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Art Conversations

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FIRST BE TRUE TO YOU

It is not enough to know yourself. What is important is to BE yourself. Nietzsche What does that mean?  You are a cop.  A paramedic.  A soldier.  You have seen too much, you have done too much and your bucket is full.  What can Nietzsche, Socrates or Plato possibly know about what you have to face each and every minute of every day? Step outside for a walk with me, let’s meander down our grenade strewn path awhile, together. How do we understand our world?  That man lying on the street covered in his own vomit – where is the sense in it?  That child traumatized in your arms, carrying her to safety that you know will short-lived – where is the sense in it?  That child soldier you shot in that far off war that will never truly be over for you – where is the sense in…

Life is a meander through a grenade strewn path.

To realise that our knowledge is ignorance is best. To regard our ignorance as knowledge is a disease. Tao Te Ching What does this mean to somebody living with a mental health disorder?  I see and speak to so many who define themselves by their labels.  The first things they say to me: “I have PTSD” “I have Severe Depression and Anxiety Disorder” “I am Bipoloar” “I have severe Attachent and Anxiety Disorder” And so on. What does this say?  It says, don’t ask me to be me, see me by my label – like a leper swinging their bell to ward off the healthy, we clang along life conditioned to ring our bell.  Let the world know what label we have been assigned. What if you stopped doing that?  It doesn’t mean that what happened to you no longer matters, nor that the struggle you face daily, hourly, is…

WTF?

The essence of Van Gogh’s later paintings is an artist’s search for the divine; the expression of his teleological beliefs and thinking. “WTF?” Polite translation: “What on earth does that sentence mean?” Clearly to understand art, one requires a PhD and thesaurus ready to source fifteen words where one might do. Not so. Who knows that Van Gogh wasn’t entirely sure he liked sun flowers?  In fact when he painted them he was extremely depressed, having been excluded from a cozy artist village and again fighting mental health issues, he sought solace and consolation in the natural world.  His sun flowers are at once living and dying; there is the joy of the new bud, the bloom of the full sunny dish of splendid colour sat beside the dead and dying bloom.  Life and Death.  Sit side by side.  Joy and Despair. “Dude, I’m a busy Cop/Soldier/Paramedic/First Responder what in…

So… YOU CAN'T-WON'T-NEVER DRAW?

Give me 20 minutes.  Just 20 minutes of your time to prove not only that you can indeed draw, paint, create but that in so doing it gives you a tool to heal wounds, untouchable recesses of your psyche, spirit and self.  Too woo hoo for you?  Quit being so scared of this ‘art thing’ and give it a go. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: No self editing – that voice in your head?  Turn it off. Breath and focus, no judgement, just quiet empty head space. Breath Decide to do this, be real, be present and do it. Turn some music on that you enjoy, close the door and have absolute privacy.  This is just you and your inner self, not the editing judge that criticizes you, that one needs to be locked down for this process to work. YOU WILL NEED: Printer if possible – print out the Figures I…