A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


These two drawings were done with Faber Castell PITT artist pens. I just got them yesterday and am testing them out to see what they can do. The pens are meant for calligraphy and cartooning. I want to use them for design work. I haven't played around with markers for a while. I used to to ink drawing in high school. Maybe I'll photograph some of them and show you what I was doing when I was seventeen.

I'm enjoying doing abstract art in different mediums. These two drawings combine the methodical quality of the gouache abstracts with the freedom of the acrylic abstract expressionist paintings. But I would like to do some graphically designed animal studies as well. I saw some beautiful animal designs by an artist named Mike Kershnar on the Zazzle site and he's inspired me to try some to put on cards and t-shirts.

Last week I asked my father for some financial support to get more art supplies because on my own I can't afford them. He said for now it would be okay because of the Obama administration's stimulus plan. On top of that he said that I could get a better camera for my birthday present. The camera I've chosen will allow me to take better pictures of my artwork, but also will allow my to return to photography as an art form. I can also base paintings on the photographs I take. The camera is a Canon SX10 IS and it has both a super macro lens and a super telephoto lens, so I can get up close whether the object I'm photographing is near by or far away.

I used to be a pretty good black and white film photographer with my own darkroom. I wasn't a people photographer, too shy to do that, so I concentrated on landscapes and cityscapes and still lives. I had a good instinct for it, but technically I wasn't very good and that got worse after I developed schizophrenia, so I switched over to painting, which seemed to come more easily. But even there when I was in school I struggled. Now all the work I'm doing is a boon. I'm just grateful that I can get the art supplies so that I can keep working and exploring.

I'd like to welcome a new follower of this blog, Valerie Wangnet. She pointed out in a comment that the yin/yang symbol surrounded by trigrams is called a Ba Gua which I didn't know. And she asked if i were a Taoist. I chose the Ba Gua for this blog because I intermittently follow the Chinese divination practice called the I Ching, that and I have an affinity for the yin/yang symbol. To me the balance represented by the yin/yang symbol is the closest representation of God that I can find. Because I know what it is like to be mentally and emotionally unbalanced, I revere balance. It is my goal in life. Am I a Taoist? Only in part. I would say I'm more of a Buddhist by nature, but then I also have elements of Christianity in my makeup. And as a child I had Jewish friends and joined in some of their holiday celebrations. Is my art Taoist? Only in the sense that I seek a certain harmony and, yes, balance, in the art that I create. A cohesiveness. But, really, I am very ignorant about Taoist philosophy, despite calling my blog Yin And Yang and displaying the Ba Gua. Still balance is the key to my happiness and survival and I believe in it deeply. But I do welcome instruction. There are some T-shirts on the Zazzle site with the word Co-Exist and all the symbols of religion surrounding it. That's where I'm at. Take what you need and leave the rest.
Post a Comment