Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma

Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma

by Carol K. Walsh


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When Carol Walsh pulled her fiancé from the bottom of a diving well—dead from a massive heart attack—her life was turned upside down. Even though she was a psychotherapist working with clients suffering from trauma, this personal shock felt unbearable. Nonetheless, she had to heal herself while supporting clients—and, as a single mother, her two children. Using the creative interests she’d developed during childhood in order to emotionally save herself from a difficult mother, she fully recovered from her grief and PTSD symptoms—and as she recreated her personal, artistic, and professional life, she began to thrive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631520990
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Carol K. Walsh graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA. As a serious artist, she wrote and illustrated a hard cover book for fiber artists, Design for Weaving, published by Hastings House of New York and reprinted in paperback by Interweave Press; was a part of numerous exhibits; won international prizes; and lectured nationally. Later, Walsh graduated from Catholic University of America with an MSW and opened a private practice. As a therapist, she wrote and self-published The Art of Awakening Spirit. In addition she wrote and illustrated forty, 3000–4000 word articles for Pathways, a Washington DC publication, and subsequently consolidated her articles into a paperback book, Break Through: Coping Skills for Chaotic Times. Walsh has been happily married for twenty-two years and is the proud mother of two daughters and four grandchildren. She lives in Maryland.

Table of Contents

Author's Message ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 Conflicting Messages

Undesirable Outcome 5

Negative Space 8

Priming 19

Homesickness 24

Clashing Colors 35

Implied Directions 46

Obsession or Drive 54

Creative Courage 65

Part 2 Practicing

Transitions 77

Multichromatic 86

Altered Perspective 94

The Ugly Phase 104

A Conversation 110

Pregnant with ideas 114

Part 3 Rivaling Forces

Bright Colors and Dark Shadows 133

Dark Shadows Dominate 142

Vibrant Colors Emerge 147

Dry Spells 153

Blending Opposites 161

Balancing Hues 167

Part 4 Crisis and Change

My Muse 177

Creative Block 185

Timeless 197

Mystical Moments 208

Afterword 215

Acknowledgments 221

Questions for Book Clubs 223

About the Author 225

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