Autumn Leaves and Girl final version.

Autumn Leaves and Girl Final 500 pi

Miriam’s Art is pleased to exhibit her final version of Autumn Leaves and Girl watercolor painting.  Someone suggested to add detail to the leaves.  She speaks of her healing journey and shows some practice watercolors as well.  Enjoy!

The details helped I think.  You are always challenged with when to stop painting fearing that you will ruin the effect.  Looking at the details on the leaves it doesn’t take away from the face which is still the main focal point.  The eyes I mean.  What do you think?

I’ve posted below the WIP  for this painting:

autumn leaves and girl 500 pi

I’ve also done a bit of practice with watercolor.  It’s never as easy as it looks because you have to wait for the paint to dry!

watercolor 500 pi

I think that I’ll do some practice paintings every time before I do a new watercolor.  It helps to remind you of what the medium is like.  I usually paint with pastels.  Which is a dry chalk.

I didn’t go to my group therapy.  For once someone else in the family needed some help so I gladly volunteered.  Family comes first.  The group therapy is available on a walk in basis every Friday.  Helping someone in  the family made me realize how small some of my problems are.  It got me out of the house and changed my perspective.  I was really too centered on myself and everything that was going wrong.  Even the small things were stressing me out.  So go out of your comfort zone, help family or friends and you’ll help yourself.  Have a good week!

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Group therapy…a plus for some.

park dec 2017 500 pi

I take the time to speak of my healing journey.  I find that I need to talk about the bad experience I had and therefore have signed up for group therapy.  Slowly I heal.

For some group therapy is too much especially due to social anxiety.  But I find that I need to talk to people about my bad experiences and I also realize that I need to hear other peoples’ stories too.  When I meditate I get flashbacks of abuse that occurred in my childhood.  I learned yesterday that the body remembers whereas the mind might not.  My body tells me that something terrible happened even though I don’t consciously remember it.  And since these flashbacks aren’t going away I realize that I need to talk about it more.  Not ignore it.  Even though I have been in counseling for a while now I find that I need to talk more about my abuse.  This means group therapy.  So I signed up for it.  My anxiety level will be high the first time I go.  But I have come a long way and am able to face this now.  Slowly I heal…

Nursing Mother Watercolor Painting.

Nursing Mother 500 pi

Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Nursing Mother watercolor painting.  This painting was inspired by my daughter who is a new mother.  It was painted at a time of relative calm although I was stressing subconsciously.  It was a challenge to paint and therefore not as soothing.  Enjoy!

This is my first portrait in watercolor!  The paleness of the skin contrasted to the blue of the blanket and pillow draws the viewers eye immediately.  The facial features makes me think of a Spanish woman.  Although that wasn’t the intent.  The orange background contrasts well with the blue.  The eyes are not as striking as one would imagine.  This is a very intimate painting.

My anxiety is more subconscious now.  At times I get anxious and I don’t know why.  I try to stay calm and analyse myself and my surroundings to try and figure out what’s causing anxiety.  My psychiatrist didn’t see the need to talk about it.  Is this a Canadian thing?  What are psychiatrists like in the USA?  It seems that any talk of what is bothering me is left for my counselor.  She was busy but will be calling me next week.  Slowly I heal.

The skin tones of the painting were a challenge as well as the proportions of the body.  I chose orange since it’s a complimentary color of blue.  I think that they contrast well.  The hair also contrasts well with the orange background.  It is my first portrait in watercolor!  I think that I did rather well!  I like the painting.  It was done with the help of just a sketch.

This painting was inspired by my daughter who is a new mother.  Yes!  I am a grandmother and what a miracle that is.  My grandson’s name is Erik.

This watercolor painting is available on my website http://www.miriamsart.com under Shop and Portfolio.  Scroll down to the Shop Now button and look for Watercolor Painting.  You can purchase it framed or unframed.

Enjoy!

Some of my positive affirmations.

park dec 2017 500 pi

Here’s a list of some of my positive affirmations.  Maybe they can help you set some for yourself!  Slowly I heal.

It was recommended that I put my positive affirmations into a container.  All the same color.  Then new affirmations I will add with a different colored paper.  Daily I will pick a positive affirmation and read it.  i am to leave the container out somewhere prominent where I will see it easily.

Some of my positive affirmations are:

  1. I am safe.
  2. I am slowly healing.
  3. I am doing the best that I can.
  4. It’s alright to fail sometimes.  You’re only human.
  5. It’s alright to be angry with some people.
  6. You’re not perfect.  You’re only human.
  7. You are a beautiful survivor.
  8. You are good.
  9. You are strong and courageous.
  10. Believe in yourself.
  11. I will survive.
  12. Your mother loves you.
  13. You deserve to be happy.
  14. I will heal.
  15. Believe in yourself.
  16. I am a strong single survivor.
  17. Let negative criticism flow off your back.
  18. Please yourself first.
  19. It’s not important what others think.  How do they make you feel?
  20. Have the proper work/life balance.
  21. Some things you’re just not good at.  It’s OK.
  22. Reach out to trusted people.
  23. Sometimes someone else can be in control.
  24. It’s alright to be tired.
  25. You are a smart survivor.
  26. You have changed and come a long way.
  27. Your family has forgiven you.

