Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When Your Ho, Ho, Ho Leaves You Low, Low, Low...by Karen McGovern

This entry began as a simple post I made to the LMAJ admin Facebook page.  I was commiserating with my fellow LMAJ artists about how I had officially started “Holiday Head”.  You know—that thing that happens when the holidays arrive, and you start reminiscing about holidays past, people you can’t be with or can never see again, and you find yourself drooping into your eggnog, but not in a good way.  Holiday Head.

I was on the verge of a spiral into the dark the other day, but pulled myself out of it by standing up, hitting the studio, and making ONE THING.  One simple thing.  Not something I needed, not something new, just something that I knew I could complete from start to finish rather easily and would please me.  A simple bangle.  I beat it up with the hammer (no need to consult Freud on that one…), patina’d it, polished it and then sat and looked at it.  Then I gave it away.  It was IMMENSELY SATISFYING and pulled me out of my funk.  I’m sure it had everything to do with taking control, accomplishment, moving my mind off sadness and into creativity and giving.  WHATEVER, IT WORKED.

This bangle is so simple, yet really lovely.  16 gauge copper wire wrapped
four times around a steel bracelet mandrel.  The ends are soldered using
sterling silver easy solder paste, and I also soldered the wires together at
midpoint or more stability and structure.  Hammered, liver of sulfur patina,
polished with a polishing cloth to bring out the highlights then
sprayed with two coats of clear gloss Permalac metal sealer.

I believe artists “feel” more than others may.  I think that’s how we tap into whatever creative mojo we have.  We are emotional beings that not only respond to beauty, but want to create it and give it to others.  So do that.  Giving something away when you are feeling depressed can really, really lift you up.  I wish more folks would realize this and do it.

Holidays are rough on just about everybody.  On the one hand you are surrounded by hyper-happy imagery and expectation, on the other, you may not be able to fulfill what may seem like holiday OBLIGATION to be Super-Elf or whatever.  Especially if you are alone, or without your loved ones near.  You can easily find yourself hopping a candy-cane festooned train to DepressionVille.
For the next couple of posts we would like to hear from you—artist or not—about what you do to help creatively life yourself up when feeling low during the holidays.  Please share—you may be offering a perfect piece of advice or have the perfect idea that can help someone else who may be struggling to stay “up” during this time of year.

AND, for those of you with holiday show on the schedule, make them as fun as you can. Wear a stupid hat (I totally believe in the restorative powers of a stupid hat....).  Give away mistletoe or pine sprigs.  Use humor--it is a superpower.  I just finished a holiday gift show held in a cool converted barn/studio.  Made a display box for my work from a wooden crate I got on sale at Joann's.  Beat it up with a chain and a hammer, stained it, stamped it, and used rusty cup hooks to hang necklaces.  Simple, I know, but man do I like it and I MADE IT MYSELF.  The show was lovely and I sold enough to be able to donate over $200.00 to the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation for Ninita's toothbrush fund.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, click the links...please.  I guarantee you will feel better!

Thanks in advance….I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, comfy elastic waist pants and a spectacular food coma. Now, GO MAKE SOMETHING!!


stacilouise said...

Great post Karen! thank you for taking on this topic. it effects so many. i liken it to post partum depression. moms usually don't want to talk about it, because it is supposed to be a happy time....but, people are sometimes the most sad during said "happy" times. i too feel a great healing power in creating and giving. thank you for sharing

debra freeland said...

I load my purse up with all the change I have been saving in my wooden basket and every person or bell ringer that I come into contact with I hand them a handful of change. Sometimes during the year I can be a little judgemental about who I give to( people who smoke, etc.) but not during this time of year. I feel that they can get what they want most(even alcohol or drugs and I have no right to judge) Remember, it could be angels sent from heaven to see if we are doing our part. Love that country song!

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