Update on Rainforest Painting, Screenplay

2017-09-10 11.39.24

I am painting again today, for the first time in many days. I’ve been recovering, and still am actually, from a bad cold. Boo. So there has been much resting and emotional processing going on. That’s what I do a lot anyway. If you can tell, I’m also dealing with a bit of depression. Well. So.

Anyway, I am working on my attitude. I am so blessed! I am thinking so much about all the survivors of so many natural disasters right now. All over the world. There is so much going on. You’d think global warming was real. Damn. But we need to care for the world, in a triage manner, while we also plan ahead to develop solutions to care for our planet better. For if the solar eclipse did nothing, it reminded us we live on a freaking planet, after all.

I am able to paint today, and as you can see, since the last time I blogged, have here and there been up to fleshing out the details of the painting I’ve been creating. There are still many layers to go. Today I focuses on extending the green line from the middle, throughout the painting, as I had completed the river flowing through the center some time ago.

Now, before I turn to a completely different mix of colors, more shrouded in brown and gray, for the sections above that are in the light of the Sun, I thought I would stop and show you where I am in the painting.

We have the house windows all open today, and the breezes are blowing through. It is so very fresh, and music is willowing through as well, the Alternative Mix: Bowie, Wilco, Arctic Monkeys, Prince, Emiliana Torrini, Harry Manx, it makes me happy that the eclectic mix is all together. And in cases like Modest Mouse, it’s the only way I can manage the nerves to get through the album. I love Modest Mouse, in small doses, is all. Brilliant.

Speaking of brilliant, Regina Spektor just came on. OMG. I can listen to her all day. OMG. She makes me very happy, due to her spirit, vocalized. Well, I guess you could say that, almost about anyone, but I feel very happy listening to her.

Okay. I ramble. I shouldn’t. I should say that I recently attained something marvelous! My first screenplay, Rebekah’s Closet, loosely based on my first novel of the same name, a few days ago won into the Official Selection for the Oaxaca Film Festival 8. Sadly, a few days, later, a very serious earthquake hit, followed by a tsunami. It’s just horrible. So, I have mixed feelings. Here is a link you can follow to help the survivors: UNICEF.

I know so many things are happening right now. Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katya. It’s incredibly overwhelming. But I thought I would send the link, all the same.

So before the earthquake, when I found out, even when I found out, I was still in such a depression. That is the nature of true depression, yes? I mean, here I was telling myself, I wanted all my life, since I was a kid, to be a writer. I now feel like I’m a writer. The affirmation. I have it. But all I could do was stare into space. Now, granted, I was still sick with this miserable cold in my head and chest. So there’s that to consider.

But still. That shows you what kind of work it is to create my perspective anew pretty much all day. I have to carve it out of the marble of depression. Old stuff. Old Gothic stuff. The past is ever present. My self esteem. I make myself every day. Out of neuroplastic adjustments to my brain. Literally rethinking my way out of old ways of seeing myself.

So I parse and I parse, through everything that is offered, thrown up all day in my mind, heart, soul. I’m not complaining. It’s literally what I do. It’s my responsibility. I’m on it full-time. It’s exhausting, and at times overwhelming.

I am blessed. My screenplay won an award. Maybe it can be made into a film one day, during my lifetime. I’m writing up my second script now, and it is much more adventurous and fun. Intriguing, even.

Now, while the light and energy is good, I’m back to painting on this canvas. My next one, my plan is, will be a complete abstract, a color study, going into Autumn, and Winter. All the colors, it can be. I’m looking forward to that very freedom.



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Painting is a Blessing

Photo Aug 18, 2 29 42 PMIt is a blessing to know anything about painting at this point. I started painting in watercolor in 1993. I didn’t know anything, and painted in cloud forms on a tiny notepad with a tiny brush, from an even tinier palette a dear friend gave me.

