Bullying is more than just play ground teasing. The victims are harassed at school or work, and can suffer from attacks on the social media as well. I am not exaggerating when I say this form of abuse can be emotionally destructive. Therapy is not a crutch and it can take many forms in the healing process. It can be counseling sessions or discussion groups. Therapy seeks to bind wounds and restore inner tranquility. My personal road to inner peace travels along the brush strokes of painting. It has done much to repair a lot of inner damage and gives me a great feeling of purpose.
I was not referred to art by a counseling professional. Rather, my introduction came from a rather unique source. Like many people, I am a devout person and seek help from God. Prayer helps me find meaning and purpose to my days. At a very depressing time in my life, as I was alone in a room praying for deliverance from all the bullying I was forced to endure, a sense of calm suddenly enveloped me. I cannot fully explain it, but I felt being gently guided towards art as a means of dealing with the pain. A voice from inside was urging me to pick up a brush. I guess the best way to describe it is that in this dark moment, when everything seemed hopeless, a light shone through. It had a splash of color.
I have never had formal art training, and abstract art is something that comes very naturally to me. My work is not something which is planned in advance; it simply pours out from me. What I quickly discovered when I was in my Jumper paintings zone was my stress level dropped dramatically. Many of the fears and worries I confronted daily seem to go away while I was working with paint and brush strokes. I was still working in an office where bullies were ruling the floor. Yet, as I painted I felt safe. I wasn’t feeling as nearly as nervous. I had many scars on my psyche and the art work was healing me. I experienced my inner self being gradually restored.
Please understand that when you are surrounded by bullies it is very difficult to express yourself. Your environment discourages that. Painting allows me to fully explore who I am, and let the world know who I am. It was not long before others showed professional appreciation for what I was doing. This led to exhibitions in Paris, Dubai, and Venice. My artwork has been seen internationally and I have one of the best art studios in the Houston metropolitan area. More than any recognition or commercial success, art has broken down the walls that others built to imprison me. What hate seeks to build, art helps to bring down. I use art to put an end to the darkness.
It is so much more than pretty pictures. Art is a healing force and this gift given to me I share with others. Autistic children sometimes feel trapped and cannot express themselves. I work with these kids to help them better communicate feelings they had inside. I am firmly of the opinion artistic expression has the power to liberate those who are the victims of bullies, and the vicious hate. I offer my work to those bullied knowing art helps with healing, and can restore a sense of self-worth. This is my life’s work and I embrace every aspect of it.
One final note. I was the only person physically in the room when the inspiration to use art came to me. I do not, however, feel I was alone. To this day I remained convinced that a very dear friend was standing beside me, protecting me from harm. I believe He still watches over my shoulder.