Here is the interview I did with Jennifer Bullock and NBC4 Columbus. I tried to embed the video but have not been able to make it work. You can use the link below to go to it.
I have created a little side art business called Pixel-Portrait.com. I am pretty excited to se where I can take it to. I have set up an Instagram account that you can follow @PixelPortraitArt. I am looking forward to selling my paintings at this years Hippie Fest, as well as doing on the spot digital watercolor portraits of people.
I am trying to find some local places that will let me set up a couple of chairs and do digital portraits. I think coffee shops would be a great place. I guess I could always just set up on the street somewhere as well. I would have to find out if you have to purchase a permit from the city first.
I met with Jennifer Bullock from NBC 4 yesterday to do an on camera interview about my story and artwork. I hope when it airs that someone who maybe suffering with PTSD or other mental disorders will see it and find hope. A lot of times mental disorders are pushed into the dark and not talked about, hidden and locked away. People in movies and TV are portrayed as evil or because they have these disorders then everyone who does will do bad things.
I haven't always been open about things with myself. I spent years hiding what was going on with me. I had the attitude of "suck it up and move on", "you are only as strong as your weakest link" and "people won't like me if they know". Keeping all the thoughts and feelings inside to myself did nothing but hurt me and those around me even more.
By being open about having PTSD, Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder some of my worst fears actually came true. I lost a job that I loved and was passion about. At the time that really hurt, it was like one more nail being added to my coffin. Today however, I am actually glad that happened. I may have never embraced doing art as a therapy to help me heal and grow.
I was in some very dark, dark places. I wasn't sure if I would ever see the light again. Things may seem like they are never going to look up again, or that you will always be where you are today. I can assure you that this thinking is just a thought. Something you tell yourself over and over again until you believe it to be a truth. You can change your thoughts!
I am in a better place today than where I came from. I honestly believe that out of all the various forms of therapy I have tried that embracing creativity and expressing myself through art has been the best for me. It has saved my life. Art may not be what works for you. I would encourage you to explore what is and what could be. I have a veteran friend that finds peace in farming, another who has found photography works for him, one friend discovered he really enjoys getting out on a kayak and fishing. I am positive that you will find something equally as well that can help you.
What I discovered with my art journey is not a cure-all. It hasn't totally healed me. I still have down days, I still have things with my PTSD and Anxiety that effect me everyday. But what it has done is made the rollercoaster ride to be more manageable and help me to cope better with what I face.
I am really enjoying going out and taking photos and editing them with my iPhone. I think this is another great tool to help me cope with my PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder. Not only that but it also makes me want to get out of the safety of my home and explore the world again. Another bonus of this is that I will have some really great reference photos for my paintings.
Right now I am really into the macro photography aspect. I love getting in close to the subject and capturing tiny details. I also enjoy landscape photography and feel this is an area that is really going to work side by side with my paintings. See it, Capture it, Paint it!
Below are a couple of my most recent iPhone captures. You can click on the "< or >" to view the slideshow.
I have been working on creating an online shop on my website for the past few days. I am happy to say that it is up and running. I am using SquareSpace, and I have to say this whole system is really slick. Right now the payment processing is handled through my PayPal account. I need to see if I can attach the other payments methods that I accept such as Apple Pay, Chase QuckPay, and Square.
* UPDATE: Yeah! I have all the payment options set up
I created a new section of my site for iPhone Photography. I am always taking photos and playing with them in various filter apps. I usually just wind up deleting them. I thought this would be a fun place to post them to.
The photo below is of our new turtle that we purchased from the pet store. She is an African Sideneck. Her name is Freya, named after the Norwegian goddess. I thought she made an interesting subject with the bright colors around her.
The other day I created a new YouTube channel. I plan to do regular broadcast for painting tutorials. The first episode was a little hard because I had to learn how to edit the clips in iMovie. Also, I had started recording with my iPhone and quickly realized that was not going to work out well. First, my phone kept getting texts and phone calls. That would stop the recording process. I then ran completely out of space on my phone towards the end.
I had to run out and buy a small video camera. I didn't realize I could change the video settings until later. You can definitely tell the difference in the clips. The camera I purchased was an inexpensive off brand at Walmart. I think it will get the job done though.
Good news is that I think I will be better prepared for my next video. I hope you will visit my channel here, as well as subscribe to watch new content as I upload it.
Today was the first day in 2017 that I was able to paint en plain air. My wife and I took the kids and dogs to Hocking Hills. I sat up along one of the creeks to paint while they hiked through the woods. I really enjoyed being out in nature, listening to the water run and all the sounds of the woods. There was a ton of people out today hiking. I would bet money that there were at least 5,000 people all along the trails. I found myself as the subject of many people's photographs. In my second photo, if you look at the top in the shadows you can see a mass of people on the trail.
At first my anxiety was pretty high with all the people, they seemed to be everywhere. I decided to get my feet wet and cross over to the other side of the creek where people would not be walking up on me. Once I was immersed into my painting I was no longer bothered. Art is Therapy... Post-Traumatic Expression.
The more I think about the title I came up with of Post-Traumatic Expression, I feel all of my work falls into that. Instead of using it for a series title I am now going to use it as my tag line. Off to make some site edits... #PostTraumaticExpression
I am starting a new series called Post-Traumatic Expression. Originally I did a painting today where I didn't want to plan anything out and just go with my feelings. I wanted to just let the brush strokes fall randomly across the canvas. The painting turned out pretty well and I titled it as Post-Traumatic Expression. I liked the title and felt it would be great for a series. I am looking forward to getting started on it in the morning.
I feel pretty honored to have Linda Ramone (Wife of Johnny Ramone) share my painting on her Instagram.
I am starting a new series today titled: "Icons of My Youth". The first painting of the series is "Mike Ness. Social Distortion". 20x24 inches on gallery wrapped canvas. Music is important to me. When I am feeling depressed I like to listen to songs that I have attached happy memories to. When I met my wife (girlfriend at the time), she was the first person in our little town that had actually heard of Social Distortion and the Ramones. Two bands I was heavily into. Lucky for me, she had a cool punk rocker brother. We started dating in 10th grade of high school and have been together ever since. I love how her eyes light up when we are traveling and listening to the radio and a Social Distortion or Ramones song comes on. We always look at each other, and start singing to the dismay of our four children! I am looking forward to doing this series, listening to the bands as I paint them.
I am pretty excited that another series has come to me. I am calling it the Passion Series. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head for it. The first painting in the series is titled "Awakening" and is 18x24 inches, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. Love God, Love People. I can't wait to see where this leads to.
I just finished the first painting in my new series. The painting is titled "Taking a Moment" and is part of the series 'Collective Identity'. I am really happy with how it has turned out. I like the rough and gritty style of painting that I have been doing lately, even little mistakes become integral pieces of the painting.
My thoughts behind the series title are that "collectively" in our society we have many cultures that we bring to the world through our own "identities". Working as a whole and understanding one another we can do a lot of good. Divisions among us stop forward progress. I just want to take a look into other cultures and capture something beautiful from it.
With my first painting, I see a hard working man who has taken a moment out of his day to sit alone with his trusty donkey and reflect upon the day. Cobblestone streets and sidewalks with fresh growing flowers surround him. A calm and peaceful place to take it all in...
I have started working on a very large painting, 48x60 inches in size on gallery wrapped canvas. I really like doing work at this size. I am thinking of doing a new series on cultures. I have also been working on this website, I am happy with how it is coming along. I have not put all of my work on it. I think I will use Instagram to document and catalog all of my work.