Now I’m painting cloud form reflections in water and it is an emotional process. Things come and go, and I’m aware of how to keep a neat brush after I’ve gotten it messy due to angrily dabbing it around in the paint for a while. Of exactly how much paint I need for what I want to paint next, how much is on the brush, how much time I have with it on the canvas. How to mix paints, how much to mix for how much canvas. I guess now that it’s 2017 and I’m painting in acrylic and acrylic glazing liquid with a Masterson’s palette (actually, three of them), etc. that makes me an old timer. Still self taught, though.

Yesterday, I was self-deprecating and I regret it. It’s part of having multiple personalities. I was thinking from a different perspective, in a meeting, and had a different part of my ability set on at the time. That’s the way it is, but I said something rather down about the artist side of me. “I don’t always think from an artist’s perspective,” I said. But I am very much an artist. I was thinking more from a policy/education perspective at the time, but isn’t that also allowed to be creative? It’s confusing.

Today, I hear a familiar voice telling me, I don’t feel well. I know this, and respond. I know, I’m sorry you don’t feel well. And flashbacks come while I’m painting. Feelings of pain, sorrow, grief, sheer pain, emotionally and physically. I let it out with sighs, and sometimes I whisper to myself, both to the alters and to instruct the painting, to make sure it still goes forward.

Even this is hard. You can’t force creativity. Today I’m up enough to paint, and I am blessed, but even so.

I’m grateful that I have the ability to express myself in any way, am free to do so. That I have any experience at this point is a good thing, and I am practicing my craft, as it is healing me, art therapy.

Here is how the current painting of a Rainforest from a photograph I found on the internet, is looking at the moment, many more layers to come:

Photo Aug 18, 2 29 30 PM

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Oh My, But It’s Been a Long Time …

Right? Since September of 2016, since I blogged. Well, I haven’t felt like it, I suppose, and I FB and Tweet and now Instagram, right? and I say, right? all the time? omg.

Silly me, for real. But I did want to let you know of an important development psychologically that happened week before last. I was just telling a dear friend about it while we were hiking in the Summer rain, at Radnor Lake. It was so perfect and refreshing, and invigorating. Just like healing can be. So.

With multiple personalities, they don’t go away on me. Just like jumping when I hear just about any noise at all, the PTSD doesn’t go away, either.

The personalities in the past come up and have like, tapped me on the shoulder, with intense feelings and memories, and I’ve let them in. I’ve tried various ways of responding to them, and other alters (personalities) will come up and respond as well, positively, negatively, etc.

So it’s a lot to manage, and respond to, etc. I’ve likened it to managing a playroom, since so many of the alters are children, literally, stuck in a wartime of abuse, in the 1960s or 70s. They can’t help it, so I’ve been largely compassionate, and … well, managing them. Observing everything to the best of my ability, trying not to get engaged overly in the past, but trying to let the feelings come up and out, let things go as much as possible.

That has worked well for like, ten years or more. As I’ve figured that out. But then something clicked the other day. I realized how much I and a few Motherly alters were trying to control things all the time, and how control wasn’t necessarily what I needed and/or wanted anymore/all the time. There are a series of masks that go on all the time that are associated with that level of incredible control, politeness at all times, no really everything’s all right, smiling when things hurt. Not being real. Learned behaviors that are very very old and cultural. Politeness is a virtue that goes very deep. Sharing your pain, it all depends. Mostly, it’s better to be stoic at all times.

But this was a different approach. More like being at home among my selves at all times. They didn’t have to come up to me, because I went down to them, down in the dark where I’ve made them stay down, where they’ve had to live, all this time. It was almost a political shift, personally. Internally. To allow them to be, for me to be with them, finally. To accept. To be among them.

Honestly, it’s literally like sharing space in a crowded room. Not much room at all, and some are irritable. Most are hurting about one thing or another, and I don’t blame them. There is a lot to process still. Who am I? A host of some sort. ? It gets confusing when I ask that question, and it makes me laugh.

I am fragments, pieces. but I do okay. I’m learning how to be with my selves on a day to day basis, lately. it’s much more challenging, but I’m more more capable of feeling things that are real. I might tell you I just had a flashback, or a memory, or an old feeling that doesn’t relate to now, because I can’t change those things about me. But the good news is that what is happening in my now is good.

