Here lies Joan without her left ear.

Here lies Joan without her left ear. Tribute to Mental Health Awareness

Someone you know is suffering with depression right now

Here lies Joan without her left ear. Tribute to Mental Health Awareness

For the majority of my life I have had to battle mental health issues. A day in my shoes trying to cope in the MaTRIX is often times very tiresome, to put it mildly.

One of the steps I take to manage my overall health is to write my feelings out on paper or in my online journal. That habit is instrumental in helping me lead a relatively sane and stable life.

…just doing basic tasks feels overwhelming as I struggle with my mind

When you are an artist living with chemical imbalances in the brain, finding ways to tackle basic activities of daily living most people take for granted can be daunting at times. I get to do it all while looking through the eyes of a dysfunctional mind and still live up to the expectations of a society stuck on stigma and ignorance about this very real condition:

I thought that by sharing this very private journal entry, someone out there who may be feeling tremendous anxiety about his-her mental state, can see they are not alone. There are still steps you can take to manage your own mental health and by extension take care of You.

Fearful of the Mind with which I must live

Tribute to Mental Health Awareness. Tribute to Mental Health Awareness

Tribute to Mental Health Awareness

My Mind

My Mind is too big for the world,
My Mind is too big for me,
Thoughts spinning and taking charge without permission.

My Mind remains a mystery inside me,
Rarely standing still long enough for me to see its face,
Incognito is where it likes to be,
In my wake it rules me, and in my sleep it owns me,
My Mind consumes me 24/7.

In a sea of confusion it reigns:
My Mind is evil, my Mind is good,
My Mind is sad, my Mind is glad,
My Mind is confused, my Mind is clear,
My Mind is sick, my Mind is well,
My Mind is broad one minute, narrow the next,
My Mind is my friend, my Mind is my enemy.

Fearful of the Mind with which I must live,
Never knowing its departure, nor its unpredicted return,
My Mind is too big for me,
My Mind is too big for this world…
Here lies Joan without her left ear.

— Taken from my personal journal writings

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Recovery West Blossoming Artists! Are you Ready?!

Recovery West Blossoming Artists! Are you Ready?!

Recovery West Blossoming Artists! Are you Ready?!

Healing Through Painting in Oils

Struggling with your mental health? Why not manage it in a fun creative way…

Art is Therapy!  RW (Recovery West) August-September Lessons starts tomorrow and will run for 5 Wednesdays.

Have you registered?

If you haven’t registered yet and would like to try this class, see Cathy at RW drop-in. But hurry! Space is limited.

Recovery West Blossoming Artists! Are you Ready?!

Watch this short clip of  a demo of what we will be focused on this session. Rocks!

Painting rocks is a great way to learn and practice the use of lights and shadows to create different shape rocks. I’ve simplified these lessons so that anyone can learn how to do this.

Oil on canvas painting for beginners | Painting rocks in water that has depth and appears three-dimensional


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#oil canvas painting for beginners #oilpainting #artlessons #RecoveryWest #CMHA #ArtistJoanABrown #classes #lessons

Art is Therapy! RW (Recovery West) August-September Lessons

Healing Through Painting in Oils

Struggling with your mental health?

Art is Therapy!  RW (Recovery West) August-September Lessons will be commencing the third in a series of oil painting lessons for 2017 starting this coming August 9th.

Art is Therapy!  RW (Recovery West) August-September Lessons

Create a beautiful painting in this FIVE (5) easy lessons; designed specifically for those with no previous painting experience. The focus in this next series of lessons is “rocks in water”…big ones, small ones, medium ones… Whatever size your heart desires. We’ll put (create)’em in there. Think of painting rocks as creating miniature mountains, but with the ease of painting a mole-hill. Sticking to our usual 3-color pallet makes the process that much easier. I will take you through all the step to a finished painting you’ll be proud to hand on your wall and show off to friends.

Art is Therapy! RW (Recovery West) August-September Lessons

Recovery West August-September Oil Painting Classes

Join me beginning Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at Recovery West for this fun and creative way to heal through art while building your confidence. Get to know the creator in YOU! See Cathy at RW drop-in Centre for registration details.

Oil canvas painting for beginners | Painting rocks in water that has depth and appears three-dimensional

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10 Years Artist Joan A Brown Beginnings and Endings

10 Years Artist Joan A Brown Beginnings and Endings

Unnamed by Artist Joan A Brown

Reconnecting With My Work

Going through my possessions recently I came across two of what I consider my best works of art created exactly 10 years ago. Both paintings were stored in mailing tubes tucked away in black garbage bags I had not opened since relocating from Alberta several years ago.

A New and Different Mindset

“Looking at them has given me new motivation…”

I discovered an 8″  x 10″ first and then to my pleasant surprise this beautiful 14 x 18 inch oil painting painted on unstretched canvas in 2007. Looking at each piece I could not believe I painted them. I was in my element back then. Since I moved away I have not been the same in the way that I paint…something died. I can’t quite place my finger on it.

10 Years Artist Joan A Brown Beginnings and Endings

Be-that-as-it-may, they are signed with my signature so they are definitely my work. Looking at them has given me new motivation to try and regain whatever supposedly ‘died’, but with a new and different mindset.

These paintings are in need of a title and stretching. The image you see above is a poor representation of the larger painting taken with my hand-held camera. I plan to do a proper scans of both paintings and then repost them here among my other original paintings.

Let me know what you think would be a good title (name) for this piece. All suggestions are welcomed.


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Another RW Oil Painting Class Complete

Art is Therapy! RW (Recovery West) April-May Lessons

Recovery West Oil Painting For Beginners Session 2- 2017

Another RW Oil Painting Class Complete: I have had the pleasure of sharing my passion for art and teaching with my peers at Recovery West for more than three years now. Each time a session comes to its completion I feel a certain measure of healing take place and a boost overall self-confidence in my students and for me as well. The final lesson of each session is always a mix bag of emotions as the students gaze at his and-or her painting in disbelief of what they’ve created. Tears flow, cheeks rise with smiles and a stronger belief in self takes form. The entire process is visual proof we are all creative Beings.

This time around the focus was placed on clouds.

As with previous oil painting for beginners offered at RW, this session also had a subject of focus. This time around the focus was placed on clouds. Past subject included, simple techniques for painting water, evergreens, and mountains. These subject will be repeated in future lessons.

Another RW Oil Painting Class Complete

Thank you Rebecca, Joanne, and Judy and all former students who made time to help me help them. Continue painting. Let this be one in many paintings you’ll do. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need further assistance with subsequent art work. By all means, continue to heal through art.


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#oilpainting #artlessons #RecoveryWest #CMHA #ArtistJoanABrown #classes