RECOVERY 2006-2008 | Experience the Vision of Artist Vicki Lynn Rae

RECOVERY 2006-2008

(2006-2008) *Check out my contribution to AddictionandArt.org

Learn more about 'The Art of Recovery' (an interview with Vicki by Sober Nation)

I was born to be an Artist. I need to create like I need to breathe. I connect to people through art. I connect to something greater than myself through art. I’ve been very fortunate my whole life in that my creativity and desire to paint and express myself through art has always been encouraged, celebrated and supported; by my teachers, my friends and most importantly my family. When I was a teenager art was a place I could go and truly be myself. Art is one ‘place’ in life where there really are no restrictions and rules. I was finding relief from my anxiety and self loathing through my addictions but I also found relief, a healthy and healing relief, in creating art. I didn’t know at the time but Art was and is my spiritual practice.

As my alcoholism consumed my life I painted less and less. In late 2005 I did a painting called ‘Saddest Face in the World'; found in my recovery series. This was the last painting I did before I got sober. I moved around a lot and somehow managed to keep all my canvases with me and I protected them like they were my children! I didn’t paint much in the last year of my drinking. I was too sick and despondent. I did however, have my art all over the walls in my apartment. The day I got sober I was sitting, staring at my paintings and contemplating suicide. ‘Something’ told me “You have to keep painting. One day your art will help heal people. It will help heal you.” I surrendered and that day became my sobriety date in Sept 2006. I went to a residential treatment centre and my councilor allowed me to keep a sketch book.

I saw instantly how my art in recovery became a way to connect to people, a way to open conversations and a way to heal. A new fire was lit within me and I committed myself 100% to my sobriety and my art. I painted myself out of hell. I gave a voice to the darkness in me. Instead of denying it, blocking it, adding to it and running from it, I expressed it and released it in a healthy way. I had a new mantra for any time I felt overwhelmed: ‘Make it Creative’.

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