The Geographic :: Week One

This semester, I'll be embarking on a new body of work that will help me explore my thoughts and feelings around the places and spaces where I drank the most over the last decade - the townships of Bodega Bay and Valley Ford in Northern California.

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I'll be tapping into the moods and feelings I had (and still have) surrounding the connection between these two places where I once owned a wine bar, drank, raised my son, socialized, volunteered, resided, gossiped, drove drunk, lived, hid, and eventually lost myself over the coarse of thirteen years.

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The seven mile drive home was a perilous journey.

And the journey home to my true self was just as treacherous.

Examining the landscape of my drinking has been my spiritual awakening.

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My interior world felt very much like the world around me.

Lonely.

Dangerous.

Isolated.

Hard to get to.

Desolate.

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At the end of my drinking career, I felt very much like the hillsides surrounding my 1950's farmhouse looked in the middle of August.

Parched.

Wilted.

Depleted.

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Brittle.

Barren.

Compostable.

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In January 2015, the month before I quit drinking for good, the winter weather engulfed me and mirrored my moods.

Times were dark.

I was depressed.

I had some of the darkest nights of my soul that winter.

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Internal and external storms were raging.

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Something had to give.

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Geographical Cure (a.k.a Geographic ):
An effort to cure our alcoholism by getting a ‘fresh start’ in a new location. It doesn’t work. There is a saying around AA, ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’

 Blue/black/white painting in my journal by artist,  Heather Chontos  from Schoolhouse Electric catalog

Blue/black/white painting in my journal by artist, Heather Chontos from Schoolhouse Electric catalog

This abstract painting series will explore my relocation from Bodega Bay to Valley Ford, CA in 2006 and how I thought this seven mile geographic cure would solve all of my problems.

It would take another nine years to find my way back to myself without leaving this place I love so dearly. This body of work will be a labor of love and explore the landscape of my heart, mind and the wide open spaces that helped beckon me home to myself and where my spiritual awakening eventually took place.


I'll be posting weekly updates here every Friday for accountability to my professor, myself and the project and, of course, sharing my process on Instagram as I go along. A gallery show is in the works for June of this year. Details to come.