#061 – Art Therapy

I have always had a passion for art. From a young child I was drawing and painting. I remember as a kid I would get Derwent pencils for my birthday and Christmas and I thought I’d hit gold. Art was the only subject at school that I was any good at and got top marks and I also took lessons outside of school which I loved. In my mid teens I developed a love of oil paint on stretched canvas. I was working at Macca’s and my whole pay check would go towards art supplies. I had a mate who had a rather eccentric dad who was an artist and would hoard paints that he would never use so my mate would pass them on to me.

I went to art school at the MSA and did a two year diploma course in graphic design and visual communications. These were the best couple of years of my life. The course was mostly computer based where I learnt Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Fireworks, Dreamweaver and Quark Express. There was also a photography class where I learnt how to use a camera and I developed all of my photos in a darkroom. These were the days before smart phones and home printers. Now the whole world is full of photographers because everyone has a phone with a built in camera in their pockets. There was also a business management class but what I enjoyed the most was the fine art classes.

I had a fantastic teacher, Gerard, who took me under his wing. I was the youngest student having left high school so early. He could see that I had a passion for the classes he taught. He would stay after class with me sometimes for hours. He introduced me to MC Escher.

Once I received my diploma I started my own business in web and print design. The computer side of things was fine and I really enjoyed this but my anxiety was causing me too many difficulties when it came to dealing with clients so the business started going down hill to the point where I only did work for friends and family. It’s a shame because I was really good with design. I had a few good clients too – A wine company, a large architecture firm, and a real estate company which was great because it was ongoing work as updates needed to be made often. Today with sites like Squarespace anyone can create a website. Art has always been a constant. As much as I enjoy sitting behind the computer screen my true passion was my good old friend… art!

I mostly use oils and acrylics on large scale canvases. I never pushed my art to the point that I could make money from it but I sold several pieces and had my art shown at a couple of exhibitions including Federation Square in Melbourne. Once I put out on the footpath a heap of canvases I wasn’t happy with in the hard rubbish. Hard rubbish is for junk that is too large for the bins. That night someone must have spotted them and took them home. It’s funny to think that they could possibly be on someones walls! The last exhibition I entered work into I sold all three pieces before the opening night.

I used to throw art nights in my old mans shed where I would buy tonnes of supplies and everyone would create throughout the night. These were good times. It would always be interesting to see what everyone had painted the following day. There may or may not have been the consumption of intoxicants. 

Painting is a costly hobby. Every time I go to the art store to buy a few paints I always end up spending hundreds of dollars which is not ideal for someone on a limited income. The idea has never been to make a million dollars but if I can make enough money to cover costs I’m usually happy. I don’t do it for the money. I find the process therapeutic. I sometimes find the process more rewarding than the final product.

There are some paintings here in the hospital created by local artists. I’m usually not overly impressed by local art but there are two paintings here at the moment that have blown me away! It’s got me inspired to get back into the swing of things once I’m discharged. Pull out that credit card again Dave! The last few months I haven’t had the creative juices flowing. At times it feels more like a chore than something pleasurable so this is when I need to take a break and separate myself from the art. 

Published by aperfecttool83

I'm a 37 year old who lives in Melbourne Australia. I have many interests but I want to base this blog on my mental health. I have schizophrenia, depression & anxiety. I have 15 years experience with psychiatrists and I have had close to 20 hospital admissions. I plan on writing about my delusions, voices, paranoia, depression and how to deal with them psychiatrists :) I really hope this blog can help someone. Please feel free to contact me and I promise to get back to you. Have a nice day!

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