I’m happy at home, I have a garden, and am in a healthy relationship. I’m learning about love, healing, art therapy and volunteering. I’m beginning to work a little to see if I can handle it, and it seems to be okay, but it’s the unknown, so it’s scary. I feel like I’m ready to fly from the nest, but I’m unsure.

This is the nature of disability. I’m living with it. I’m trying to heal and get beyond my limitations, but I’m not really sure how it works. I will need coaching and support going forward, a healthy support network. I am blessed to be where I am, and wanted to share with you all, that I am in a good place, a safe place. 🙂

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Fragments 5 Finitti and 6 Begun …


It’s been since March since I blogged … hopefully you all will forgive my silence. I’m sure you will. Alas. I haven’t painted since May, but I did finish Fragments 5 above. As of yet, several new paintings in the Fragments Series are not up on the website. Not sure why, but I’m happy to be painting again, as of this morning.


I sketched the shapes above in May, and have been studying what to do with the background since then. I also have been studying Georgia O’Keeffe, and a book of tribal art with clays and items from Nature for decorating the body.

Color and shapes will come. In particular, I’ve attached to an oil painting by O’Keeffe with the subject of the rings that trees make as they grow. I’ve always been fascinated by those. I did attempt to sketch some behind this group of shapes, but declined. Instead, I decided to paint this first few layers of Mars Black (with a bit of Acrylic Glazing Liquid for fluidity). After I get these layers down, I’ll try to sketch with chalk or something. We shall see.

The color of the group of shapes will ultimately be a glowing lime of my own mixing. However, these can be very sheer in practice, and disappointing. So my thought is to play with a few blue under layers first, like ? Cobalt Blue, or a mix of one. Then build up from there. I will test on paper or something first.

The shapes are … mysterious even to me. I must admit. I drew them from my subconscious, meaning, they were a response to a study over a few days, in answer to the question of … roughly … what does my core look like? what survived from birth through all the abuse growing up? It’s not a straight line, but it is like a spine of sorts, able to take … trauma.

… I’ve recently decided that life is somewhat of an obstacle course. You?

So maybe that explains a bit of the mysterious nature of the way the vertebrae of my symbolic core turned out. You know the way rocks are shaped by the water as they go down the river. So, but differently. Also, the beaten dog learns to bite. A bit of that goes a long way, so there is a point. Above all, to me though, that there are crescent pieces, comforts me, that there is roundness, makes me happy. There is strength in the thickness that remains. I’m not worn to a crisp. I also seem to be able to rock, like a rocker, to balance out, with the changes. There are inherent circles, cycles, transitions, growth, evolutions, and transformations that come about from the core.

To me, on explication, it is a powerful set of shapes.

Now, why black for the background? First of all, that represents my subconscious, the place I go when I sleep.

It is also the place where all the alters/identities go when they are not up. This to me is somehow, not literally, but symbolically, where all the memories, flashbacks, etc. live. In the dark, waiting to come up on their own for whatever reason, as they do. Or to be triggered, which is very frequent.

Thirdly, and what comes to mind FIRST of all, but for some reason I’ve waited to tell you LAST, black symbolizes my major depressive disorder, or the depression that comes. It just comes. I don’t expect or not expect it anymore; when it comes, just like any other alter, I say hello, and I’m sorry you feel that way. Whereas with the alters, it is a tiny bit different actually; I say hello, I’m sorry that happened to you, depending on what they bring me.

So out of this darkness the core vertebrae is able to … float. Observe. Be. To some extent. Survive to a great extent. I would say function, or be a host, but that is not its … thing. It is more integral to existence and being and light … spirit … essential values and self … than that. Perhaps it is my soul.

