Putting the Art in Cathartic…

I am done.

And by done, I mean more than finished.

It has been a hard thing trying to do a giant-scale art project while being split in two–figuratively speaking. Between my child’s special needs and a double-dose of family health crises blossoming, I’m spent. That fragmented state became an alternate reality in my actual art project.

It seemed only right:

Weirdly, I looked better all ripped up than I did as one whole piece. I’m not sure how to take that.

As mentioned a few weeks ago, I am taking part in the Grand Rapids, Michigan phenomenon known as Art Prize 2021. This is a pretty big deal around here. It certainly is a first for me. I was asked to take part alongside other veterans who are using art as a way to translate the traumas they have faced as part of their service to their country.

I do not have the same struggles they do. But, I have struggles of my own. And lately, they have seemed overwhelming. So, I arted about it. (If you are tempted to place an ‘F’ in front of that word, I can’t say I blame you.)

I have been advised NOT to share my full work with you. But, since it is available online at my ArtPrize Profile I feel no shame in putting in a link for the morbidly curious.

I am allowed to post my stupid efforts in doing a personalized video however–which did not make the final cut on my ArtPrize page due to my complete lack of ability to figure out how to show both my face and the art I was working on at the same time!

Someone should get a laugh out of them anyhow:

VIDEO #1 (Let the babbling inanities begin…)

VIDEO #2 (Where you actually see some of the work-in-progress)

And I will post the poem written to describe my despair for my child–as he transitions to a newer, hopefully more appropriate school setting–as ArtPrize approaches next fall. It’s current title is Autism in the Trenches. But who knows, that may change as I hammer out a few lines I’m still not happy with.

This is not one of my funnier posts, unless you count the fact that I am describing myself as an artist despite this being my first ever attempt at being one. I am not a savant by any means, but I did find this experience to provide an outlet for some of my stress. Even as it somewhat increased my stress overall. Weird that.

I hope this finds an audience, at least among my friends, if no one else. But, if it speaks to you, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear that having a mid-life crisis on canvas is universal rather than totally out-of-this-world.

And a big shout-out goes to Pamela Alderman without whom this art would not exist anywhere other than in my head. Thank you.

13 thoughts on “Putting the Art in Cathartic…

  1. I am so, so glad that you finished your piece. It is really wonderful! I know I’m sounding particularly gushy (and that’s not my normal state), but I like this very much. I love the title and the poem and — well basically everything really. Especially the fact that in bloody difficult times you have completed a piece of art that speaks to me and I’m sure to many other people. Well done you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I take my compliments very seriously. I might even sneak back to read them again later, so I can believe in them. Thank you.

      I also am a bit astonished I got it done in time. I am not historically known for this ability. (The deadline to submit receipts for a sponsorship of my artwork may have played a part in the speed of my efforts though.)

      I’m very glad you liked it. Gush away. I can never get enough gush!


  2. All art is subjective and all artists (at least the good ones) have trouble recognizing their good from bad efforts. It is all in the eyes of the beholders. I like what I’ve seen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I appreciate that. It felt like art. Though, I am always going to acknowledge that I cannot draw a straight line to save my life! Maybe, art doesn’t have to contain straight lines to be art!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Go you! I totally get your standpoint. I guess we all just hit a point mid life where it feels like we are little more than a discarded plastic bag tossed about on the up and down draughts of other people’s neediness. I hope the arting it helps. If it’s any consolation, I find that writing is really hard when I’m stressed, but I also need to do it more. So I end up barfing out shit I’ll never use. Your art looks good, and interesting. Fine effort!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, MT. I appreciate the vote of confidence!

      As to the floating plastic bag analogy–I always liked the parody made of the scene from American Beauty. But now, I think I imagined it since I cannot for the life of me find a video clip from either “Scream” or “Not Another Teen Movie” which I thought might be the originator of the parody. (That was a long way to go for very little return. I apologize. I’m fried from lack of sleep and too much caffeine. Don’t be like me. It isn’t pretty after so many decades of self-destruction.)


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