Friday, June 15, 2012

My Anti-Depression Adventures

Sometimes my husband takes me by the hand and leads me out of the house.  If he didn't I wouldn't get out as often as I do; which believe me it isn't very much.

He "informed" me about a month ago that on June 14th he had taken the day off so we could drive down to Eldon, Iowa.  I asked, "What is in Eldon, Iowa?"  Actually I may not have asked that, but it sounds good to say I did.

I do remember, however, that he said he was getting me up at 4 AM to begin our road trip and he would not give up until I was out of bed.  Oh dear!  About once a week he would remind me of this upcoming adventure and that I had to get out of bed. 

June 14th arrived and so did 4 AM.  Much to his surprise I was already awake.  In reality I had never gotten to sleep so I had no trouble getting up.  Insomnia.

I know you are not going to believe what was in Eldon, Iowa (other than the American Gothic House used in the famous painting by Grant Wood).  Okay here it is....drum roll please....

Tom Arnold and Rosanne Barr's mansion they started building then abandoned about 15 years ago when they divorced.  I guess Tom grew up in Ottumwa, Iowa and he wanted a home near there.  Two local radio personalities were broadcasting from the site and invited their listeners to visit.

Now...only my husband could get me down to the boonies to see Tom and Rosanne's house.  I honestly could care less; still don't as a matter fact.  But we did have fun.

Here are some pictures of the dilapidated mansion; and it would have been fabulous no doubt.  Photos do not do the house size justice.  It was HUGE!  And it sits on 1340 acres of land.  Fifteen years in the harsh Midwest elements, however, has taken its toll.  It looks more like its been sitting there 30 years instead of 15.

Dilapidated Mansion

The south side of the house was especially amazing because of all the gorgeous windows!  It would have been an incredible view out over their pond.  Oh, but the heating bill they would have had!

All the amazing windows!

The most hilarious part of the whole adventure was the "cab" service.  Only in Iowa would a bunch of people show up to look at a defunct Hollywood couple's almost home.  And only in Iowa would the taxi service be pick up trucks!  I said to my husband, "And we wonder why Hollywood depicts us in the movies as a bunch of hicks!"

Country cab service

The next stop was the American Gothic House.  As a new artist, I LOVE art!  American Gothic has never been a favorite of mine, however.  Patrick and I did get to see the original at the Des Moines Art Center several years ago.  It was part of a temporary exhibit.  We waited in line for over an hour and it was worth it to see a famous painting by an Iowa artist.

So here we are at the the American Gothic House!

Pitchfork and all!
I was exhausted from not sleeping and dozed in the back seat for an hour of the two hour drive home.  But we had a really fun day and depression was no where to be found! We made memories and that's so important.  I forget how important sometimes and was grateful to be reminded.

Just to update you on my most recent application of wet paint...here are a couple of pages from my art journal.  I love these!

I would really encourage you to take some Anti-Depression Adventures!  You don't even have to take a 2 hour road trip but find an adventure.  Its worth it.  It will help you feel a bit better and when you're depressed...every bit helps!  Wouldn't you say?

And don't forget ~ when depressed apply wet paint!       

Brave Girls Camp Here I Come!

Here are some words that describe Brave Girls Camp...
"Brave Girl Camp is five days of life-changing fun for women...a fabulous all-inclusive retreat nestled in the stunning mountains of Idaho, offering both beautiful cabin accommodations and meaningful art projects and instruction. 

The brainchild of sisters Melody Ross and Kathy Wilkins, Brave Girl Camp is an extension of their worldwide community, Brave Girls' Club, and is offered to women all over the world who are ready to meaningfully and artfully move forward on their individual paths. In fact, Brave Girl Camp is specifically designed to help women find their own individual path in a fun and lasting and deeply personal way."  

I was registered for the one in August but they had a last minute opening...so I'm going Tuesday.  And I can't wait!

You can learn more about it here if you would like Brave Girls Camp.

My hope and prayer is God will use this experience to breath life back into me.  I intend to continue to heal from this depression and to come out on the other side a new and different person.  There is not a doubt in my mind that Brave Girls Camp will be part of that transformation.  

It will be fun to blog and tell you about my experiences there.  

