 6. Mother Nature 7. No Time 8. Standing Still 9. Two Roads 10. Foreign 11. Breaking the Silence 12. Keeping a Secret 13. Blind Man’s Bluff 14. Waltzing 15. Traps 16. Mischief Managed 17. Lazy Days 18. Hot/Cold 19. Anyone Out There? 20. Seeing Red 21. Through the Fire 22. Between the Raindrops 23. Safety First 24. Puzzle 25. Gateway 26. Fantasia 27. Everyday Magic 28. Irregular Orbit 29. Change in the Weather 30. Nowhere and Nothing 31. Charge 32. Turn the Car Around 33. Colorless 34. Assassin 35. Daughters 36. Instant 37. Don’t Be a Hero 38. Born Without Time 39. Sound Effect 40. Little Bombs 41. Freak 42. American Boys 43. Clue 44. True Believers 45. Portable 46. Caption 47. So Close 48. Under the Red Hood 49. Dragon 50. Making History 51. Rivalry 52. Death 53. Excuses 54. Colors 55. Family 56. Music 57. Off Topic 58. Black and White 59. Memories 60. Song Title 61. Fighting Chance 62. Childhood 63. Shenanigans 64. Elements 65. First Time 66. Lost 67. Strangers 68. Insanity 69. Mirror 70. Silhouette 71. Zodiac 72. Dreams 73. Hope 74. Misunderstanding 75. Relationship 76. Stay Gold 77. Beauty 78. Alice in Wonderland 79. Runaway 80. Our Own World 81. Kiss 82. Little Things 83. Secret Admirer 84. Sweet Dreams 85. Past 86. Present 87. Future 88. Forgotten 89. Human 90. Silence 91. Breathe Again 92. Breaking the Rules 93. Fairy Tale 94. Death 95. Umbrella 96. Pattern 97. Season 98. Clothing 99. Animal 100. The Ones We Left Alive

art therapy session 2

Well, that didn’t go quite as planned (namely I didn’t really finish the piece I was working on). I did end up showing De the art notebook I had brought to show her the last 3 sessions. She likened it to a journal, and I guess that’s a good way to describe it.

I kinda wish she had asked more about some of the pages, but she didn’t really talk about them beyond asking how recent a few of them were. She also said that she liked it. She doesn’t like to give homework or make things tedious, so she said she wouldn’t say I had to do more in there, but she would like me to continue it. There was one page that caught her attention, but then she figured out if was from February, so she didn’t really ask more about it. I wish she had. It feels very relevant again. I may take it back again on Tuesday.

It was weird. She had complimented me on the contents of the book and on a drawing I had showed her. When I did my usual “thanks, but…” she called me out on it immediately. I don’t remember talking about it before with her, but the way she said it made it sound like we had… Maybe I should ask her about that next time…

I told her a bit about not really being able to even vaguely represent some of the issues I want to put down in the work with anyone else in the room… she suggested going even more metaphorical and symbolic instead of concrete representations. I told her my frustrations with not being able to figure anything out to convey that.

I also told her how the concept of self-injury and my scars has been really embarrassing lately, so much so that I have made an appointment to get a half-sleeve tattoo started on my right arm with the main intent to be covering the scars there.  I’m not sure why I am so self-conscious of it (even with her or J, or even L!).  The panic around hiding the evidence is huge though.  I haven’t SI’d in a while, and I had come to terms with my scars quite a long time ago… Not quite understanding where this sudden insecurity about it comes from. We didn’t get to talk too much about that before time was up. I’m hoping I will be able to figure it out a bit better on Tuesday.

I told her my dad was coming again tomorrow. We planned additional sessions, and she reiterated the concept of having the days planned out so I can escape as needed. I’m not sure what I should be more worried about this time around: M, G, myself, or L… And with the added puppy in the house, things may get crazy…

Oh, I was also able to tell her that I can talk much easier while slightly distracted: either drawing, coloring, painting… It’s easier not having the pressure of all the attention.

At the end of the session, I asked her what to do with the painting. It’s not exactly finished, but I wanted to shred it. She laughed and asked that we at least hang on to it till we can talk about it some. I’m not sure why I wanted to destroy it so fast… Towards the end of the session (before she even mentioned cleaning up) I had wanted to scribble it all out…

Oh, she was also introduced to SJ in concept. I’m sure we will be talking about that at some point too…