My creative inspiration is not always nature and music, even though the title of this painting is from song lyrics (“Amaryllis by Shinedown“) and it contains a flower. But these things happened after the fact.
The inspiration for this abstract floral painting was a recent panic attack. Too much stress. And it’s not my body’s fault – I am not broken because I feel and think so much and this world is a whole lot of pressure. My anxiety is telling me that things need to change. So I am listening…praying and meditating on that. And in the meantime, painting loose and free like a child with not a worry in the world to just see what happens. and out of that chaos, a flower bloomed!
After the fact, Shinedown’s song Amaryllis, which has always been important to me, really felt fitting for this painting. Just like visual art, songs can be about many things that are unique to the collector/listener. This song has to me always been about going through hard times and meeting your true self in those times and becoming closer to the person you were created to be. I would love to reprint the lyrics below, but I’m not sure copyright laws allow that, so go have a listen I’ve linked above on Shinedown’s Youtube channel so they get the credit!
This is a very special piece to me – it is very authentic and free-spirited for me, and was a therapeutic way for me to channel some energy that wasn’t feeling good at all. And by sharing this art piece on social media and here and the inspiration behind it, I am able to connect with others who’ve felt this way too and hopefully it provides a sense of comfort and hope.
And I think this is an important thing about abstract art and mental health that might not be discussed enough. Our bodies and brains usually behave in a way to protect us. Our innate biology wants us to be and stay alive. When we suffer from mental health issues, it does not always mean we have something wrong with us. It often means there is something wrong and unsafe about the way we are living. I truly believe our biology and neurological wiring has not caught up to this modern world of technology, materialism, information overload, and lack of work life balance. None of it is healthy in the typical way we live. So I am trusting my instincts and suffering with it so I can learn from it, and evaluate my life. I want to make choices that are true to me and who I am called to be, and I think anxiety and depression are like the guard rails and sign posts that tell me I’m on the wrong road. I am not against medication, as long as it is not a “cover up” or temporary bandage that keeps you from dealing with reality and listening to what your soul is trying to tell you. Medication is one of many tools that should be considered to keep you safe and functioning in this world while you continue the journey to serve this world with your God-given gifts.