ASD in the paint of randomness

IMG03991-20121207-1703I love to paint

I haven’t studied how to paint. I just love playing with paint. Playing with paint is like therapy for me.

I went to college to study art when I was in my twenties but the environment didn’t suit me. At that time I didn’t understand why. Being undiagnosed with Dyslexia and Aspergers probably had something to do with it. ūüėČ

My creativity is very personal

I like to experiment, mix things up, break a few rules and put a lot of myself into what I create. Just as I write it out, I also paint it out. I paint out my moods, meltdowns, shutdowns, misunderstandings. My highs, my lows, my searching and pondering. But also, I just love playing.

I paint abstract because I am too much of a perfectionist to paint any other way. I get frustrated with myself when I can’t reproduce exactly how I experience an image in my mind. So I find it best to distort that image and let it grow in the paint. I let it grow and develop its own character and in its own way. I let the paint show me how it wants to be.

The secret for me is to not try to make it perfect, just play and let it grow as it flows. It’s something just for me, a time where I can switch off my loops. For me painting is not about making pretty pictures, that’s what my photography is for, it’s about enjoying the paint. Letting the colours be an extension of what is in me, but not caging them in a fixed visual or idea. Not making the paint conform or restricting it but letting it dance and sing.

College for me seemed like I was being told to lose me and to be like everyone else. In my twenties my art was all I seemed to have left of me after having to conform in every other way. Having to imitate the styles of those who were successful, famous, idolised meant nothing to me. I got no release from trying to be like someone else. It just frustrated my brain even more. For me painting is therapy and it helps me to switch off the loops of being overwhelmed, over stimulated or from having to over analyse myself and every situation.

Today I was happy, so I played

I just purely wanted to play with my paints, like the big kid I am. An old canvas picked up from a charity shop, painted over which I scribbled some lines and patterns on. Nothing special, I just doodled.

Mr Locoman is not really interested in art

Especially art of the abstract variety…..hehehe

I have created MANY, MANY, MANY paintings. All have had so much emotion expressed in the paint. He has never understood any of what I explained to him, he says my depth of thought mostly just confuses him. That’s fine, just so you all know….anyone who knows me personally knows I talk and talk and talk. When I am processing I not only taIk and talk and talk, I also babble quite a lot in tangents and jump from arse-hole to breakfast time. In fact I KNOW that I verbally process myself round in such circles I forget what I was even talking about.

Anyway…..

My lovely hubby comes home from work and notices my play time on the kitchen table. I’m on the PC writing and researching when he walks up to me and says…

Mr Locoman…”That’s very bright, is it one of yours? What is it?”

Me (Oblivious, because I am researching gorillas)…”What’s what?”

Mr Locoman… “The painting, what is it?”

Me (Puzzled he is asking, screws up my face) … “Uh, what? It’s nothing.”

Mr Locoman… “I mean what is it about?”

Me… *rolls eyes* “Errrrrrrrr, it’s just paints and colours and shapes.”

Mr Locoman… “No, what is the meaning expressed in it?”

Me…(Giggle) …”Nothing at all, I was just playing with my paints.”

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Now, this might not seem funny to anyone else but I don’t care because it’s my blog and I’m giggling. I find it hilarious that my hubby expects me to talk non-stop because there is a painting on the kitchen table instead of his tea. He has got to know me so well that he thought I had had some kind of mental processing to do because I painted a picture.

Am I really that predictable?

Am I?

REALLY?

My play time isn’t finished yet

I’m going to add some of my squirty bottle swirls with brighter colours. I also like the idea of painting in some glitters, or metallic paints….FUN!!!! Of course I also need to add some fishes. It’s just not Alienhippy unless it has fishes.

Here is some RANDOM for you, because I like random

Take some time to escape all the Christmas shopping madness. (THINK) Wouldn’t it be nice if some of the Christmas shoppers were as kind and loving as this Gorilla?

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JUST PROCESSING

Each one is a process.

It’s a battle I conquered.

Playing with colours.

As I kept moving forward.

Sometimes words say less.

Sometimes paint says more.

Sometimes words flow freely.

Sometimes paint is my outpour.

Sometimes words are just too tough.

Sometimes rhyme and colour is enough.

I went to see a psychologist today.

On the way I practised what to say.

But as I sat in the psychology chair.

I found that those words hadn’t followed me there.

My quiet and gentle artistic rebel

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Me…”So how was your art lesson at school today? Did you enjoy it?”

*CAL…”Well, we looked at photos of paintings by other artists. We looked at their different styles. Then we had to do a self portrait based on one of those styles.”

Me…Ok, what did you think of that?”