Oh and while I'm gone...when depressed apply wet paint!  : )


Monday, June 11, 2012

Take Action In Spite Of

I am several weeks into the online class I am taking from Brave Girls Club.  It is called Soul Restoration 2.   Have you ever heard of it or taken any of the Brave Girls classes?  Let me tell you...their online classes are worth every penny.

I was so scared to start because I didn't know what to expect.  It is my first Brave Girls class.   

What if everything I try to create is ugly?  
What if I don't like the class?  
What if my worst fear comes true and I find out I really don't have a creative bone in my body?  And on and on and on...

Here's what I am finding out.  

Some things I am creating are indeed ugly in my opinion.  
I love the class.  
And I may have a few creative bones in my body.

The first couple weeks of the class focus on what you really love to do and feel passionate about.  I began the process of making a sketchbook into a creative place to explore what I love and many other things.  And I wrote a mission statement .

Now I've actually written a mission statement several times over the years; though not lately and not in this creative format.  Past explorations have been more cerebral versus creative. 

Once that was completed, I started on what they call a vision board.  Again, not something I haven't heard of before; though I had never done one of these.

Feelings Before Creating

Besides anxiety and excitement, the other feeling I experienced prior to starting was dread.  Fear's consistent companion I guess.  I was scared it would be too big a project and I wouldn't be able to finish it.  I was afraid I wouldn't have the desire, motivation and energy to follow it through to the end.

Now I know that is the depression talking.  "You don't have the energy for this Lynn.  You're an okay starter but you're not a good finisher.  Just skip this project, its not that important anyway."

There are times when I know it is the depression talking, and I still can't not listen to it.  Talk about a constant companion.  It is always whispering in my ear.  "You're too tired.  Just stay in bed a little longer.  You don't have the energy to meet Sherry for lunch today.  Just call and reschedule."  

It was time to start the vision board and these kinds of thoughts were tickling my ear.   It was so hard for me to ignore them!  But I want out of this depression SO BAD!

So I got out the magazines and started looking for words that caught my eye.  I cut out anything that spoke to me and inspired me.  I cut and cut and cut...with no particular path in mind.  The only goal was I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS PROJECT I STARTED!  Everything else was intuitive.

Here are a few photos of the cutting out process...

Here is the UGLY canvas with about 10 layers of paint on it.  I used this to create my vision board.  Thank goodness most of it is covered!  : )


And here is the final product...YES...I finished it!  The same evening.  I was not willing to stop until I had completed the project.  This was BIG for me!  

Feelings After Creating

I think it was about 2:00 AM when I finished but that is the key word...Finished!  I felt exhilarated, excited, empowered, happy, inspired and grateful.

The best part too is I did not feel depressed!  I had created my way out of all those negative, energy zapping and mind/body numbing emotions.

I also wrote a different ending to an otherwise typical story.  I was battling depressed and anxious thoughts; I couldn't not listen to them because they were there.  But I took action in spite of them and that is the key for me every time.

I keep re-learning over and over...I must take action in spite of how I feel and no matter what the depression is telling me.  I HATE that it boils down to something this simple; yet it is so not simple for me to DO!  

I don't know if this is true for you but it is often true for me.  So I will keep creating and will create my way out of this depression one brush stroke, one project, one moment, one day at a time.  Will you keep creating too?

When depressed apply wet paint...or brush mod podge over cut out magazine words.   

This post is part of a brave blogging challenge arranged by Liv Lane for the students of her e-course How To Build A Blog You Truly Love.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

There is an Art Class in My Near Future!

I am pushing myself artistically and socially.  This afternoon I signed up for a mixed media art class.  It is about 30 minutes from home and will be well worth my time and money I think. 

It is a four week class but for the same money the artist said she would teach me individually and we could do it all in a four hour afternoon.  Yay!!!

Since I work out of my home I am home a lot.  I don't get out as much as I could because of the depression and I am working on that.  The art class is one way for me to get myself out and about.

Just for fun...here is a photo I took of some of my yard art.  Bunnies in the sun.  Summer is definitely here! 

Is there a way you can push yourself that will help you take a step toward healing and away from depression?  Keep taking one step at a time.

And when depressed...apply wet paint!  Or take photos.

Friday, June 8, 2012

How Often Do You Laugh in Bed?

