Liven Your Space - A Resource for Healing from Mental Illness
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Getting Religion - Part - Part XXVII

Art classes and working on my paintings helped me understand how I saw the world. As far as painting was concerned, I learned that I preferred two dimensions.  For me, creating flatness on canvas felt more interesting, more authentic.   Rather than attempting to imitate a view of the world or to copy the world I saw with my eyes, I enjoyed creating my own space with shapes and colors, edges and lines, and bringing into existence things I controlled through brushwork and colors.

I wanted my pictures to be inventions from somewhere inside me not reproductions of things others saw or experienced.  By letting my meditative mind put one stroke and one color next to another  - I seemed to paint best in a trance-like state - I made paintings only a dear mother or brother could love.  

Those who might have been looking for the beauty of nature in my paintings would have been disappointed if not horrified.  Consequently, my paintings were rarely for sale.   I never attempted to capture the hunt country scenes so popular in the Warrenton area. My art was as much creating magic on canvas as it was therapy for me.  My artwork was only for me and a means of working out something beyond comprehension using bold colors, shapes and fanciful themes. 

As I painted each day in my mother's two story garage, my brushwork became a means for exposing and exploring a dimension beyond the verbal, beyond the definitive and objective.   In this raw space, I experienced  a realm in which I could both lose and find myself.  

To be continued ...



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