If that is the case I’m reminded of a few things. As a Buddhist, the need for boundaries, but not liking the sharpness. I love nonviolence, but I agree with a strong defense against evil in the world. I may not be able to provide that defense, personally, but I am aware of the need for strong boundaries. Personally, I cannot predict what my triggers will do in a situation. I can only do my best to survive going forward.

Secondly, I remember Le Petit Prince, or The Little Prince. The dear rose with her thorns. Poor thing, right? But I do understand the need for thorns. That is somewhat of a wee joke. And kind of sad, at the same time. I understand.

There is already a lot happening in the painting, which excites me, after so many months of not painting, and serious study.

Now, I will say that I have also been seriously writing on my Rebekah’s Closet screenplay? It has been an incredibly emotional process. It is an art therapy project of the deepest kind.

I’m so glad to be back into painting again, and in a place with the screenplay where I can balance writing with visual art once more. I need the tangible stimulation of the painting, as well as the instant (or almost instant, heh, about as fast as I can paint?) gratification of seeing the artwork coming into being.

But I also need the … ? … so many levels are stimulated by the art therapy of writing the screenplay. I have no idea what to say to describe the challenge of being a writer again. Or for the first time? I’m beginning to feel like I’m becoming a writer … now. Because I’m allowing myself to be one now.






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March Update

Is it Spring or is it not? Who can really say one way or the other? with waves of warmer temperatures in blocks of four or five days? Who even knows what to wear? Ha. Not me. Layers and scarves I guess and colors are anything goes for the first time ever as the designers have blown out the flowers and traditional color palettes for Fall and Spring. For example, rust in Spring and pale pink in Fall. Butterflies in the Fall and neon brights in Spring — it’s insane. Well, isn’t it?
Not really. The world that is. I believe we have the ability to right what is wrong with our very actions, voting, writing to Congress and all. Democracy still is in our hearts and hands. The planet is still receptive to transformation and change for the better.
And I’m glad to see and feel Spring in the air and under my feet. I know that when it’s time to plant again that the time will be ripe for the soil beneath us. The Earth is so abundant, it surprises us every time, but it is as old, as old as time itself. 🙂 So I’m looking forward to gardening this year, salad, beans, tomatoes, basil, flowers, etc. It’s a time of year that is so full of promise, you can see it budding around you on the very trees. The tulip trees are in bloom here, and I think I saw a cherry tree as well.
NEW! Foto Print Clothing
I’m thrilled to share with you my first clothing and scarf collection on VIDA!
This collection represents some of my best artwork from over the years and is very authentic to who I am as an artist. I’m really proud today to share this work with you.
I’m really excited to collaborate with VIDA for this collection. VIDA is a new kind of fashion ecommerce company that connects artists like me all over the world with producers to bring our work to life. For every product sold, VIDA hopes to provide the gift of literacy to the makers they work with.

I’ve made a series of industrial foto print tops and cashmere/silk scarves for you to play with …

Thank you,
Amy 🙂
Three of my paintings from the Rage series,
the cover painting for Rebekah’s Closet,
and my Memoir/Novel itself, Rebekah’s Closet,
will be featured in:
Finding My Own Voice, Victims’ Rights Art Exhibit 2016
April 1 – 28, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 6-9 pm
Artists & Makers Studios
11810 Parklawn Drive, Suite 210
Rockville, MD 20852
I have to say that the watercolor I was attempting at last writing, well. Well. I didn’t like how it turned out ultimately so … there you have it. Ahem. Thus and so. However I have started another sketch for another small watercolor based on an Okefenokee foto and it bodes well in sketch mode. We shall see.
Fragments 3, Acrylic on canvas, 22 x 28 x 1.5 inches, $350
That being said I have been painting in acrylic and finished another Fragments painting, the one above, which did take a lot of study and did teach me a lot as well. Hooray. I blogged about the experience if you want to read more about that.
Since then I’ve begun and almost finished another very thoughtful, deeply moving painting for me, number four in the Fragments series.
This is how it looked a while back, before I painted in the left and right fields or sections below the arms of the … person in the painting.

