Studio Days

Coping With Rejection and Mixed Episodes (Part One)

I've been pitching my words + art to various publications and places almost weekly since January. Some incredible opportunities have come my way over the last few months from simply sharing my work + process out there on Instagram, but I've yet to have a pitch accepted. Overall the rejections haven't impacted me too greatly. I've only had two really hit me in the gut and one of them came to my inbox yesterday. 5% of it what was mentioned about the paintings I submitted was constructive. 95% of it wasn't and that 95% crushed me unexpectedly when I read it. 

I'm also experiencing my first mixed episode in months. Cycling through slight hypomania (which for me usually manifests as agitation & anxiety) and depression simultaneously is unsettling. My thoughts form, splinter or fracture into bits, then fuse together repeatedly and trying to get anything substantial done is damn near futile. I always feel untethered and raw, like an exposed nerve ending when I experience these types of episodes. I'm assuming that's why yesterday's rejection landed like a sucker punch to my soul instead a slight but bearable sting like the others before it. 

To cope, I did two things: abandoned my To-Do list and allowed myself to get lost in painting without thinking. It got me through the day and served as my oxygen mask.

That's what painting has become for me...the oxygen I need to survive.  

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Studio Day: Experiments on Rives BFK

Painting on paper versus canvas is still new to me. I'm finding I prefer it when I want to use my brayers instead of brushes to apply and blend layers of paint, or use pencils to feature drawing elements. It's...smoother. Over the last five weeks I've been using a pad of mixed media paper, but today I pulled out the sheets of Rives BFK (a type of printmaking paper mould made in France) I'd splurged on back in December. I love the weight, absorbency, texture, the deckled edges, and how beautifully paint shows up on its surface. 

Move over, canvas. Mama's found a new love. 

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