Last year, when I began treatment for my mental health difficulties and various other fun and games, I expressed an interest in Art Therapy. Regular readers (if we have any left) will remember that not too long ago I was a big fan of just playing with art materials, making marks and generally having fun with the process and ignoring the results. Somewhere along the line my interest faded, and by the time I was looking for help the idea of Art Therapy came up as a possible way to rekindle some of that joy and help me deal with my often malfunctioning mind.
I started a ten-week course on January 18th, and as soon as walked into the art room and picked up an oil pastel, I felt like I’d come home. Something was connecting in a corner of my mind that had been neglected and left to gather dust. Even when the therapist was talking and we weren’t “doing”, I was fiddling, just remembering how it felt to have a stick of colour in my hand and the freeing sensation of applying it to paper.
When I returned home that afternoon I dusted out my old watercolour set. It had certainly been well-used back in 2005 and 2006, but there was plenty of life left in it yet. I opened up the massive Archie Grand notebook Michael had given me a few months before, and threw colour and images at it like a woman possessed. I was home.
The following session, last Wednesday, re-introduced me to the joy of painting (Bob Ross was with us in spirit). Just playing with colours, mixing different shades and seeing the images that came out of them. The therapist commented that I “went to another place” when I had a paintbrush in my hand. Indeed I did. And I like it there. When the challenge came for finger painting I launched straight into the bright blue in front of me and by the time I’d smeared, rubbed, daubed and splatted, I had filthy hands, an unshakeable grin and a rather nice picture of some very lively surf.
So, out of the sessions, I’m now re-connecting with a part of my life that I had neglected for so long. Geeking out over art materials, reacquainting myself with the ones I have, and catching up with the creative people I admired years ago when this here place was my own little world of art.
It’s good to be home. More soon.