I didn't do a great job of getting to bed at a decent hour last night as I had planned.  Thus, getting up was a struggle as well.  There was one positive about not waking with the sun and that was the gift Kaylie my dog brought back to bed with her.  It SO made me giggle and laugh and smile.

While laughing I had the thought that I need to find a way to capture this rare laughter when it happens.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't laugh enough when depressed.

Here is the result of me finding a way to capture my laughter.   Mr. Duckie is who Kaylie brought back to bed and this is what was left of Mr. Duckie when Kaylie was done with him.  It is now 8 hours later, and the memory and now this photo still make me smile.

Part of my creativity today was to take this photo and then edit it online.  It is now a sweet memory that will bring a smile to my face when I need it.  I edit my photos online at www.picmonkey.com by the way.  It is free with no registration and very easy to use.  And it is fun.


Here is Kaylie.  I took this photo a few days ago and did the editing today.  I enjoy adding text to some of my photos.  Its creative and allows me to express my sense of humor.  Isn't she a sweetie by the way?  All though I'm sure Mr. Duckie doesn't think so : )

Continued Sketchbook Play

I also continued playing in my sketchbook/journal today.  Here is one page I did.  I think I will add some text to it at some point...probably using a stencil or wording cut out of a magazine or something.  We'll see what I find to go with it.

This photo doesn't do the nice green color justice, but it gives you an idea.  I rubbed the page with oil pastel chalk first and then painted over it with Mod Podge.  Next I cut out the floral circles and leaves from fabric scraps I get from my neighbor who loves to make aprons.

I adhered the fabric flower and petals also with Mod Podge (you want to put Mod Podge on the paper and on the back of whatever you are adhering to the page).  Then I drew the flower stem with more oil pastel chalk.  And that's it.  Simple but I like it.

The other page I played on was this one...

I guess today was a play with fabric day, because the butterflies and flowers I cut out of fabric scraps also.  The page is painted with acrylic paint (I just poured some green and white paint on the page and the paint mixed while I was brushing it on).

I then used Mod Podge to affix the fabric butterflies; and finally drew the wording on with Oil Pastel Chalk.  I like the oil pastel chalk because it is not so...well...chalky as the regular pastel chalks.  You get less chalk dust is what I'm trying to say.

This page didn't turn out as whimsical looking as I had hoped.  I wanted the small lines to make it look like the butterflies were flitting about here and there, but I don't think I accomplished it.  Oh well....practice.  Maybe I'll add something else later to cover some of that, who knows?  I'll look at it for a few days and then decide.

Its Okay to Be in Process

I am learning a lot from playing in this sketchbook.  Here are a few things:

1.  It forces me to let go of perfectionism.  It is not easy to do something and not do it well "enough."  I want my pages to look like all these artist pages I see online and in the art books.  But I'm not there yet.  And I am trying to let that be okay.  Not to mention I'm showing my non-art to you! 

2.  It teaches me to play for a bit, walk away and come back to it.  Sometimes we think, "Well I can't do that because it would take too long and I don't have that much time."  The reality is each step of these pages only took me a few minutes each; because each step had to dry before I could move on.   So I have to move s-l-o-w-l-y.

3.  Since I have to move slowly I am also learning self-discipline.  Because of my depression I sometimes work/play only when I feel like it (except for the obvious things that HAVE to be done of course).  So when I start to do something, I force myself to keep doing it because I'm on a roll.  Who knows when I will FEEL like it again.  This can also result in exhaustion.

This kind of art play in my sketchbook invites me to go back to it time and again whether I feel like it or not.  That is a good practice for me.  It is a skill I forget when I am battling depression.

Keep Trying to be With People

I am going to keep reminding me and you to be with people even when we don't feel like it.  I am going over to my mom's tonight to hang out and watch some tennis.  We were a big tennis family and love watching the big tournaments like the French Open.  I believe the semi-finals are tonight.  So I am going.

And don't forget...when depressed apply wet paint; or fabric, or oil pastel chalk or.... oh, and capture your laughter when you can : )   You are not alone.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A New Art Book! Oh Boy!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE NEW BOOKS!  I have a Kindle on my laptop that I use when I just cannot wait to read something; but an art book...no way!  I MUST have a copy in my hands.  

I honestly did not do much creating today and didn't get much else accomplished either unfortunately.  But when this book came in the mail my spirits were instantly lifted!  I love this book!

