Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Baring My Heart - Using Art to Heal

Have you noticed that I've been re-posting a bit lately?  It's because things have been going on in my life that are hard to deal with.  No, I'm not talking about the political situation in the USA, although that IS very hard to deal with.  I'm talking about family, and illness, and sadness.

Wishes and Dreams of Love and Empathy
I've been candid about my struggles with depression.  But in late February, my younger daughter went through a very difficult time after several months of struggling with depression herself.  She's doing much better, and learning every day how to live with the intensity of her feelings.  But it hasn't been easy.  (She gave me permission to write a bit about it.)
Salad of Feelings With All Eyes Upon You
So it's been hard to write this blog, while feeling that there is a big part of my life that I can't share.  I am not going to go into all the details, because that wouldn't be fair to our family.  But I know that many of you also have experience with intense feelings, sadness, depression and anxiety.  And it is always good to know that we are not alone.
Deaths in the Desert
Speaking of not being alone, I have been doing a lot of art and activism around immigration and anti-Muslim sentiment.  Here I am at a recent demonstration and press conference at Newark Airport, the day after the most recent travel ban was struck down.

In fact, my lesson for Wanderlust 2017 uses that as an inspiration. I was inspired by this Georgia O-Keefe quote:

to create a mixed media canvas using shapes and color to express things I have no words for. Click here to visit Everything Art, and I'll see you in the classroom.

Here is a beautiful video about one aspect of immigration.  I hope it moves you as much as it moved me.

Thanks for meeting me here. Wrapping you all in a big hug.  xoxox

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  1. My dear Jessica, the women in my family have for generations suffered with depression. For many years I suffered to the point of medication and pyscho care and days I could not get out of the bed. Having the pleasure of knowing you and your family and wish there were words of encouragement I could give you. But knowing you as I do, I know there is nothing you can't conquer. Thanks for sharing. It's hard when we know a person but really don't and often hear people say " you get get depressed I can't believe it" We put on such a good face. That's why we paint and craft to help during the sad times. Love you much.

  2. I so appreciate your honesty, Jessica. There is less of a stigma with having depression, although it still exists, so we tend to keep it to ourselves. I too have my moments, alao, as I deal with chronic pain, nausea, and vomiting. This can make anyone "blue." Thank heavens for inspiration from artists like yourself and an art room, to help express myself and get emotions from not feeling well out in a positive way. Everyday, I am reminded of your kindness, for I look at the angel painting, you made me a year ago. You are strong, and since the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, your daughter will find ways of coping, which are positive to her health and overall well being. Sending warm thoughts your way.

  3. I appreciate your willingness to be open about depression. I wish for you that you and ones you love will find strength and comfort. That you will have and find the people who support you. That your support system wraps you in such love that your pain is tempered, your way eased, the light reaches a little closer to where you are. Watching our children struggle is never easy. Sending big hugs to you as you face this with your family.

  4. Sweet Jessica,
    The art you share here in this post is just beautiful and so special.
    I am glad that you and Samy felt confident enough and safe enough to share here on your blog. I believe each of us,if not ourselves, has someone very close to us,that suffers from this disease.
    Love,support and indeed art therapy helps.

    The video you shared is excellent and should be shown on television every night at dinner time-so all people will see what we already knew. Thank you for all you do for the #resistance ! You are my heroine!
    love,Jackie xx

  5. Jessica, Thank you for this post. I appreciate your openness about depression and the moving video. I have shared it on Facebook.


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