The following are Ziegfeld Girls re-imagined as comic book super heroes.  The images are made in Photoshop using public domain photos of the women superimposed over photographs of my paintings and layered with other elements (patent drawings, turn of the century advertisements, random textures and brush strokes etc.)

Don’t Call it a Comeback

So, why haven’t I been online and why the sudden disapearence with no explanation?  I had to get offline (off Facebook specifically) because I was internalizing too much of the conflict and it was having a corrosive effect on my life and my mental state.  It was making me an angry person.  I am not an angry person.  Why didn’t I explain this then?  Cowardice I suppose.  I was afraid to get pulled back in.  I decided to just cut off all contact by just not looking at Facebook or even e-mail for months.  Sorry to any I may have let down and more importantly I appologize to any friends or family that may have been worried about my well being.  I’m …..transitioning.  To say I’m fine would be a lie, but I as I re-read my old posts I can tell you that I am feeling better and think I am heading in a more positive direction again.

One thing I have learned it that the “depressive cycles” that I spoke of seem to be more “depressive orbits”.  The difference being the momentum involved.  An orbit is not always a perfect circle and if one can alter the flight projection one can alter that flight path.  Leading to more time on one side of the orbit that the other.  My hypothesis is that with effort I can eventually break orbit all together.  So far the results have been positive.  My time spent in a state of depression has lessened with each orbit and my time spent in a ..better mental state has been longer.

The other insight I have made is that I decided to stop fighting the “crazy”…. ,which is separate from the depression, and just go with it.  If my ideas are odd, so be it.  Which, in a way, leads to the next question.

Why am I back?  My time on facebook tought me, and studies have since proven, that you can’t change peoples minds with logic and facts any more… maybe you never could.  Instead folks make up their minds on “insert debate topic of choice” emotionally first and then find facts to support that point of view.  So if I wants to change how the world thinks I can’t rely on facts, instead I must pull heart strings.  Therefor in the months I’ve been gone I’ve been immersing myself in my art.  Not only my photography and photoshop work but I’ve also taken up wood working, inlaying, painting, paint pouring, abstract art, sculpture, decoupage, collage and…..knick knacky stuff like potion bottles, gnome houses, wooden boxes with song lyrics hand written on them, honest greeting cards, trading cards and comic books.  I’ve been showing at a local art street fair once a month (First Friday, if your in Bakersfield I would be honored if you were to stop by and check it out).  And I’ve been handing out “business” cards with this website listed….so I figured I better start uploading more of my art.  There’s a selection of the pour paintings and a few collages up now from my first few months of work but I plan on putting up a bunch more in the coming months so keep coming back to see what’s new.  

Wow….if you made it through that wall of text….thanks!  A lot!  For a reward anyone who shows up at my booth at First Friday and whispers the top secret phrase “The eagle flies at midnight.” will get a free golden ticket!  What are golden tickets good for?  Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…..

Thank you for Hearing Me

Thank you to every one who read my last few blogs on my battle with mental illness, and double thank you to those of you who shared the link to this blog on your own page.  I feel like the more folks that hear my story the better chance I have of reaching at least one person who can really identify with and benefit from my experiences.

I can’t seem to find the words to properly describe just how freeing it has been to finally share all of this….madness.  The overwhelmingly heartfelt responses that i got, from the comments section, to personal messages, to real personal interactions has led to a tremendous break through that I had never imagined possible. And I feel I have all of you to thank for that.

I truly haven’t felt like “me” in decades…until a week ago.  Believe me when I tell you that I have tried to self medicate myself with my fare share of drugs, both prescribed and …not so prescribed (I’ve taken month’s off of work to follow jam bands around the country if that gives you any clue….thumbs up Tidwell, vegi-burritos and two beers for five bucks) but none of them have ever come close taking this mental/emotional weight off my shoulders like sharing did.

I feel like I’m a Re-born Agnostic.  My future looks open and free again.  I don’t feel like i have to voluntarily put myself into “solitary confinement” anymore. It’s like I’m Peter Pan again and world is my Neverland (The Lost Boys tree house Neverland not to be confused with the pedophile playground built buy the King of Pop).

The struggle isn’t over, not by a long shot.  I still have a lot more to deal with and a lot more to tell but because writing about my depression takes an emotional toll, I can’t make this whole blog about that.  I am a man, I am more complex then any one issue.  My goal is to put out content on at least a weekly basis and the main focus will remain on mental health issues and what we as a country can do to help but I may dabble in politics, art and other societal issues from time to time, for my own sanity (no pun intended).

And just to kick a dead horse, once again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting me in this project.