I have survived.  Being courageous and strong.  I am a survivor.  I will heal.  What about you?  I know you are strong.  Courage young Padmeon Courage!

Thank you for 2017!

Social Media Thnx 2017

Miriam’s Art wishes to thank everyone for their kind words and their likes.  It gives me courage to keep on painting and writing.  Both are therapeutic.  Enjoy!

I can’t begin to say how validating it is to post about my art.  It encourages me to strive to be the best at painting and drawing that I can be.  It also motivates me to paint and draw more.  The painting and drawing soothe my tattered soul.  A soul that greatly needs healing.  You help with that by liking and following my art!  Thank you!

The writing about my healing journey is very therapeutic.  It allows me to express myself almost anonymously.  I haven’t met many of you.  It gives me a platform with which I can confess about what is bothering me as well as rejoice about my achievements.  The kind words and likes gives me courage to keep on writing and to keep on healing.  If you suffer from anxiety please consider starting your own blog about your healing journey or any hobby for example.  The writing is therapeutic!

I also write poems under a pseudonym:  Meredith Gibraltar.  You can find them at http://www.meredithgibraltar.com.  I am writing a book about romantic suspense that reflects some of the challenges I have had facing my anxiety.  Cheers!

So I take this time to reflect on 2017 and thank you all for your words and likes.  It is greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

Past Terrors and How Far I’ve Come.

park dec 2017 500 pi

I reflect on my initial terror when I first became ill.  And I realize how far I’ve come.  Slowly I heal.

The new year is a time for reflection so I thought of myself when I first fell ill.  It was many years ago.  I thought bad people were after me and there were psychic attacks that were so terrifying that I lay in bed petrified and afraid to move.  It was as if the psychic person was hovering above me and pushing his face into me.  Threatening me with death.  Since then I have come to realize that the delusions are all in my mind.  But the fear I felt was real.  My counselor told me that that was the fear I had felt when I was abused.  Even though I was a very young child and asleep, I felt fear.  You see my babysitter drugged me with sleeping pills and abused me.  The fear was so intense that when my body decided it was time to heal from the abuse, 40 years later, my delusions had a man terrorize me.  I was literally frozen in terror.  Medication helped but I didn’t get any counseling for many years.  So the doctors just waited for the medication to help.  Just recently I have had rape counseling and they are helping me to realize what has been bothering me.  Realizing that the delusions weren’t real was a milestone in my recovery.  Yet now I fear everyday things like driving or going out in public.  I actually sometimes feel a wave of fear go down my back physically.  Knowing that it is all in my mind and that it is me doing it to myself is a Godsend and liberating.  My counselor explained that my fight or flight mechanism was all out of whack because of the abuse.

At first I was taking a medication called Zyprexa but I was distracted and not all there.  Although I had a job I would come home and just watch television like a zombie.  It was all too much for me.  Now I take Saphris, Pristiq and Abilify.  I am much more aware of my surroundings and my position in life.  For example I am now trying to save money instead of maxing out my credit cards.  But with that comes worry and anxiety about the future.  I was petrified that my furnace would break down and I couldn’t afford to buy a new one since I’m on disability.  This fear has subsided since my furnace maintenance men say that it’s working just fine.  And my daughter has agreed.

I must admit that I was in a zone of denial and not doing much to heal.  I was taking the medication and going to my psychiatrist.  But not doing much more than that even though I had two books that I could read.  One daughter told me that I was hurting her and people I loved around me with my illness and my fear of going out.  I ruined Christmas for all of them in 2016.  They cried.  I had refused to go and partake in the Christmas meal and gift exchange because I feared too much for their safety.  Since then I have asked forgiveness and now am actively working on healing with the help of my counselor and two books:  The Courage to Heal Workbook and Anxiety & Phobia Workbook.  But it takes an effort on my part.  It has been said that when people get to some parts in the book they just have to put it down and wait a while.  It is a long and painful journey.  And it takes courage.  Like the courage that some of you need to face your own problems with anxiety.  And like me you are survivors and courageous.

I used my art for many years to soothe my mind.  I wasn’t aware of the turmoil consciously but my art soothed it.  I would paint or draw for hours and find peace afterwards.  Maybe art can help you in the same way.  Just try to draw a couple of things.  For example your favorite animal.  And then you can try pastels or painting with acrylics or oils.  You could paint that favorite animal.  And then you could search on the internet for images of other favorite animals or places that you could draw or paint next.  I loose myself completely in my art.  I am focused on the colors and the shading involved in painting or drawing a figure or landscape.  Mind you I don’t do many landscapes but they are easier than animal or human forms.  Try some art and it may help you.  I also block everything out when I read.  I read romantic suspense and find relief when the good guys win and the two people fall in love.  But reading tires me more than my art.

