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Why do I do, what I do?

Hi! So this is a first for me - blogging. What do you talk about? I thought I would start for you to get to know me a bit better. So why do I do what I do?

I have always drawn or doodled, ever since I can remember. At one time I remember being obsessed with drawing Garfield, over and over again! I took Art for GCSE and Design for A'level. I was due to go to my local Art college, but life took me on a different journey. Jump forward 20 odd years and I'm having a breakdown. Not just a little wobble, life's a bit hard, tomorrow's another day breakdown. This was a full on, triggered, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) stop everything, can't function, flashbacks, turn up to work and can't stop crying, barely able to look after myself let alone anyone else breakdown.

I was lucky with the people I had around me. I got signed off work, I had some amazing one to one hypnotherapy sessions which, over time, helped stopped the flashbacks and was able to start seeing the real world around me. Between the hypnotherapy sessions, I would go for endless walks with my dogs along the many and varied beaches we have here in North Devon. The howling wind, the huge crashing waves seemed to reflect right back at me what I was feeling inside.

I would just stand there along the clifftops watching, absorbing it (sometimes screaming or yelling into it). And as I did so, watching the swell, the rise and fall, the changes of colour and temperament of the sea, I would start to switch off that constant chatter of my brain. I began to quieten. Hours and hours of solitude and walking. Just me, my dogs and the sea.

As time went on, I could feel this energy pulsing through me. I actually felt alive but also wanted to be alive, for the first time in I don't know how long. I needed to channel this somehow. I did what my body and my brain was aching to do. I brought some cheap materials and started painting. I didn't have a plan of what I wanted to paint, but somehow, something would always form in front of my eyes. And it was always the sea. My safe space. My haven. The place where my thoughts quietened and brought me peace.

So to me, painting is like breathing. I have to do it. I have no choice. It is part of my therapy, it's part of me, pulling out thoughts and emotions into my work.

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