*CAL…”I don’t understand why it’s so important to learn to draw like another artist and in another person’s style. If you are copying someone else’s style then your own unique style will never be found.”

Me…”Very true”

*CAL…”It’s good to learn from artists and use their techniques, but art is about finding your own style and personality. It’s not about being like someone else and copying them.”

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This is part of a conversation I had with my daughter on the drive from her new school to fetching her brother after he finished his first day at University. What she said made my heart smile so big I had to pull over on the side of the road and write her words down.

What *CAL said reminded me of one of my favourite quotes.

‚ÄúAll children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.‚ÄĚ

~ Pablo Picasso

*CAL’s words also reminded me of this amazing Documentary

This TED documentary is so worth watching, it has some EXCELLENT points, is only 20 minutes long and is quite entertaining. There are also some wonderfully inspiring thoughts for ASD’s and those who are advocates for people on the spectrum.

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? (This is the link)

 

I like lists, I learn from lists

At the beginning of July I set myself a goal to post on Alienhippy every day of the month.

Today is the last day of July and I have spent the last hour or so having a look back at what I have posted.

I have pondered and prayed and can now see what I can learn from all this.

I learn analytically, it’s part of my ASD

Some have told me I tear myself apart. I say you can’t build on shaky foundations and I want to grown not keep falling down. Some have told me I am too intense and they think I think too much. I say it’s how I am created, it’s how my mind works and God sees me as Wonderfully Wired. Some have told me I am too open, too honest and that makes me vulnerable. I say it’s who I am I can’t be any other way I believe there are others who can learn from what I live…God has got it!

Here are a few lists, this is one of my ways to process

My lists help me find reasons, these show me why I posted those particular things on those particular days. I have reflected back and can now see a new way forward.

My posts through July

Each of these is a link, you don’t have to follow them they are here for my own learning. You can just scroll down to the next part.

  1.  July, the month to be real
  2.  I’m quiet today
  3.  A new loop, I love my normal
  4.  Wordless Wednesday (ROCK)
  5.  PAR…listen to the heart
  6.  Our day with photos.
  7.  Moment of expression
  8.  Pondering
  9.  Whatever is lovely, loopy.
  10.  ASD on the Bus (Silly poem)
  11.  Is that Sonic? Wordless Wednesday
  12.  The Burgundy Rug
  13.  My heart just needs to call
  14.  Gratitude
  15.  Sitting under my tree (Silent Sunday)
  16.  The Still Small Voice
  17.  Painted in oil
  18.  Busy Being *CAL
  19.  Let it be……
  20.  Emotions let loose
  21.  A look back at my way forward
  22.  Almost Silent Sunday
  23.  Mirror Tree Speaks
  24.  What am I listening to?
  25.  Dancing with flames
  26.  Busy having fun
  27.  Love Light, Shine Bright
  28.  Don’t follow the crowd
  29.  Escape from my spiral
  30. Photo gallery of our day

On these 10 days I was shutdown

Days…2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 15, 16, 17, 22, 24

My shutdowns were brought on by

  1. Publishing a goal and instantly feeling I would fail
  2. Shame and guilt from having a meltdown in a public place
  3. Feeling over challenged by a person’s words
  4. Being overloaded after too much social activity
  5. Feeling alone and missing those I love and can’t be with
  6. Self punishment, seeing myself as unworthy, a spiralling loop
  7. More guilt this time putting myself down feeling a nuisance to all
  8. Feeling exposed and misunderstood after sharing my heart

There are only 8 because one of my shutdowns lasted 3 days.

What have I learned?

  1. Keeping my body active being out in nature slows down my thinking
  2. Writing poetry, prose also painting are ways to focus and release my thoughts
  3. Photography is another way to focus and almost stops my thinking
  4. Prayer, singing, studying all focus my energy in a positive way
  5. I need to spend time with people to keep me outwardly focused
  6. I need time alone to process my thoughts
  7. Too much time being social and no time to process causes big problems
  8. I can achieve goals I set for myself I just need accountability
  9. I like who I am, I like that I am quirky, I’m different but definitely not less
  10. I neglect my other two blogs and need to update them more regularly
  11. I am not just a Mom, wife, sister, friend, blogger, poet, artist, woman of faith
  12. I am me, I am growing, I am learning, I am changing and that is just perfect

A parable that helps me, I love this video it’s so cool

Luke 6:46-49

The Wise and Foolish Builders

‚ÄúWhy do you call me, ‚ÄėLord, Lord,‚Äô and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.‚ÄĚ

