Welcome to my Art for Healing and Recovery Gallery. This page is under construction as I am in the process of slowly adding pieces/descriptions of the art for healing and recovery that I have created over the past two decades.
I created Out of the Ashes between 2006-2008. It is a large, mixed media piece 36 x 44.5 which includes acrylic paint, my torn wedding dress, a vintage clock face & glass, antique poetry pages, and a butterfly. This was my reaction and interpretation to the intense storms that mother nature was exhibiting as a result of the disregard for and destruction of the earth. She, like me is trying to rise like a phoenix out of the ashes of destruction and trauma into new growth and hope.
Symbolically for me: the flames are my addiction and the domestic violence from my first marriage that ended rape – my gift of desperation. The ripping and tearing of the the wedding dress from that marriage was cathartic in that it was a physical release, letting me know that I did not need to live in that moment anymore; creating a tree out of the wedding dress let me know that I was strong and growing roots! The upside down clock reminds me that time can stop if I choose to stay in the fear, doubt, and insecurity or I can practice progress, moving the ball down the field a little at a time as I use the 12 steps and creative expression to heal and recover. The antique glass clock face represents wholeness; the real butterfly represents the journey we all take. Book pages are also referred to as leaves – so I made them the leaves on the tree to symbolize growth!
This is the painting that inspired the cover for my Recovery and Art & Healing novel, Gift of Desperation. See if you can find the flames that were used. Also, check out how Claire Sebastian, the main character in Gift of Desperation reacts to this painting as she journeys into recovery and finds hope and healing!
Oops is a collage I did around 1992/1993 when I took a spill on my Harley at the POW/MIA run in DC. These are the parts that broke off my sportster. Luckily the only thing I injured was my left wrist and my pride. I was able to ride it home to Columbia with a sprayed left wrist and missing clutch peg – then I went to the hospital to make sure everything was okay. Creating this collage helped me to process my mistake – I shouldn’t have grabbed my front brake on the wet pavement, which caused the bike to slide out. It also helped me to be grateful that my injuries were minor.
Pain was a collage I did in 2007. I was still involved in self-destructive behavior around PTSD related to domestic violence which ended in rape. Tearing, cutting, arranging, and pasting images helped me to “voice” things I couldn’t say out loud. It helped me to look at myself and get out the trauma.
The Grass is Greener was created in 2008. I was exploring the question, is the grass really greener? As a rape survivor, I sometimes find myself floating in and out of a funk, wondering if danger is always lurking. My funk was expressed through the dark background. The two dead wasps in the garden through the window reminded me that I could still get stung.
I started quilting in 2008 with this HD T-shirt quilt. It was a time when my husband was very sick, medical bills were piling up, and the housing market was failing. I found a lot of comfort in making quilts for friends, family, and charitable causes.
Serenity was a collage I did in 2012. This was really an experiment to put four canvases together using painted strips of canvas. On each canvas, I expressed myself through paint. The deep colors made me feel grounded and secure, the large physical brush strokes helped me to get the funk out and onto the canvases. This piece hangs in my studio and gives me a feeling of peace and comfort.
If you want to learn more about my abstract collage collection, read my novel, Gift of Desperation, which is build around my artwork. Gift is a provocative story of art and healing; hope and inspiration. You will meet and love Claire Sebastian as you follow her journey into the depths of desperation and out again into recovery and healing.