Brittany here. This blog is about depression. But we aren’t just one thing. We are an amalgamation of all of our experiences. I live with chronic pain as well as chronic illnesses, depression, and anxiety. Art has helped me escape my body when chronic pain is wracking it. Depression is a common co-morbidity that sidecars along with chronic pain and illnesses, but is often not spoken of as frequently as the physical conditions. It is the pile of laundry we throw the sheet over, pretending everything is clean and together, when really, it is a hot mess of socks underneath that are never going to match themselves, until we dump them on the floor and get to sorting.
I know on my high pain days, a paintbrush has the power to distract me and keep my mood up enough to keep me going. That’s why I was so excited to get a submission from a fellow artist, Betsy, who had two incredible art submissions, one of them a gorgeous re-imagining of her own pain. I’ll turn it over to her now.
Helen of Troy NY
“This is an acrylic painting I did after dreaming of the image. I found some hidden symbols in the sand drawing after I finished (and turned it upside down).”
“In addition to painting, I also do digital art and photo collages. So much of my pain comes from problems with my cervical vertebrae, so I decided to make a snowflake from medical illustrations and photos. It is soothing to deal with the symmetry. My first mandalas were with fruits and veggies, but the skeletons called to me. I’ve had this printed on a pillow and it sits on my sofa.”
Both of these pieces stunned me. The creativity that went into that snowflake really rocked me back on my heels. I loved that Betsy took her own pain and her physical ailments and turned them into art. And the blues used in the Helen of Troy NY painting are gorgeous. Some people find blue depressing, but I think seeing this woman in blue by the ocean seems more at peace because of it. I love anything to do with the ocean, and hope it brought you some peace painting this, Betsy. Thank you so much for sharing your work here. I hope you can see your art and feel the pride in yourself that you deserve to feel. It is absolutely stunning. Thank you for creating and putting your work out there.
Everyone, keep on painting, sketching, gluing… whatever you do… and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.