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This is a series I'm currently working on now that I'm officially "in recovery" from severe mental illness. "Recovery" doesn't mean that I no longer have bipolar disorder, but it means that my symptoms are more or less stable and I'm able to live with some semblance of normalcy. It's also nearing the 1-year mark of the covid pandemic (as of the time of this writing) and I'm halfway vaccinated. Things are starting to open up in this part of the world, so my experience of "recovery" feels like it has much deeper implications than just my moods being relatively even. I've also been restricted to home (and my studio, masked) for the better part of a year. I still haven't dined INSIDE a restaurant in over a year. We are slowly starting to see more friends (still masked), and the little new freedoms here and there feel so enriching and joyful. With my stimulus check, I paid for an extra-large studio space for just 3 months, bought a bunch of new paint, and told myself to create as though there were no limitations. Now that I'm well medicated, bright colors don't trigger any visual "disturbances" so I decided to only work with the brightest, boldest pigments out there. Most of these pieces are also pretty huge.

While making them, I started brainstorming what I want my life to look like from here-on out. We are about to start the house-hunting process, and my greatest dream is to have a home like Frida Kahlo's. She created this beautiful home with a private courtyard, color, animals, and running water. I want a house like that. I used the blue of her walls as the background for a few of these pieces. I forgot that it's my favorite color (I used to have blue hair). Painting with this blue makes me feel like myself again.

The other two pieces that aren't blue, I made while extremely frustrated at interactions with a couple of my doctors- namely my neurologist who shares the hell out of me. Dealing with healthcare providers can be awful, and sometimes I see them as monstrous fears that need to be faced. The concept is pretty straightforward, but making these big "monsters" has been one of the most therapeutic creative experiences I've ever had.

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