Painting Through Trauma

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

If you know a little about my story, you know painting was my reprieve from pain. I had a brain so conditioned to fear, catastrophic thinking and not good enough's, I had very little peace within my mind.

For many years, drugs and alcohol were a medication from those painful thought patterns, however, the numbing, euphoric properties of substances, still left me unfulfilled, lonely, and fearful.

Painting had this way of speaking through me.

I would get out my water colour paper, spread water all over it, and let the paint drip and dance in fantastic swirls, or smear pastels or pencils all over paper, watching as the colours mixed, and light followed dark followed light.

After the paint dried, or my scribbling was complete, I would see images begin to appear and I would "colour them in", so to speak, or "pull them out" from the painting.

The images would begin to tell a story.

The beautiful thing is, there was no ideal of good or bad to be held to. There was nothing it was supposed to look like. It was the paint, colours, textures, showing me what I needed to know, and there was no beautiful or ugly. It just was. Mostly, there was sadness, and below that there was this rage. The images would scream and shout and burst into flames, in ways I wouldn't allow myself to. My paintings could be homicidal, suicidal, tortured and twisted...and I could sit and watch. I could be the observer. I could cry with them, I could listen, I could learn.

Mostly, I could Express.

I could tell the air, the wind and anyone who saw them, all my secrets, all those hidden aspects I had no idea how to say.

I needed that. I needed it all to be seen. It was killing me inside. I was dying. I was hurting. and All I could do was cry through my art.

After I would paint, I felt so free. I felt like I belonged again in the world. I felt seen and heard. I felt a release of the pain.

I didn't know at that point, that healing trauma was about expressing it and feeling it. I didn't have the tools or knowledge of how to process what I had been through. All I knew was that every single thought hurt, and painting or drawing made me feel better.

The images seemed to communicate with me in ways I couldn't explain. I would receive insight and wisdom that I couldn't grasp from the thoughts running in the treadmill of my mind.

My intention is that this blog is an open dialogue. Please feel free to share your experience with me, ask questions or send me your medicinal artwork and images. How has art helped you in your life?

Don't forget to check out the prints I offer for sale, as well as the merchandise filled with words of encouragement and hope.

I love hearing from you. Please feel free to answer in the comments below or email/chat with me here.

Love, Gracie

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