I also try to walk.  The picture above is where I walk when it isn’t too cold or too windy outside.  Walking gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me face my fear of going out.  Sometimes I am so distracted by my subconscious fear that I don’t take the time to look around.  But then I catch myself, do mindfulness (concentrate on my breath in and out) and I calm myself.  Then I look around, see the birds or the beautiful scenery and I enjoy it!  I relax and interact with nature then, calming and soothing my tattered soul.  And then I reward myself for facing my fears with either a mocha latte or a small coffee and a cookie!  I love cookies.  So if you have succeeded in facing your anxiety and gone out of your comfort zone to do so, reward yourself with something small.  I would say maybe buy a book but that would get expensive.  So reward yourself with something small every day and once it becomes routine maybe reward yourself at the end of the month with a book or a meal out for example.  Remember to reward yourself for you are strong!  You are courageous.  Slowly we heal…

Autumn Leaves and Girl Watercolor Painting.

Autumn Leaves and Girl e 500 pi

Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Autumn Leaves and Girl watercolor painting.  It soothed her mind and soul to paint.  Enjoy!

The silhouette of the girl in shadows catches the viewers eye as does the white of the girl’s eyes in the darkness.  It adds a hint of mystery and mystic.  The dark reddish purple of the background contrasts well with the face and the leaves.  What is the girl thinking?

This painting was done during the Christmas rush.  It was a time of increased anxiety because I had more things to do.  More interactions with people brought added stress.  The painting helped but it wasn’t for very long because with watercolor you have to wait for the paint to dry.  So it wasn’t as soothing as pastel but I had been inspired to do watercolor and autumn leaves.  I am now doing a Nursing Mother watercolor painting.  The watercolor lends itself well to painting faces and skin.

The face was a challenge in this painting.  Getting the shades just right was important.  I went from light to dark as you can see with the WIP painting below.

autumn leaves and girl 500 pi

At times it was hard waiting for the paint to dry.  I could have used a hair dryer but that was too much and would have taken away from the joy of painting.  I could have added more detail but thought that it was just right.  What do you think?  Your opinion is greatly valued.

This painting is available on my website http://www.miriamsart.com under the Shop button, then Portfolio and scroll down to the Go To Shop button.  It is listed as Watercolor (unframed) or Watercolor.

I am now painting a Nursing Mother watercolor.  Again the skin tones of the face and body will be interesting.  It’s because I am a grandmother now.  My daughter wouldn’t let me take pictures of her nursing so I sketched it and now am doing a watercolor.  The hands and arm will be a challenge too.  Then I’ll get back to the pastel painting I think.

Happy 2018!  May the year be good to you.  Courage my friend courage.  Remember even just a little half step forward is good.  And you may take two steps back until you take another step forward but the idea is to move forward in your healing.  To get better moment by moment and step by step!

Enjoy!

2017 In Review!

Collage 2017 Big Cats

Miriam’s Art is pleased to exhibit her best Big Cats pastel paintings for 2017.  Which one is your favorite one?  Please comment!  Enjoy!

You can see the development of my style in 2017.  I started out with close ups or the head and progressed to action paintings of these beautiful big cats.  The mountain lion is considered a big cat because of it’s prowess while hunting even though it doesn’t roar like the rest of the big cats.  Other lesser cats don’t have the mechanisms in their throats to roar.  That’s how big cats are defined.

I have spent a lot of time painting big cats.  These majestic creatures deserve attention.  I have also painted birds and forest animals as well as pet portraits.  My first choice in painting is the snow leopard however.  It is my totem animal.

I have progressed much in my healing journey during 2017.  I went from not being aware that I was ill to self healing with the help of a counselor and books.  I was encouraged by family to heal although it was a hard wake up call.  I didn’t realize how sick I was until a family member pointed it out to me.  It was hard listening to their comments.  But they were right.  Listen to your loved ones and try to do as they ask.  If you can’t then speak with your therapist or counselor and make a plan that will help you do as your family asks.  Listen to your therapist’s and counselor’s advice and work towards healing and being better.  If you suffer from anxiety think of your fear.  Then think of the belief behind that fear.  Rate both the fear and the negative belief on a scale from one to ten.  Then write down a positive counter statement.  Like they aren’t interested in you or that has never happened in the past.  Then rate your belief in that positive counter statement.  If it is high enough it will bring down your fear and your initial belief in that negative thought.  Then rate the subsequent emotion.  For me it is relief.  Sometimes I rate this as a 6/10 but more often than not I rate it was a 2/10 for I am still anxious.  But there is a feeling of relief.  Do this repeatedly and record it.  Writing it down makes it more real and you will heal faster.  Then you can also go back and look at how your belief in the initial negative belief has gone down.

Hopefully I can help others heal.  That is one of my 2017 goals.  My art soothes my tattered soul.  It gives me a sense of relief and I forget all my troubles.  My writing of my book gives me a release as I express my fears.  My writing of this blog gives me a sense of purpose in that I may be able to help one of you deal with your anxiety with my life as an example.

Happy New Year.  Write down some New Year’s Resolutions.  But not too many and be realistic.  Remember don’t drink and drive.  And if you are on medication don’t drink! Drinking with medication can increase the side effects and/or decrease it’s effectiveness so be careful!  All the best for 2018!