This is the way the painting looks now, in process. I am going for a “Chinese Mountain” and “calligraphy” roughly, effect there on the left. Oh please bear with those who truly know how to paint that way. On the right it is truly about color, transparencies and textures, which you really need to see in person. Really. Neither side is finished to my satisfaction. So, more to come on this.

The first of the three screenplay comes along, tediously but happily. It needs the Final Draft software, but I’m editing in Word still just so. I am still able to get things done in chunks and bits here and there and that is progress for now. I realize time is of the essence and I need to get this done! agh! so I’m feeling the impetus/energy of Spring upon me and wanting to get this completed soon. There are windows of time and one must act!
I have had a series of colds. Well two, that makes a series that has just been very frustrating. It’s made for a very achey artist and yogini but I’ve done my best to continue at least yoga but walks have been very few. For the time being my left hip is extremely achey with bursitis and arthritis is also going after a right hand finger knuckle making it blue and sensitive. Luckily the weather is changing and more friends want to walk in the nicer climate, so that may resolve the hip issue and overall achies for the remainder of the warmer months. That is the hope. The cold also seems to be on its way out, finally.
Like I said, I am going to be starting lots of mezclun salad seeds in the coming weeks, as well as Romaine and chard, trying to learn how this stuff works. Hee. I’ve been a vegetarian now since November of 2014. It’s great, my bloodwork and everything. So let’s see if I can grow my own food, or some of it. 🙂
Well, happy Spring almost? Easter? March 27, or so I’ve heard …
Please do write me if you get a chance. I’d love to hear from you if you can.
Take care,
Amy 🙂
P.S. I’m on Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/amy.jackson.3152) and Twitter (#amyjacksoncc)
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Fragments 4: Progress


Fragments 4 Sketch

I thought and studied the blank canvas before me for a very long time before sketching. I then returned to my sketchpad, making a tiny sketch, which became this large one, above.

To me it represents a helpless, tortured figure, tormented by forces on all sides. This represents to me a very old me, but also an inner me, deep down, in what I call The Pit. Many if not most of my alters or personalities “live” down there. One in particular, called Rag Doll, who was unable to do anything more during repetitive abuses, but survive, in shock, in numbness.


Fragments 4, Pink Special Mix and Raw Umber Layers

The Pink Layer is me as a vulnerable body with feelings, and as the object that I was to the abusers. The Raw Umber is my Spirit and my Spine, that survived and survives, my Strength.


Fragments 4, Red and Black Layers

The Red layers remind me of someone being hurt, being striped by a whip, by whippings, by something torturous and painful, the actual abuse. The Black layer is Night. Here is is not as ominous as it might seem, for it was a place for me to wonder, and to hide, but it was also a place where so many secrets were kept. Most of the abuse was done to me during daylight, but not all. So night was a safer place for me.

My intention is to paint clouds of black and white and charcoal to the left, and red and rust? to the right. This in in part because during the abuse by one abuser it was so traumatic I would literally pass out to the “right” or the “left”, to my child’s understanding, with the colors of black or red. Now I don’t remember which is which, but I like the unstable element of having the odd colors that way in the painting.

Part of me wanted to keep the painting pink and raw umber, because now I’m so much more calm. But this is a therapeutic process for me. These are healing paintings, descriptive, so I’m going deeper into my psyche for colors and forms.

Thank you for listening.

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Fragments 3: Finitti



This is the completed painting but I did want to show you all the layers that it took to create this. I’ve been putting on about a layer of paint every other day or, and then letting that layer dry overnight.

Black Layer:


 I really added a lot of new dimension to the painting with this layer.

Charcoal Layer:

IMG_0085This softened the black considerably, and to me signifies a depression over the absolute death that almost stifled me a few times in the past. These are like wounds to me. But there is healing as well. They are also like nerves, muscles and synapses, pathways, routines … a journey …

IMG_0089and here is the last red layer I put on before adding the final black details and rust touch-ups here and there, which you see in the final piece.

I can hardly wait to start a new piece, along a similar vein …

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