Tag Archives: samantha jane

More for the 2014 100 Theme Challenge

I was messing around with water colors today. I have a LOT of practice to do before I’m reasonable versed in the techniques, but I think these came out ok. The first is a “practice” piece that came out better than the one on the intended painting…
55) Comfort


The next is the painting I wanted to have the dog in… It’s still in the works, as it’s bottom-heavy.  I need to figure out what to put on the top portion to make it feel more balanced.

60) Superpowers – there’s comfort in the dog’s protection and the wings and the bear.  There’s comfort in the blackness also.  It’s a place to hide and blend in to avoid attention.  Sometimes kids need superpowers to get through the darkness, even the inner kids.



Older art I would categorize as “art therapy”

I was browsing through my gallery on an online art forum and found a few pieces I would like to share here also.  In no particular order.

mostly-finished Inside-out Box & WIP painting that I have also given up on for the time being

ok, so I lied about updating that post… It’s been about 3 weeks since I declared it finished and showed it to De.  Sitting there looking at it in session, I realized how much I hated the ribbon around the outside lid and ripped it off as I walked back out of the building.  I felt much better.  i replaced the ribbon with black sand, but i still want to make a wall of small river stones or gravel along the curtain-line. To do that, i will have to buy some stones though.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my lack of supplies, or expertise in technique, or ideas, and just let the project rest indefinitely until I either get what I need, inspiration strikes, or I scrap it and change it all together.  This box has been sitting “mostly finished” since the beginning of the month.  It will likely stay like that for another several weeks as I have mentally moved on from it.

So, to keep from leaving too much suspense over the mostly-finished product, here are some pics.  I don’t know where the pics of the outside of the box went, apologies.

And here’s the WIP painting I mentioned.  It was born of an in-session assignment.  I got frustrated with the way I was painting the chair as well as my lack of definition/direction with the person in the chair, so I moved on to other things (specifically, a shadow-puppet piece based off the same image – also stalled due to my lack of knowledge about where to take the performance of it, and technical know-how to accomplish what I am picturing in my head).  I will finish this painting some day, but I doubt it will be any time soon.  All my current energy is focused on making that shadow-puppet piece work out.  I really miss puppetry.  I’m having a blast trying to figure stuff out for it, and it’s getting me in contact with puppet-arts people to help get things correct.  It has also renewed my interest in puppetry in general.


almost finished – inside out box

I think I am just about finished my box.  It has become quite crowded on the inside, with many elements to it.  I am having trouble figuring how to adequately photograph it so I can post it here.  There are a lot of things: things that move, things that are hiding, things that blend in, and things that stay still.  Most of it is done in a dark color-palate, so lighting is difficult.  Too much lighting and I get too many shadows that make things hard to see.  Too little lighting and everything blends into everything else.  Because of the “curtain” dividing the box, I have an even more difficult time angling the camera correctly.

The bats came out pretty neat (in my opinion), but are the ones causing the most trouble.  They obscure some of the other elements when I try to take the picture, and they tend to blur-out because even the slightest breeze or bump has them wiggling all over the place.  I try to show one piece, and they get in the way.  They take over the whole picture  as they distract from what it is I’m trying to focus on.  The bats in the box mimic what they are supposed to represent real life.  I think I did a better job at this than I imagined I could, even without consciously trying to make certain elements work as they do.

I’m hoping someone can point me in the right direction for getting the pics correct so I can do the full visual effect.  When I do that, I will post them in this blog with an “UPDATED: Finished Box” leader to its title.

Ooohhh… I just got another idea for the box, but it would involve another purchase. Hmm… I may have to do that. We’ll see.

Inner children and inner landscapes


I have had this image of Samantha Jane in my head for a while.  I finally sketched it out.  She is ok with this representation if herself.


Last night,  K brought up the idea of an inner landscape,  and figuring out what it looks like to help move into changing it.  The above is about what I saw in my head when she talked about it. Not quite what I saw originally,  but only in shading (the tree is the only thing that is supposed to be colored in black,  the rest is just supposed to be lines and shading.  It did not come out that way.  I might be able to accomplish it better in paint,  but I’m not feeling the painting thing at the moment.  I really like charcoal).
Anyway,  take what you will of it.

An introduction of sorts

I’m constantly dealing with PTSD, depression, self-injury & dissociation.   This will be a documentation of my journey to integrate the light and the dark in my life…  I have little or no access to one or the other on a given day.  This is how I survived.   I built walls.  Big ones.  And they did their job: mostly it was keeping the dark times at bay, but when I’m lost in the dark they also serve to keep out the light.  While that disconnect has served me well in the past, it’s working to my detriment now.  I lose sight of the happy times and the progress i have made any time my depression looms or my PTSD rears its ugly head.

