When the clutter in my head becomes so noisy that I can’t function, I reach for a black pen and I draw. It begins to calm my brain, leaving me able to think a little clearer and continue engaging with life. I use repetition, in lines, crosshatching and scribbles. I call them Brain Landscapes. It’s my way of expelling the stuff that goes on inside my head.
The ‘noise’ is persistent unwanted negative thoughts and emotions that are almost impossible to shift; no amount of mindfulness calms them. Sometimes violent, always doggedly loud, the relentless subconscious mind throws fractured memories at me. Pictures appear like a high speed flicking photo album, bombarding me with not just the image but the corresponding emotion, feeling or sensation. It happens all too quickly to catch, pin down or to make sense of. It just leaves me battered and exhausted.
Drawing in this way decreases the impact. I draw parallel lines over and over again and create a web of crosshatching. The more intense the feeling the more layers I produce, the darker the image. If I’m angry and need a way to release it, I scribble furiously. At these times the pen is close to tearing straight through the paper. Otherwise I sit quietly producing page after page of these Brain Landscapes with just the noise of the pen scratching the paper.
I happened across ’15 Simple Art Hacks You Can Use To Control Your Mind And Channel Your Emotions’ which amused me. Art therapist Victoria Nazarevich suggests simple ways to deal with emotions by creating and drawing. It appears that I am doing that already.