Three of my drawings were on display for the Georgia Artists with Disabilities Exhibition 2017. Two of the drawings won awards. Best in Show and Honorable Mention. These drawings will now go on tour throughout the state of Georgia for the next year. The drawing on the right was awarded Best in Show. I was so pleased and thankful that I was able to receive two awards.
The reception for the Summer Serendipity Exhibition at the Johns Creek Art Center was last night. My drawing Cypripedium parviflorum was selected to be in the show. The exhibit showcased all different types of media so the art work varied greatly. The reception made for a very nice evening.
The reception for the Southeast Pastel Society 2017 Juried Members Exhibition was last night. This year marks my forth year being with the Southeastern Pastel Society and this is the forth year in a row I have been fortunate enough to be in the art exhibition/competition. Due to this accomplishment I received a Member of Excellence award. To have received this award establishes me as an artist in the community of pastelists. It is such an honor to be among such talented artists.
Three of my drawings were on display for the Georgia Artists with Disabilities Exhibition 2016. One of the drawings made Honorable Mention. This drawing will now go on tour throughout the state of Georgia for the next year. What an honor that my work is so well respected and received.
The reception for the SCAA World of Art in Georgia Exhibition was last night. I submitted three drawings to be in the show and all three were selected to be in the show. The exhibit showcased all different types of media so the art work varied greatly. The reception made for a great evening.
The reception for the Southeast Pastel Society 17th International Juried Exhibition symbolizes the pinnacle of my new found career drawing with pastels. It is such an honor to be among such talented and accomplished pastelists and that the judge thought enough of my work that I could be included in the show. This year marks my third year being with the Southeastern Pastel Society and this is the third year in a row I have been fortunate enough to be in the art exhibition/competition. This year the drawing of the succulent was chosen to be in the show. To be in the show establishes the benchmark for me as an artist.
I gave my third presentation to the Interactions Class at St Mark Methodist today. The topic of discussion was how God looks out for us. I challenged the class if God bestows upon us perceived adversity if he continues to look out. As we are brothers and sisters in Christ and regarded as one does God look out for others who may be or considered evil such as mass murderers or terrorist groups. I know he looks out for me and whoever else that may be. He looks out for me and I am at the place where I need to be in my life where I can get through the day without becoming overwhelmed as I have had in the past.
I attended the Georgia Artists with Disabilities Exhibition today in which I had three drawings on display. One of the drawings made Best of Show and the other received an Honorable Mention. What an honor that my work is so well respected and that so many people came up to me to tell me how much the admire my work. With patience I will get there.
I have always gone to church. There is something about it that provides for me affirmation. The people there may only be acquaintances but there is comfort in being accounted for in an environment that welcomes you for who you are. Many people, however, are unable to find that sweet spot and are unable to find a church that does not use judgement to condemn particularly with gay folk. I have experienced this once while attending a week long church summer camp. The one place where you should be finding a safe christian haven turned out to be a living hell at the time. I was not surprised when I went. Why would this be any different from school. Children are cruel and to this day I don’t like them. But my mother insisted that I go. There was this one girl who was particularly cruel and I remember her parents picked her up in an Imperial. I just wanted to go up to them and ask them if they knew just what kind of daughter they had. But even after this incident I knew it was them and not my connection with God so I kept going. With every move I have made, and there have been several, I made it a priority to find a church to acclimate myself and get to know people. It has served me well. God looks out for me.
I have been having more concern here lately about my lack of happiness in general. They say money cannot buy you happiness which is true but it certainly can help steer you in the right direction. In my treatment through cognitive behavioral therapy it was stressed that recognizing what you are grateful for will lessen negativity which it truly does. Everyday I live my life more aware of what I am grateful for. But that shroud of discontent I never seem to get rid of adversely affects my happiness. Whether I am at home being disengaged or out and about having to be on my toes I cannot shake it. This is how depression affects me along with the anxiety and irritability. We as an American society feel as though we are owed certain standards in life but we are not. I believe that this could be part of my problem. I don’t I have it when I think I should. But I am owed nothing.
I am grateful for most of all that has happened to me because I do not know what is the grand scheme of things but what I do know is that I am in a better position now than I have ever been before despite battling depression and lack of happiness. I must concentrate on the progression of my journey and find peace where I am now in order to allow happiness to manifest inside me.
My father always lived by these pearls of wisdom which has always resonated with me:
- God helps those who help themselves.
- When you hear of others woes you are glad to have your own.
- God never gives us more than we can handle.
A daily meditation book states for January 12th, ‘Today I pray that I may receive strength in the knowledge that God never gives us more than we can bear, that I can always, somehow, endure present pain, whereas the rituals of a lifetime, condensed into one disastrous moment, would surely overcome me.’