It is titled Artists Journals and Sketchbooks; Exploring and Creating Personal Pages by Lynne Perrella.

(All I could find was this Amazon photo so clicking won't get you inside the book)

Learn New Techniques

The great thing about this book and others like it is many of the techniques are SO SIMPLE!  Those of us who aren't "artists" can easily do the things the different artists share.  And it is a great way to learn more fun techniques you can use in anything you want to try.

When I come across fun things like this I will share them with you.  The more we can play with paint and other materials the better!  It will keep us interested and coming back to the canvas, paper, sketchbook, or whatever we are playing on.

Even Photo Editing is Creative

I guess I did get some creating done today.  I took photos yesterday of a sketchbook cover I decorated.  I painted and played on the cover a week or so ago.  I am using the sketchbook for a creative online class I am taking and one of the assignments was to decorate the cover.

So I downloaded the photos on the computer late last night...about 1:30 AM I believe.  Any one else have difficulty keeping normal wake/sleep cycles when you're depressed?  I do.  Often that is when I am most creative actually.

Anyway, I did some editing on the photos today and I'll show you the cover I did.  I really am trying to do something creative each day.  Even if its only working with photos I've taken.  It doesn't have to be painting; there are lots of ways to be creative.  It really does make me feel better and it gets me moving.

My Sketchbook

This is just acrylic paint, some stenciling, a few doo dads (is that a word) from Hobby Lobby I picked up and a fabric butterfly.  I used Mod Podge to adhere HOPE and the 3 butterflies and one heart.  I had a lot of fun doing it.

Create With Someone When You Can

What made it even more fun was that I was not creating alone that night.  My 15 year old niece Madeline came home with us.  We stopped at Hobby Lobby and picked her up a sketchbook and I let her pick out some fun doo dads to decorate her book with as well.

I haven't created with another person since the art class I took with Doris.  I forgot how much fun it was.  And Maddie chatted non-stop with her Aunt Lynn and I loved that! 

Its hard for me to force myself to be with people when I am struggling with depression so this was SO good for me.  I am trying to reconnect with the friends with whom I have been MIA.  It is not easy but I'm working on it.  What a horrible thing....to have friends right?

When depressed apply wet paint!  And get together with someone you haven't seen in a while.  Both will give you a lift.  And you'll make your friends day too!

Oh and I need to go to bed at a decent hour too.  How about you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Besides Painting I Got the Sheets on the Bed Changed Today!

How's it going?  Have you committed to applying wet paint yet when you're depressed?  I know it feels like a big job.

I care deeply about how you are doing and want you to heal along with me.  If you want.  It takes a bit of energy to get your materials but remember you can order almost anything through art stores on line.  Don't let lack of energy or motivation keep you from getting started.  Order online, let it all come to you and then just start.

Believe me I understand lack of energy and motivation.  I deal with it every day right now.  That's why I'm painting again.  I MUST paint and play and create or I will stay stuck where I am.

But before I get into how to mix your own liquid watercolor paint I want to tell you something about me and my depression.  Confessions of a depressed person ~

Besides painting and creating, here are the only things I got done today.  I changed the sheets on our bed; I emptied the garbage, I fed the pets, and I watered the plant that was drooping to the floor in sadness.  I did get a couple of phone calls in too, but those are forced upon me when someone calls so I don't really count those.  For me, to get even that little done when I'm struggling this much is practically a miracle!

How did I accomplish these few things?  I painted then changed the sheets; it was the hardest in my mind so I did it first.  I painted some more and then I emptied the garbage.  And so on and so on.

For those who don't battle depression this will sound crazy.  They may think to themselves, "Those things aren't hard, what is wrong with this woman?"  Well, for me, when I'm depressed, these things are hard.

Maybe they are hard for you too.  I support you.  I know what it is like.  I'm in it with you.  And I want to offer you a way out of the black hole.  Its not the only way out I'm sure....but it has worked for me and I believe it will work again.  I hope you will give it a try.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and inspired.  I'm in your corner.  You are not alone.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When You Can Hardly Move Let the Paint Move for You

Yesterday I talked about how how damned up all my emotions were after my dad's suicide.  So much so that no coping skills I'd learned over the years helped.  Journaling was useless with no words to express what I was feeling and thinking.  The trauma virtually stunned and thus silenced me.

