194 eyes

194 eyes, originally uploaded by sekhmet17.

I don’t know much about this artist. The Flickr profile reads, “Jodie A. Currie is a Canadian who seeks healing from clinical depression, social anxiety, and complex post-traumatic stress through art therapy.” See more work at deviantART.

I’m really intrigued with these drawings. When I first started using craft as self-soothing, I used to crochet huge mandalas from any type of string I could find. It was the early 1990s and I was a poor college student, so I often used scraps of twine, plastic bags, strips of fabric, and cheap yarn. I’d work on them until they were heavy weights sitting in my lap, then I’d give them away. (Or throw them away, I was into purging back then.)

Maybe try a mandala. I’d love to see what you can do with the concept. How could you make it meaningful to you? I’m going to Flickr to stare at these mandalas a little more and try to get some inspiration.

Pretend I blocked this

I sewed a hand grenade for you.
I sewed a hand grenade for you.

I have been a bit lost since I finished my Promise of Pills series.  It didn’t help that we moved across the country to a place I didn’t want to go.  (The Air Force gave us orders to England and cancelled them.  They replaced England with Oklahoma–I cried for 3 days.)  The truth of my life right now is that the military has a tremendous influence on my happiness.  I didn’t enlist, but my job, my children, my depression, my address, my almost-everything is dictated by the US Armed Forces.  My truest art comes from this experience. 

Every time I stitch a military-themed picture, I’m taking back my control.  I’m trying to claim my own honor and dignity for the sacrifices I make.  I don’t get medals for campaigns, but I live my life to help David achieve his.  I do this gladly, but I’m frickin’ ready to sew my own damn badge of honor!

Anyway, please pretend I mounted this on the canvas and that I took a decent picture of it.  I’ve got a lot of stitching to do right now and I can’t wait to share it.  My newest joy is hand spinning my own wool floss. 

hand grenade embroidered with cotton and wool
hand grenade embroidered with cotton and wool

Zoloft

I think I'm done with pills
I think I'm done with pills

My pill demons have been exorcised.  Either that or I’m tired f embroidering pills.  I feel great about what I’ve created.  With this series, I am finally able to call myself an artist without sarcasm and self depreciation.  I am because I do.

For those of you following along at home, here is my artist’s statement. 

The Promise of Pills explores the identity of illness, the promises of drug marketing, and frustration with the current healthcare system in the US.

I use embroidery to mimic the swirling colors and visible brushstrokes of oil painting. I use dozens of colors of cotton, silk, and rayon floss on each image. I spend 30-60 hours stitching every one. The time and labor it takes to create these pieces reiterates the uphill struggle of recovery and the depth of compassion needed to conquer mental illness.

I use my background textiles to comment on my subject matter. The cheerfulness of printed fabrics echo the drugs’ promises of sunny, uncomplicated happiness while standing in sharp contrast to the reality of depression and anxiety. I occasionally use textiles pulled from my daily life–scrub smocks, kitchen linens, bedding, and my daughter’s clothing–to show how much of a person’s life is affected by illness.

I want to bring beauty and individuality to the stern geometry of pills. I want to blur their rigid, clinical lines. With the warmth and softness of fiber, I am giving humanity to medical diagnoses and their chemical solutions.

Wellbutrin–A Smiling Piece of Candy.

wellbutrin 004

Wellbutrin is a strange little pill.  It looks like a happy piece of candy.  It gives me bizarre nightmares like it’s coated in sugar and hallucinogenic drugs.  Still, happy is happy.  Wellbutrin is still part of the cocktail I take every day.  I have no ill feelings, only appreciation. 

wellbutrin 003

wellbutrin 002

Wellbutrin makes Montana winters possible for me.  Maybe it contains trace amounts of powdered sunshine. 

Because I have peace and friendship with this drug, I used silks, alpaca, and shimmering cottons to make this picture.  I used a hoarded piece of fabric for this special occasion.  It’s still unblocked because I’m not sure where to crop the dolls on the material.   I’ll take better pictures once it gets framed.  (I might be over a year behind on that.  Oops.)

Sometimes I get tired of slaying demons.  With acceptance comes peace.  Thank you, Wellbutrin.

 

Extreme closeup
Extreme closeup