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  • Writer's picturePia Pilar Reynaldo

2024 Begin Again

Essentials for my painting studio. Joan Mitchell abstract artist book and biography, and my coffee mug. Rings off.

Moving on is hard to do.

As a visual artist who paints abstract paintings, recognizing my signs of a major creative block was to identify the emotional ups and downs in my life. Moving across three states, rebuilding a new painting studio, repairing relationships, and discovering the importance of therapy later in life; It wasn’t easy.

Once my studio was finally in order in our new home in Wisconsin, I was creating and painting my art but had difficulty. I struggled to stay in the moment, but felt challenged in a place that was suppose to be my haven from the difficulties of daily life. The more I pushed myself to paint, the more disappointed I felt, and more canvas and paper was either left untouched, unfinished, or painted over again, and/or tossed to the side.

My creative block or shutdown was more than I could handle. I was an island. I felt zero connection with my peers who are amazing visual artists and abstract painters [creators in a place I once felt part of]. I was slowly losing control. I would paint in my studio of things that were shocking for the non-artist. I would paint hard, snap brushes, and rip canvases. I would paint black all over my painting books. Images of nooses, words of hate and abuse and bullying. It was getting narrow and selfish. I was unattended and unguarded in my studio, where the landmines in my brain that went off every time a thought from the past would surface to my immediate thinking. Disrupting any concepts I had for a painting.

I used up all my ideas. I started to think horrible things about myself and started to believe negative words.

I had to face the reality that I was suffering from anxiety and stress.

Getting help.

I discovered Al-Anon through Pilates. For me working out was a great way to deal with my anxiety, stress, and depression. But there is only so much working out one can do. A woman from Pilates introduced me to Al-Anon while meeting for coffee. We had something in common and that our respective spouses are recovering alcoholics. (I’m not a religious person and Al-Anon is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one, therefore anyone is allowed to join regardless of what their beliefs may be).

Through Al-Anon I signed up for a sponsor who referred me to a therapist.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

I had to commit to self-care for my mental well being. This was new to me, but the practice and the routine, strengthened me to think positively. I slowly worked my way into my new painting studio, by creating daily in my painting books, on paper, and on canvas. I continue exercising and getting healthy through pilates, ice skating in hockey skates, and biking. Working with a therapist (she has over 35 years of practice, professionalism and knowledge), was the door that is opening my mind and healing my soul. Al-Anon isn’t for everyone, and I go when I need to. It is a safe place for people who live with someone who is recovering from addiction.

I am now in my studio painting regularly, as well as in my office rebuilding my art business. I set up an in-studio and art business schedule, which makes me accountable and gives me permission to work on what is a priority. Having clarity and acceptance of my own struggles in life while paying attention to self-care has lifted the creative shutdown that I suffered from for months.

Forgive yourself and others. Let go of the past. Have gratitude for all the small, medium, and large, simple and grand wonders in life.

Thanks for stopping by 😉

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2 comentários

16 de abr.

How am I just finding these posts now?? So elegantly and honestly written. You’re a bad ass Pia!! Much love to you. You deserve all things good. Xo

Pia Pilar Reynaldo
Pia Pilar Reynaldo
18 de abr.
Respondendo a

Hey there ☺️ thanks for reaching out and taking the time to read. I really appreciate your cool words!

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