Painted in oil

Beautiful Headmess

Sorry I have no words again, I have had a very busy day and none of it was planned so I feel quite overloaded. I just want to go and lose myself in a film. I’m a creature of routine and function better when I can do what I need to do. This is one of my paintings. It is painted in oil and it’s not finished yet. I call it ‘Beautiful Headmess’ because I started it while in a shutdown. I don’t know what it needs but to me it doesn’t balance yet. I don’t really like it much, but I have nothing else to share.¬† Love and hugs. xx ūüôā

Why college didn’t work for me

LOST IN PAINT

Fifteen years ago I was a 27 year old single mom with a lot of anxiety, extreme OCD and a hyper-active 3 year old son. I hadn’t even heard the word Aspergers and Autism was not what I know it to be today. My son’s over active mind and body and his extreme mood swings were actually quite shocking at times. I was also trying so very hard to try to find a way forward. A way to keep us afloat. We had been without our home and belongings for 12 months. I was home again now and I had the idea I wanted to be an art teacher, I wanted to do something I enjoyed. Teaching children to create art was my dream. I was beginning to realise that I wasn’t thick like school and certain relationships had made me feel. I just hadn’t had the support at school or around me to help me succeed or plan ahead for myself. I didn’t get the correct support with learning to read. I had an idea I might be dyslexic I thought maybe I can do it this time, maybe I’ll get help. I enrolled at college and became an art student on an access course.

After the first 6 months I started to struggle

Keeping up with all my written work was impossible for me. I didn’t have a lot of confidence and I was embarrassed to ask for help. I couldn’t priorities and my time would get wasted. I was finding each day I felt sad and overwhelmed that I had to leave my baby boy in a nursery 5 days a week. I was missing him terribly and it was from 8am till 5pm some days. He started to have really bad nightmares about Baked Beans. Each night he would scream, kick, punch and bite me while I was calming him. The only way I found I could get him to calm and to get him to sleep was to put him in bed with me and sing to him and stroke his hair. I was shattered most days before I even got to college. Pushing a buggy up a big hill with my art box and portfolio was not at all easy after a night of hardly any sleep. *AJ would very often sleep the afternoon in the quiet room of the nursery, this was helpful for them of course but not for me.

I remember sitting in the college library

We had our computer class in the library and where I would sit had a clear view of the nursery playground. Twice a week I got to see my baby boy playing while I was working, I would very often cry because I wanted to be out there with him not stuck in a library. I hate libraries they are one of my worse places.

He played on his own most days

He pedalled round and round in circles on a little blue tricycle, he was so speedy, he still is actually only now it’s his mind, his body he trains with exercise. He did make one friend at nursery, a little girl called Deokee. He called her Okey Cokey and they were little terrors together. Deokee’s mom was in my art groups she was 15 years older than me she was 42, the age I am now. We became friends, she was a loner too. Her name was *Ange and she had spiky hair (different colours on different days) and she dressed like an old punk rocker.

As the months rolled on the pressure of the work became too much.

Even though I was studying art I only had art on two days out of the five. The rest was other modules I would need for when I would go to uni.

I spoke with the college and decided to spread my one year access course over two. This meant I would only be at college 3 days a week instead of 5. I thought this would be easier but it wasn’t. Trying to do my college work at home while *AJ was climbing the walls was just impossible. The only thing that was keeping me sane was my love of painting. I loved the days that I had art but I found myself actually wagging it again. Yep, at 27 years of age I couldn’t bear the thought of sitting in a classroom listening to my one tutor drone on and on and on. Educational Psychology became my nightmare and the loops in my sleep were vile. In fact *AJ’s screaming and the Baked Bean nightmares were a relief from the cycles of Sigmund Freud theory or anything else that was being drummed into my already overloaded brain.

I had four tutors for art

They all taught different techniques. I loved all the art I did but there were a couple of the tutors I just couldn’t relate to, they really got up my nose. I know now why this was happening but at the time I was going home and screaming. I was holding it all in and melting down/shutting down in my safe place, home. The tutors wanted to see results of their teaching and I wanted to express who I had hiding deep inside of me. I had 27 years of wanting to be heard and a way to let it out but who I was sharing was being corrected or rejected.

I learned my most valuable lesson off an old hippy.

Now this was adult education so I will share. He was a wonderful tutor so relaxed and in tune. He was odd but in a lovely way and he was such a giggle. He didn’t care what people thought of him. He was out to live life and live it in the way that suited him. He positively bounced into the art room and always told us the exact mood he was in at the start of the class. He never held anything back, he just said it as it was and most of the time I think he was stoned. He just seemed to be so different from all the other teachers/tutors I had ever met before. He was like a friend who respected everyone as individuals and saw all people as equals. He was full of encouragement and adored everyone and how they expressed through the paint. I learned so much from this guy about expression in paint and I loved that he would tell me to ignore the other tutors and just be myself.