I also shared that I needed to paint, not draw because I needed the liquid flow of paint.  Words like movement, mixing, liquid, fresh, play, unrestrained, chaos come to mind.

After working with acrylic for a bit, even it seemed a bit too stiff.  This is all in hindsight of course.  Several of the ladies were painting with watercolor (all over the age of 60 by the way).  I was the kid in the crew.

No doubt what they were painting was pretty, but I just couldn't pick a photo of flowers and try to paint it.  Again, too restrained, predictable.  I wasn't really looking for pretty.  My life certainly wasn't pretty at that time.  I was grieving in a way I never had and it felt more like mud; not beautiful bright watercolor.

Doris (my art teacher) had what she called "liquid watercolor" as opposed to what you get in tubes.  She gave me a couple of abstract art books to look at and some liquid watercolor to try and turned me loose.  Believe it or not this is my first attempt at the "pouring" technique. 

Don't worry if yours turns out different or not as "nice" in your mind.  The reality is even though I like the way it turned out; I see this as beginners luck.  Plus I had the teaching guidance from Doris.  She was hovering over me most of the time.

This is titled Falls of Love.  I had just finished Hannah Hurnard's book "Hinds Feet on High Places" for about the fourth time.  I'm going to invite you to go here How Falls of Love got its name for the whole story on why the title.  A little mystery : )

Anyway, this is what I did to create this painting:

  1. I took some watercolor paper and held it upright as best I could.  Then I held the bottle of liquid yellow watercolor at the top left of the paper and just poured.  I let it run where ever it wanted.        
  2. Then I did the same thing with green only moved over more toward the right when I poured.  I let it run down the paper on its merry way.  I was feeling a bit merry at that moment too!  I let each pour dry before I did the next one.                                                                                                                       
  3. Next, I went a few inches down from the top left and poured white.  I sprayed some water from a water bottle when I wanted the color to run more when I did all three colors.  The paint was a bit thick so this helped it make its way down the paper. 

By the way, don't wear clothes or shoes you care about while playing with this technique.  Water and paint are unpredictable!  Which is what I LOVE about it.

Final Step:

After everything was dry I put a bit of water on a small brush and spread the yellow and green paint a bit to ensure the whole paper was covered.  I LOVED it!

The Process:

Honestly, I loved the process as much as I loved the end product.  The liquid ~ unpredictable ~ unsafe ~ flowing ~ paint was just what I needed.  I played and I had fun.

And for these small periods of time I was oblivious to things like death, suicide, loss, grief, depression and pain.  I was free like the paint running mindlessly down the paper.  I still love it to this day.

Here is another one just to show you what is possible with liquid paints.  Let me clarify here though...this one I actually did by spraying watercolor paint instead of pouring.  This will make more sense as you keep reading and look for tomorrow's post for more detail about spraying watercolors.

This one is nothing special really except for the gorgeous color.  And the fun of it!  What will I do with it?  Who knows?  I'm not sure I even titled it.  Dripping Pink maybe?  Any ideas?

The goal for me is to have fun and be transformed and transported to another place within me where problems go away.  This is where the healing begins and continues over time.

Falls of Love was on a pretty firm and sturdy watercolor paper.  I'm not good at all the weights of paper and stuff.  I just buy what feels good to my hands and try it.

Dripping Pink is done on what is called Yupo paper.  You can go here if you would like more information on the paper itself.  You can follow this link to learn more about Yupo and to purchase http://www.dickblick.com/products/yupo-watercolor-paper/

As far as paint, for these paintings I used liquid watercolors from Robert Doak.  You can find his paint here http://www.robertdoakart.com/page/page/5236346.htm.  Be prepared....his paint is not cheap.  Just  a 4 oz. bottle is $25 so I would recommend starting with something cheaper.

But let me say this...there is nothing like Robert Doak paint to get the vibrant color.  I haven't found anything else better.  So you decide.

If you're just getting started you can even mix your own (though remember it probably won't be the vibrant color so lower your expectations).  You can go here to see how to mix your own.  http://www.redbubble.com/people/lynnsong/journal/3616074-watercolor-tip-and-technique-2-how-to-mix-your-own-liquid-watercolor-paint.  Other companies are coming out with more liquid watercolors too so just look around and you can find some within your price range if you don't want to do your own mixing.