Then what happened to me? Where was the disconnect if I believed I always thought this true? On the same date the book also states ‘When I sit quietly and compare my life today with the way it used to be, the difference is almost beyond belief’.
Today when I reflect back I am in disbelief of what I went through back then. I am not healed. I am still disabled. Everyday, every hour I must make a conscious effort to curb negativity and to tell myself life is worth living. But my spiritual connection is more profound after hitting rock bottom and picking myself back up again. I gave up before out of desperation and immense pain. I told God I was ready to surrender and put myself in his arms. I believe he took me in but my time on earth was not through. So here I am a changed more healthier person who is more adept at managing life and hopefully contributing to society.
One of the associate ministers at my church spoke to us Sunday and the sermon was entitled ‘What Do We Do Now?’ What do we do now after we have achieved a lofty goal? I wrestle with this some after making an accomplishment. What will I do next that will provide me a sense of purpose? I then thought of my continuous battle with anxiety and the fact that I cannot find contentment. May be if I was content then I might take things for granted more than I do. I may become complacent and not advocate for what inspires me. I know what inspires me, which is my art work, preservation and restoration does not cause any disrespect toward others. Sometimes what others advocate can be misguided if it disrespects other people. These I think are what would be termed zealots? Anyway, this Sunday morning was another reminder to me that I have much to be grateful for with my troubled mind.
The reception for the Southeast Pastel Society 2015 Juried Members Exhibition as well as the 16th International Juried Exhibition last year symbolizes the pinnacle of my new found career drawing with pastels. I was so honored to be among such talented and accomplished pastelists and that the judge thought enough of my work that I could be included in the show. A drawing of a hummingbird was accepted into the exhibition again this year. I think I may have established a trend for myself! A couple of weeks ago I was informed that I was not accepted into the Inman Park Festival this year. News of this did not upset me because the Southeastern Pastel Society establishes the benchmark for me as an artist. I now have the self confidence in my work as an accompished artist in pastels.
I gave my second presentation to the Interactions Class at St Mark Methodist today. The topic of discussion was silver linings and what miracles in the graveyard can be found when faced with perceived adversity. What great things that have happened to me from the result of my suicide attempts and how I discovered my second career endeavor working as an artist. I also covered self doubt, the definition of joy, not knowing all the answers, and future in faith. I also presented the drawing that has been accepted into the Southeastern Pastel Society Exhibition this year. Being accepted into the exhibit, as well last year for the first time, are benchmarks regarding my career as an artist.
In the book ‘Unfinished’ by Richard Sterns it is stated that we are commissioned to be disciples of Christ. How can I be a disciple when I do not even fully understand what all our savior has taught us? He loved everyone. This task in of itself is a daunting one. I have spoken about my problem regarding prejudgement of others without even getting to know them. So how is it that I am to love? Perhaps this is where the 12 step program enters in and it is called detachment. When I feel that certain behaviors of others are unhealthy for me then I disengage. Perhaps where the love factors in is protecting myself by disengagement and not showing disrespect to others by judging them and telling them they are wrong. I am confused by spreading the gospel of Christ. I do not wish to convert anyone by word for fear of disrespect. I hope that my actions can make up for my lack of words. I speak freely about where I go to church. I invite others to the church. I hope that this is acting as a disciple of Christ.
The book states further to make a comparison of body building and to people that only flex their spiritual muscles for show as body builders do rather than truly living the Christ discipleship. I have a problem with this comparison. I have heard that many people have found direction in life through the commitment of body building. I have been fortunate enough to have had interaction with body builders and most of them are willing to share their knowledge of healthy living. I was saddened to read this misinformed example of not following through on Christ’s discipleship. The book has gone on further to say ‘even with our greater understanding we still insult the King, going off instead to pursue our own priorities, our careers, our lifestyles, our social lives, and our happiness – even as the King beckons us.’
Are we not to pursue the gifts and talents that God has bestowed on us to develop and nurture in order for us to be examples for others in the name of our savior? Is this not a form of discipleship? I would like to think so.
I gave my presentation to the Interactions Class at St Mark Methodist. The topic of discussion was mental illness and my recovery through it and how my art work has given me new direction in life. Everyone stated they so enjoyed my discussion. I asked the class if anyone had been affected by mental illness and one person stated that their father had and another person had a partner to commit suicide due to it. I shared with the class some of my art work that were considered the cornerstones of milestones of my life. My first drawing at the age of 23; my last at the age of 40; the first drawing I did before picking it back up again at 53; the drawing the gave my representation at Mason Art Gallery; and the drawing into the Southeastern Pastel Society. Everyone loved my work. I also shared how my relationship with God as been throughout my life and how I cannot fully trust. I hope that I relieved some of the stigma that mental illness can generate to the people in the class.