The Secret Life of Lance Letscher

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Short Note #3, Lance Letscher.   

The Secret Life of Lance Letscher, a documentary  showing at SXSW is a must see.  There is one more showing, don't miss it.

Wednesday, March 15, 9:30pm at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

Reasons to see this documentary:

  • It’s the best documentary at SXSW
  • You will laugh, cry, and be inspired
  • Because, it’s Lance Letscher

Please and thank you.

 

Yes, I drink with my favorite artworks. They get tired of hanging out with the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Streets of Austin

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SoCo, Austin, Texas. March, 2016

My thinking went like this:  If work is crazy, and I am crazy, it’s time to do something crazy to get close to normal.  Influences including Edge of Humanity , Greg Davis and hypomania collided, and I decided to rent a studio to paint and play with street photography.  If you’re coming to Austin for SXSW, enjoy your stay, and look for the ordinary as much as you do the extraordinary; you won’t be disappointed.

The Catch-22’s of Bipolar

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Catch-22 number one: The side effect of my medication is that I forget to take my medication.

I think about where I am today in this moment, feeling relatively stable in terms of my bipolar, and excited to be starting an online art course tomorrow. But I’m also aware of how my brain has slowed, how I’m sometimes foggy, and lose my short term memory. My doctor told me it’s a side effect of my medication; it depletes folic acid, and that contributes to the brain fog. She gave me a sample of folic acid at her office, and of course, I forgot where I put it for about three days. And now I know where it is but I just forget to take it. So I put the pills smack in the middle of the kitchen counter with a post-it note that says:
“It’s ten o’ clock. Do you know where your brain is?”

Catch-22 number two: In order to be happy long term, I have to be sad.

During all of my manias I have spent too much money, ruined relationships, exhibited very poor judgement and also had a hell of a good time. The aftermath has such destructive consequences, however, that my psychiatrist decided it is probably safer to keep me a little depressed from time to time than to risk the chance of getting full blown mania. I revisit this decision every time I am depressed, because I feel there must be a better solution. If you are bipolar and have a medicine that works for your lows in conjunction with a mood stabilizer, I’d be interested in hearing what you are taking.

Catch-22 number three: In order to allow creative chaos, I have to be stable.

There are moments in creating a work of art or writing, when the work takes on a will of it’s own. I begin the work, my hands move the paintbrush or pencil, but my mind starts telling me which direction to go. This is when my judgements quiet, I experiment, and trust that no matter where this chaotic process leads me, it will have taught me something. It hovers in moments of uncertainty and it either destroys the work or makes it better.

I have learned over the years that if I don’t take care of the chaos in my life, that crucial moment of chaos in my art will lose it’s strength and purpose. I will sometimes try to control it because I feel so out of control. The result is lackluster work that never went far enough into risky territory to inspire people to relate to it.

What are the Catch-22’s of your mental illness, creativity, or life?

Not so moody paper

For the last twenty years I’ve utilized the creative process to expunge the negative feelings I experienced; my work is neutral or dark in tone. Relationships, when depicted, seem twisted, and it was all very much needed and genuine at the time. But I am challenging myself to try something new. Brighter colors and a different kind of beauty that focuses less on past suffering and more toward joy. Maybe it will be a successful experiment, or maybe I won’t feel that I am in my own skin, but I think it’s worth a try.

I felt like I needed a guide, and I have always loved the work of Kelly Rae Roberts, so I have signed up for one of her e-courses. It doesn’t start until mid-February, but I am already excited about the possibilities and it is helping me with a very important DBT skill already.

As I am winding down with DBT therapy I am finding that my art is integrating the concepts and skills we use on a daily basis. One of those is opposite action, which is, as it sounds, mindfully choosing to behave in a way opposite of an emotion that isn’t effective. All emotions teach us something, but there is a difference between experiencing pain, and choosing to dwell in it, which leads to suffering.

I also chose Kelly Rae Robert’s e-course because there is a community section where participants will interact, and I have been longing for more of a community studio time without having to leave the comfort of my home studio. I am so excited to see if I am able to take her teachings and apply it to my own work, creating my own unique look that may have a thought provoking message for others.

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I’m an artist, a single mom and a person with bipolar. I use my blog to set creative goals, to talk about what inspires me, or express myself to get through what we call a bipolar “mixed state.”

I don’t know that I’m in a place where I can help others beyond saying I’ve been there too, I know how it feels to have bipolar, especially mixed states, to struggle, to achieve and then fall a few steps back. I do love to celebrate the moments when we are able to use what life throws our way to create beauty in the world.