Here is a sample of a painting I did where I mixed my own colors and sprayed watercolor paint.  Can you see the difference in the vibrancy of color when I mixed my own versus the Robert Doak?  Big difference!    

It was also the first painting I did at home BY MYSELF with no guidance from Doris.  It has some composition issues but it is still one of my favorites because it was my first flying solo!

And I'm going to keep reminding you...its okay to paint what you think is bad art.  I'm probably crazy for putting my first paintings on line for the world to see, but I want to give you permission to just play.  So no pressure, just wet paint : )

Whew!  I AM going to get to what I am doing now in future posts; but I wanted to give you a background on what I did before and the impact on my life.  I will say it and keep saying it....playing with paint saved my life!

So when depressed apply wet paint.  That's what I'm doing.  We'll paint together and heal together. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wet Paint is Saving my Life Again

In April of 2004 my dad committed suicide.  He was 65 years old and in chronic pain from back problems and a failed back surgery six years prior.  He also had severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and had a heart doctor appointment scheduled for the week he died.  Needless to say he was depressed but we had no idea how depressed until it was too late.

I have journaled most of my adult life and have notebooks full of words.  My words, however, left me just as my dad did.  I could not write my way through that traumatic experience.  I got one paragraph written in a new notebook and quit.  The few words I had dried up fast and then there was nothing.

I was in trouble; up a creek without a paddle as they say.  I had no tools to deal with my dad taking his own life.  Skills I had learned over the years to cope with other issues and other depressions failed me.  Nothing worked.  I was desperate.  I thought...I'll try art.

Part of me of course scoffed.  Art!  You're no artist.  You haven't drawn anything since junior high art class!  But again, I was desperate.  I heard about a woman in her 80's who taught art classes in our small town and she only charged $5 per class.  I signed up.  I went.   

The first week she had me drawing still life (fruit and bowls) and I did better than I thought I would.  But it was too safe, too contained and too restrained.  I needed to throw some paint around, to work with a medium that would flow because I was anything but flowing.  My creek was damned up but good and drawing was not going to cut it.

So I must have asked or something; I really don't remember now how it happened.  Next thing I know I am trying acrylics.  Here is a sample and it shows where I was emotionally. 

It is titled Trauma.  I'm sure you remember 2004 is also when the Asian Tsunami occurred.  The orange lines to the far left are similar to a palm tree and the golds on the bottom represent sand.  The blue and teal areas depict the water that ravaged the land and people. 

You can't really see it well but in the bottom right corner there are two vertical rectangles that I later called the twin towers.  And as you can see, the painting just got darker as I went to the right.  The darkness and despair of trauma I guess.

Please know I did not paint any of these symbols consciously.  Most of the areas where I applied color are textured because I applied a thick layer of gesso (an acrylic medium) first and drew lines in it before it dried with the end of my paint brush.  The interpretation and realization of all these traumas only came to me as I added paint.

Trauma may not make it to any museum wall, but it is certainly significant for me.  It gave voice to emotions, fears, and experiences no words could express.  And I felt a little better too!  Even a drop in the bucket worth of improvement was better than the deep, unrelenting despair I had felt up to that point.

Just so you know, part of why I included this painting in the post is so you can see it is okay to make bad art!  I was no artist and I'm still not sure I can call myself an artist.  It doesn't matter.

The goal isn't to paint museum quality art.  The goal is to play with paint and/or any other creative material you may choose.  The goal is to play and heal; one stroke, one stitch, one moment, one day at a time.   

This painting was a turning point.  I didn't know it at the time, but I would soon realize that playing with paint was a lifeline for me and I played for a couple of years.  Now I need it again.

This time I am going to document my journey.  I believe painting and creating will again save me.  So when I am depressed I will apply wet paint and I will be healed.  Maybe not overnight, but it doesn't matter.  Nothing heals deep depression that quickly.

I would like to invite you to join me in on my journey.  Go to Hobby Lobby or wherever you can buy craft paint (its cheaper if you're just experimenting) or buy the good stuff.  Its up to you.  Or start any craft, creative venture you desire.  Just start.  Let's heal together. 

And when depressed...apply wet paint!