Mixed Media Artist

About me

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A prophetic pre-brain injury pic…

You would think that as a person who has made her living via communication, aka counselling, I would find it easy to tell you about me. Hmmm.

In 2013, I was living my life, working as a psychotherapist in private practice, finishing my thesis for my Master of Arts in Counselling and attending a jewelry design program. When I wasn’t making glass beads (lampwork) or sterling silver jewelry, I was drawing.

Then my car was hit by a tanker truck, leading to a brain injury and a whole new way of life.

I got into painting because I could not read anymore. Not just headaches, whiplash and weird visual problems, but I was unable to recognize a word on a page. Since reading was my comfort, it was difficult. I had to sleep a LOT. Everything caused pain and/or fatigue. I could not work, or even leave the house. I was financially decimated. It sucked big time.

First painting I did at The Painting Experience in 2014

First painting I did at The Painting Experience in 2014

I started playing with colour, and it felt good to do that. I came across The Painting Experience and Process Painting and found that I could create images and not be in pain. I could concentrate without causing migraines or the need to sleep. I had used some expressive arts with clients and knew how valuable it could be. So along with a year of Vision Therapy, I painted and did collages.

It was amazing to feel productive and do something for more than 5 minutes. I took painting workshops with a variety of teachers and realized that I loved acrylics. I learned about my inner life through my art work and it helped me cope with the many changes I was dealing with.

I live with a variety of leftovers from the “accident”: tinnitus, hearing loss, fatigue, and some cognitive issues. Bright lights, loud noises and too much stimulation can still lead to days of recovery. We had to move so I could get appropriate health care. My career as a psychotherapist is likely over, although I am pretty sure I can use those skills in new ways.

In 2018, I came across Saori weaving and now have a loom. Incorporating acrylic painting and woven pieces is something I am working on. That is a whole other topic, also related to brain rehab and a love of colour and texture.

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You have to catch me first!

~ Shira, queen of the world

I live in the lovely city of Victoria, Canada, with a strange man that has hung around for more than 30 years and a couple of furry creatures. Haley is a 14 year old Airedale who is very laid back and Shira is an insane 2 year old Golden Doodle, who believes that my lap is the place for her. She usually decides this when my hands are covered in paint and I am trying to do something delicate on a canvas.

Artwork kept me from going crazy. I found something that I love to do. Some of what comes out is a little strange, but then, so am I. And that was true way before my brain was altered!