The Recovery Art Blog

Here is to new beginnings… Recovery Art Project 1

          The holidays are over. The new year is here and it is 2019… just wow!   I remember when sci-fi movies were set in the year 2020 and it seemed so futuristic to me and here we are, in the future.   

     I turned the big 50 this last year and for me this is the year of a new beginning.  I’m ready to venture out into the realms of new projects, chronicaling my world and sharing my recovery processes. I am energized and excited. 

    I am a survivor of long-term childhood sexual abuse. I developed attachment issues, an eating disorder, depression, anxiety and I made some really terrible choices before i considered getting help for real. I tried so many things to try to be”normal” but nothing really worked until I entered a 12 step program trying to fix someone else. I walked out of that meeting that day knowing I had to fix me.  

     I tried to work the program like everyone else, but it was very dry for me. I was working on my issues, but I needed some place safe to put all my “junk”  and all my work that was tangible and made sense to me.  One day I was painting along with an online class and found myself writing on my canvas about a particularly difficult subject I was dealing with. I quickly covered those feelings in paint and went on to complete that painting knowing that underneath it, I had put my brokenness in a tangible place and I felt better. My ah ha moment. The light bulb came on and I knew I had figured out how I was going to make this work for me.  

     1. I had engaged and admitted my pain in a tangible healthy way.  By writing those words on that canvas I was able to deal with the truth that I could not say out loud and it was completely safe and private under that paint.

     2. I had begun to purge in a language I understood.  I understand my art. I know what every symbol, every layer of paint or mixed media elements mean, even if I dont have the words to describe every feeling or thought. It made my recovery work specific to me and private and I could share it or not. 

     3. I did it without hurting everyone around me with an emotional blow out.  I did not take my pain out on my family, friends, the neighbors, the dog… I didn’t have to apologize to the canvas.

     4. Because I had created something beautiful and fun, I had associated a painful memory with something good, creative and inspiring.  

     5.  It was a spiritual experience that woke up my desire to heal, live and seek a relationship with God. 

     So I did it over and over about 1000 times and created more ways and techniques through art and creativity to engage my own recovery. I leave each session feeling fulfilled and grateful and I have an attitude of ” challenge accepted” instead of ” I dont want to do this”.  One day someone said, you should share that. Then later other people were saying teach me that.  It took me a while to gather the courage, but Im 50 this year and you know… the clock is ticking so here we go. 

     It doesn’t matter what your hang up is… addiction, trauma, how you identify, rejection, abandonment, food, sexual issues….your welcome here. I would like you to follow me on a journey through my recovery art process.  Its not all roses and not all terrible either. It’s work. It’s fun. It’s tears. Its laughter. Its 12 step work. It’s amazing. Healing is the greatest adventure there is. 

      …And so Recovery Art Begins a new chapter here with you today.

Project 1: Introduction to Recovery Art 

Project 1 consists of three parts, with a video, a pdf and project instructions for each 

  1.  An Introduction Video to welcome you to Recovery Art and to meet the artist.  Please feel free to join the facebook group or follow along on instagram  
  2. We are going to start by building a recovery journal specifically for Recovery Art work.   If you are not quite that ambitious you can purchase one in my Etsy store for 20.00. The tutorial for that is here:  How to create a blank journal for Recovery Arts