A loved one is currently taking part in an art therapy class for anger management. I expect there will be a lot of dark colors and edgy subject matter in that class. It's started me thinking about how I have used MY art to "manage" my anger.
I got into decorative painting about 20 years ago. I had always loved drawing and did well in art classes in school. I progressed from folk art painting to acrylics on canvas and developed a love of the landscape, although I still keep my hand in decorative painting and still lifes.
For me, painting has been an escape from the anger and the stress of this nasty, often overwhelming battle against the adoption status quo, adoption facilitators, self-entitled adopters and the insidious pro-adoption propaganda that inundates our culture. The outrageous injustice of it all has propelled me into online debates, terse and argumentative letters to the editors and congress and anyone else involved, and non-stop efforts to educate those around me as to the true nature of adoption and what it does to the mothers and the adopted people. My poetry and prose is painful and angry and my letters can border on the belligerent. But my art is something else again.
My art is the safe haven I have made for myself in a world where injustice is a daily occurrence and compassion and beauty have become skewed and all too subjective. Even music, these days, seems to require something mean-spirited in its lyrics in order to be successful. I escape into a world where wildflowers aren't called weeds, where every acre doesn't have 5 cookie-cutter houses on it, where water at least LOOKS clean and skies boast unimaginable ranges of color.
Any human figures that I might include in my paintings are gentle and reflective and I can feel that they are just and honorable and care about the pain of others. With my paintbrush, I can build a cabin with glowing windows on a mountainside, with no landscaping except that which Nature creates and I just know that there is peace and love and mutual respect inside. No one feels entitled to the children of others in those places that I paint. No one judges anyone else and finds them unfit or inadequate and no child is unwelcome and no pregnancy is anything other than Nature taking Its course. People are at peace with their own conditions and don't expect instant gratification. It's the world on my canvas and, as the late Bob Ross used to put it, I can do whatever I want in my world.
For me, my art is my striving for the world as it should be and could become. It is my seeking and visualizing a place of true justice and tolerance and less self-seeking and arrogant assumptions that humanity can outdo Nature. I can step back from a finished canvas and see what I fight for, what WE in OUSA and other places strive to create. And, when I see that reflected in my daubings of color and shape, I feel anger ebb and determination take its place.
I've been painting a lot, lately.