At some point in 2009, my walls crumbled once again (remind me to tell you about the first time in another blog entry) while I was trying to go back for my Master’s Degree in Social Work.  My first internship placement failed through no fault of my own (my advisor told me so right after she & I found out I had been booted from it), so I looked elsewhere.  It was already a few weeks into the semester, so my choices were limited.  I took the first place that called me in for an interview: a domestic violence services center.  This I would love to call a mistake, but a few good things did come of it: 1) I made a few good friends along the journey, and 2) I realized that I am not cut out for that work right now (maybe not ever, but I’m not at a space to make that judgement just now).  Anyway, I worked my little butt off quite successfully for a number of months, until my depression and suicidal thinking landed me in the hospital for the umpteenth time, and I decided to take a break.  I don’t mean to give the impression that all the depression came out of nowhere.  It has always been with me, this blackness… As long as I can remember, I was either running from it or curling up with it.  But at the time I had attempted grad school, it had been hiding for about 2 years.  The experience of working closely with these battered women hit home though, and my wall started to disintegrate.  There was one client in particular whose story hit close to home… I struggled with that relationship in supervision every week (heck, it would have been every day if my supervisor had the time).  It ended up being the straw that broke me.  Almost a year after I started my grad work, it came to a grinding halt.  I dropped out of school, quit all my jobs, and fell head-long into a massive depression/flashback/self-injury/suicide attempt/hospitalization vortex.  For a year and a half, I think I practically lived in one hospital or another.  They did not help (as evidenced by the revolving door), but they were all that people could come up with to (try to) keep me safe.  I was hopeless, literally – I had lost all hope of anything ever getting better for very long.  I only consciously tried to kill myself once, but there were many other close calls from self-medication via pill or self-injury.  Towards the end, my main focus had become the self-injury, and the sick way it kept me feeling safe & “normal.”  I would do it for the high and the pleasure (here you may ask yourself: but didn’t it hurt? didn’t she realize it might kill her? WTF?!).  It never once hurt, even when I hurt myself so badly that I required a transfusion in the trauma unit if the ED.  the thing with self-injury is that it doesn’t hurt when you are doing it… most people who self-injure don’t register the pain, there’s too much other crap going on.  The only thing that registers is the relief from the emotional pain, and the flood of endorphins that course through your system.  It becomes a chase to keep it going.  Much like drugs or alcohol, it can become an addiction.  It did become one for me.  I didn’t see the damage it was causing to those around me, let alone myself.  I just wanted more.  Only it became harder to achieve the same “high” so I had to do it more… yeah, like I said, classic addiction.  In the end, it was yet another traumatic experience that pulled me out of it: my last hospitalization at a local (though “respected’) psychiatric unit.  I had the pleasure of having a real pompous jack-ass as my attending psychiatrist.  He was also the head of the ECT department of said hospital.  From the moment I met with him this time around (yes, I had him just a few short weeks prior to this admission), he was going to try to get me into ECT no matter what.  I’ll admit, it’s an ok last-ditch effort if you have solid foundation for it… but the thing was, NO WHERE is there any study proving the efficacy of ECT with trauma patients OR addictions.  Yes, it works for depression and bipolar and maybe even schizophrenia, but there is nothing ANYWHERE stating it works to cure addicts (at this point, I was self-injuring for the high it brought, NOT to kill myself).  Our battle lasted the entire time I was there (a little over a week & a half), during which time he tried every method possible to get me onto the table, including bullying me, having his friends (2 other psychiatrists) literally yell at me to scare me, and trying to deem me incompetent and get a judge’s order for the treatment.  I don’t know what you know about ECT, but to me it’s scary shit.  You lose memory (I really don’t need help in that department; that’s where a lot of my symptomology blossoms from), you change personality… it’s basically re-setting your brain artificially via heavy-duty “controlled” electrical current… I don’t know about you, but that creeps me out.  Anyway, after that ordeal (he was not able to take it in front of a judge.  he would have needed 2 other independent psychiatrists to also deem me incompetent, and nobody else was able to do so because I was not in fact suicidal at the time, just a “junkie” of sorts… fittingly, my knife had dragon on it. I re-purchased the same kind of knife 3 separate times after I gave it up for one reason or another), I was able to finally get into a trauma-specific program in another part of the country.  It was by no means an awesome place (though it did help a lot and I am grateful for the people I met there), but it was miles above what I had been getting locally.  They helped me detox from the plethora of useless meds I was on and from the cutting (I’m not sure which was worse…).  The difference there was that they actually listened to me, and did not push their agenda.  They put the patient, as messed-up as we all were, first.  And they helped begin treating the trauma…  From that point, I was able to once again build a wall between the blackness and the light – not healthy necessarily, but very important at the time.

That was almost a year ago.  Today, I’m starting to work on lessening that wall and integrating the past with the present.  And maybe somewhere along the way, I can flesh out a future too.