He would say things like, “Lisa, art is about you, you being in touch with you…it’s practically orgasmic my dear.” I giggle now at the thought of this 50+ long haired, full bearded little art man and the way he taught. They were some of the best memories of a school experience I have. A bunch of mature students, me being the youngest most of them were in their 40’s. We were having such a laugh, accepted for who we were and where our lives had led us and we were playing with paint.

Wise words from a friend

I was home one afternoon expressing myself in paint, I had *AJ set up next to me with his mini easel, he was painting soldiers. I had a lovely friend renting a room in my home at the time. She had just finished uni and had her first job as a graphic designer. She knew me really well and she knew everything I was going through with *AJ’s Dad and worries about my benefits. She could tell straight away that I was upset and went through a list of things she knew were constantly upsetting me asking with such patience. It wasn’t any of the usual things but through talking it out with her I realised I was getting hurt by the tutors not accepting the way I wanted to express myself.

My friend *J then said to me words that made me think deeper about my art than I ever had before. She said this…”Do you paint like this because the tutor asks you to, or because you want to? To study art and get your exams you have to give the tutors what they require. To paint for you, you just need to paint and be you. You need to decide what you want out of art.”

While I was at college for those few months

I created a 9ft tall cardboard suit of armour made to the measurement of Goliath in the Bible. I wanted to take it outside and burn it after I made it. To me the art would have been the photos of the sculpture falling to the elements. My tutors wouldn’t let me.

I made a clay mask of a blind man I wanted the eyes left expressionless. My tutor poked holes in the eye balls with a pencil without even asking me.

I made a sculpture of a headless breastfeeding mother, I understood why but couldn’t explain and therefore looked like I was not following the program.

I also made a sculpture that got stolen and then found it for sale in a local Christian book shop.

But what pushed me to finally leave was having my whole portfolio stolen with 6 months of completed work that had been sent in for marking. These were mostly batiks that had taken months and landscapes of local woodland. No one understood why it hurt me so deeply to lose that work.

I put me into my art and my art is a healing process, a journey through who I am and a discovery of where God is leading me.

An after thought from writing this post shared with a friend.

I always photograph my art now. Those painting were a healing process for me and I think maybe I was never meant to hold on to them or the memories captured in them. I released a lot into the work I did and I know that it brought me peace. The 9ft Goliath armour was still standing in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs when my younger sister went to the same college. She didn’t even know I had made it but she felt drawn to it and it comforted her while she was studying. So even there God had a plan.

A quote from Pablo Picasso

‚ÄúAll children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.‚ÄĚ

Animal school video

Just wanted to say “Hello!” :)

Hello my lovely bloggy friends,

First of all I must apologise for being absent from bloggyland for a week. I have read very few blogs and have been terrible at answering my comments. I am so sorry.

I have absolutely no excuse other than being terribly distracted by my own thoughts, feelings, and well life basically.

I still don’t know quite what went on with me, it was like another one of those mouse meltdowns.

For explanation on a mouse meltdown/shutdown follow this link.

Ready & waiting for the mouse!

All I can say is I feel I am out of it now

I have taken safety measures (I know my own brain reasonably well) and hidden all negative feed from my fb, twitter and youtube. I know that the more negative I absorb the more confused I get. So as this may seem a little drastic to some, for me it is totally necessary. If I want to sleep and function as a human. Yes the Alienhippy is actually human believe it or not!

Anyway, while I was gone…

I did everything I could to find me again and ground myself. Communication is the first thing to fail when I am like this and I can only really share with very few people, even then I panic about everything I say.

So, what did the Alienhippy do this time?

I did lots of flow activities, I connect best and process quicker if I let myself be me!

First of all I got a little passionate “obsessed” on Executive Function Disorder (EFD)

Here is a link to my other blog where I store things until my brain connects my loops and tangents.

Executive Function Disorder and the Senegal Parrot

Also I have been spending a lot of time with my little *CAL and our pets.

I will update on Angel’s new kittens tomorrow.

The other thing I will share is…

I LOVE PHOTOBUCKET!!!

I spent quite some time messing with some photos and altering them the other day.

I really enjoyed making some quick art and changing the look of some old family photos.

Also distorting and adding abstract to some other photos too.

Here are a few I thought I would share with you.

Photos

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AND…last thing to share.

This is going to be my new painting project, I have always fancied adding some spray paint and this is calling me to do just that.

I am going to paint it on a piece of board and I am hoping to make it about 4ft by 3ft.

Mr Locoman is also fine about it being hung in the front room, if it turns out ok.

YAY! YAY! YAY! It’s a tree and not a train. ūüôā

Hello my friend, my special place

I’ll be back tomorrow with a kitten update.

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx ūüôā