Supporting mental health awareness
Mental health was the first focus area which developed within my creative practice.
This was due to how I was trying to manage the stressors I experienced in the military. We all go through seasons of struggles with our mental health, and I began painting works expressing how I felt to get through those. This has led to some amazing opportunities.
2023 Veterans Day Google Doodle
It was an honor to be the 6th ever guest artist selected to create an original painting themed on mental health for the Veterans Day Google Doodle.
Artisan Air Streaming Series
In 2023 I made my documentary debut for the “Artisan Air” streaming series on Air Force Live. It was amazing to be one of the creatives selected to represent the diverse array of talent found in the Air Force. I used my episode as an opportunity to further normalize discussions around mental health in the military by leveraging my art. I also shared how my love of scuba diving enables me to care for my own mental health further, and serves as a source of inspiration for my art as well.
The process of creating this work bolsters my mental health, and so I return to the same techniques whenever I need to externalize what I am feeling. One day I hope to collaborate with art therapists using this creative method.
This is What Depression Feels Like
“This is What Depression Feels Like” was the first work I made pertaining to mental health, and the process of painting it was cathartic. Acrylic pouring paints, oil bar, and acrylic markers made for a layered approach to convey visually what I was feeling. The colors I selected amplified the way I experienced depression: it can be hard to get outside of yourself in that mental space to gain perspective.
This work was proudly featured in my episode of the 2023 Artisan Air streaming series. “This is What Depression Feels Like” is an unapologetic self portrait acknowledging we all go through seasons of struggle.
This is What Anxiety Feels Like
“This is What Anxiety Feels Like” has been shown in the 2020 Bossier Parish Community College Military Mental Health Art Exhibition and was shared with over a million followers on the United States Air Force Facebook page. This work was also featured alongside “This is What Depression Feels Like” in episode 15 of the Artisan Air streaming series.
I created this work to process the anxiety I was feeling about moving to a new place after a deployment and experiencing a total break in relational continuity. In contrast to “This is What Depression Feels Like,” the acrylic colors I selected for this work are unexpectedly bright – blushing pinks and shamrock greens all belie the tension evident in the self-portrait. If depression causes one’s focus to get locked inward, anxiety causes one’s focus to be locked outward, resulting in an inability to prevent the outside world from making its way into your thoughts and perceptions.
Other original works from the Mental Health series
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AND ADVOCATE
Sharing my story to advocate for others.
Original paintings from my Mental Health series are available through The Peace Gallery in Damariscotta, Maine or through my shop. To stay up to date with new releases, sign up for my newsletter.