The first part of 2018 has been spent working diligently on a body of work that I am calling The Geographic. The title I'm using riffs on and alludes to a phrase the geographic cure, often heard in the rooms of my AA meetings, which is talked about or shared when someone physically moves or relocates in order to attempt to solve their problems with alcohol (Spoiler alert: it usually doesn't work!).
Back in 2006, when I moved from Bodega Bay, California to Valley Ford with my family, a whole seven miles, I mistakingly thought this move would be one that would cure me of all that ailed me. Oh, how wrong I was. Because I continued to drink like it was going out of style, drive home on Highway One buzzed from the wine bar I owned in Bodega Bay and eventually isolate myself at the end of a dead end, dirt and gravel road, where my house sat as the last house on the lane, on a hillside overlooking the beautiful pastures and generations of family farms dotting the countryside of Valley Ford.
Through this painting series, I am examining the landscape of my drinking, the stories I told and continue to tell myself about this destructive and painful time in my life, and the layers and complexities revealed through excavating my past, present and future. All of this is being processed through my mark-making with acrylics, oils + inks on hardwood panels. These abstract landscapes are telling the story of what it was like, what happened and what it's like now.
It would take another nine years to find my way back to myself without leaving this place I love so dearly. I had my last drink on Groundhog Day 2015. The symbolism of this is not lost on me! 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.
You can click on my weekly posts (below) to read more about this project. The posts have served as weekly accountability check-ins with my painting professor and I hope you enjoy and find value in my creative journey, as well as my recovery journey, within them, too.