Art Therapy Abstracts: The Depths

My paintings are a result of releasing and expressing deep emotions and most are the products of flow experiences. I’m in art therapy painting abstracts with others who also suffer from PTSD.  I’m analyzing what was going on within and around me when the traumatic events happened, and what the memories evoke for me in the here and now. I’m  learning art therapy can be a powerful means of for releasing pain that can lead to emotional healing  and experiencing  personal growth.

“Abstract painting might look easy, and it might look as if the artist did not know what they were painting. It might look like it; however, this is far from the truth. Abstract can be more difficult than landscape or scenery, because there is nothing to copy from, and nothing like it has been painted prior to the moment that the artist picked up the brush or palette knife.” —  How to Create an Abstract Painting

I love the sea, streams, waterfalls and ponds and have early memories centered around them, like the one I referred to in an earlier post. As a child I almost drowned when people I trusted playfully dunked my head under water so many times I was unable to get my breath, my lungs filled with water, and I nearly drowned.   Luckily I was revived but the memory and the feelings I experienced, as I chose to surrender to the depths rather than fighting for my life has remained with me.

Understanding Abstract Art
“When you look at a representational painting, you get an immediate feeling as to whether or not you like the painting. Abstract paintings are different. They have designs, shapes or colors that do not look like specific physical objects. As such, abstract paintings are a lot harder to understand than representational paintings. Indeed, when you look at an abstract painting, you often have no idea what it is you are actually seeing.”  — Understanding Abstract Art

* The National Gallery of Art’s Brushter was what I used to create these paintings. It has 40 brushes, a full palette of colors,  and special effects.

Digital painting is pain free
Painting manually gives rise to pain in my hand (arthritis) and wrist (carpal tunnel) but digital paintingting is pain free painting! I am finding my interest in mastering the use of the Brushster tools  is beginning to exceed my interest in painting on art papers or canvasses. I have never given abstract painting much attention as my preference has been for representation art but digital  painting is leading me to view abstract art through new eyes.

Emotional healing
I have unleashed my creativity. I have no preconceived idea of what I’ll be painting but instead I allow the energy that flows through me to direct my brush. Someimes my painting reflect past  events and sometimes they don’t.  Once I have created what I call a “PTSD painting” and anlayzed the event that gave rise to it, the expressed memory no longer carries the emotional charge it had when it lay unexpressed in the depths within me. Through art therpay I am letting go of the painful past;  I am healing.