I Suffer from a Mental Disorder — Anxiety

Okay. I’ve danced around this issue for about two weeks making references to stress, relief of  the anxiety I feel. Doctors diagnosed me with anxiety disorder in about 2014: classified a mental disorder– so I’m told.

My generation hesitates reticently to disclose such things. But it’s a part of who I am and I discovered why art making has has become necessary for me.

Art helps me cope with its symptoms. Most likely,  “normal people” who are not artists, or classmates, have found me a bit strange or called me “different.”

14×11 pastel available $175

Art helps Occupy my mind occupied

In previous posts I’ve discussed the methods I use to work from music. What I didn’t say was that music takes my mind off all those things that I worry about, my fears and all those daily things I’m afraid to confront face to face. The music becomes a way to keep my mind engaged. It doesn’t take a genius to know that the mind can think of 2-10 things just in the time it takes a person to say a sentence. By creating art while listening to music, I am able to occupy the mind and my subconscious and the conscious simultaneously while pushing the world aside for a while, if only for a few hours a day while I work at my art.

The abstract drawing was done on a different day, one of many done while listening to alternative rock music and relaxing

Using Music Genres for sketch and painting

Often I seek refuge in abstract art, like the work at the top of this day’s post. The work started with an abstract sketch done to alternative-rock music. Then after selecting a color theme, I started work on the pastel using violin music by Vanessa Mae (click on both these links, you won’t regret it) and Lindsey Stirling.

Unlike representational works, the color samples chosen for my abstract works merely keep me from stopping the syncopation of the fast renditions by not having to think about colors and removing myself from the trance-like state I get into. Depending on the type of artwork I’m doing, I use my color sampling differently .

If I start to think about something other than the art, I practice trying to recognize this. I bring my mind back to the work. Like meditation: as soon as my thoughts stray in meditation, I go back and focus on my breath breath to clear the mind.

The blocking In was done with caran d’ arche neo II pastel crayons then washed with water

Radiating Lines Composition

Edward Payne, while he formulated his theories of composition for landscapes, I find they sometime also can be related to other genres. In this case, after drawing the roughed in sketch, I see in the finished work a radiating line composition design behind the darker, more predominate lines that look like two people holding hands. In this work, I find a kind of shadow composition behind the primary design, a design rooted in traditional painting.

What I learned

  • Edgar Payne’s designs can relate to other genres than just landscape painting
  • Forget about what i think others will expect — do what works for me
  • confront my demons and practice moving back and forth between the conscious and subconscious

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