Ed's Art Share
works and words from:
Photo credit: Phoebe Chen
Introduction: I started this website project to gain a wider audience for my art. I enjoy working on it, keeping it up to date, and I understand that folks also enjoy their visits here. My goal is to provide fun aesthetics and enlightening messages. All the good credit belongs to God's good guidance.
Share the link www.eds-art.net
This webpage introduces myself. I'm happily married and we have two married beautiful daughters plus the cutest and smartest granddaughter on the planet! I have a distant background as a professional artist and a less distant background as an electronics technician. My last job for nineteen years was designing electronic circuit boards that operate the internet. Prior to that I worked in the defense industry for sixteen years starting as a guided missile electronics technician and developing into a circuit board designer. My first career job was nine years as a professional artist. During my younger years I worked many odd jobs beginning with a newspaper route at age nine. I retired January 2020 as COVID-19 was rearing its ugly head in China.
My good friend Travis once asked me if I thought God's purpose for me was to be a teacher... I was flattered but I'm actually more of a school of hard knocks observer. I believe my purpose is manifest in my children and my art. My adopted mom always said my painting of the Log Cabin Church was my masterpiece and I don't disagree. This website is also very important to me. It's a practical means of sharing a little of what God has given me with you.
This is a computer screen capture of an Internet connecting circuit board from my last work as a board designer before retiring. You might have one of these in your home.
My daughter took this bygone picture of me with another family member. I'm the one with both eyes closed... I must have been practicing for retirement!
would it not be humbling
all our howling
I have bipolar disorder, the modern day name for what was professionally referred to as manic-depressive disorder until 1980. Great strides occurred towards the end of the twentieth century in the successful treatment of this condition. New drugs became available that proved to control the emotional extremes over time.
Bipolar disorder symptoms are not always readily apparent to people that surround someone with the illness. And unfortunately, not every person with bipolar responds well even to the modern medications that science has provided. Treatment is trial and error and depends a great deal on the bipolar individual to communicate honestly with their doctor to set a proper dosage of proper medications. Even then, there is no guarantee that the medications will work over a lifetime. Adjustments may need to be made from time to time to keep emotions in check. Fortunately, there are several options for doctors and patients to pursue. It is possible to lead a successful life with this condition.
My purpose in writing this is to share a little of my experience and hopefully help and inspire anyone with bipolar to realize that they can manage a relatively normal existence without the extreme polarizing effects. Diligently taking proper medications and a cautious lifestyle are the two main ingredients for success. Working with a doctor and their support group along with activities that do not represent episode “triggers” is fundamental. It is important to learn to recognize the mood triggers and avoid them where possible. There are some good books that help too, such as Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder by Julie A. Fast and Dr. John Preston. If you know someone that is bipolar I recommend giving the book a read, it's designed to help family and friends also.
what the actor shows
melting as it grows
from stealth to prose
disclose not sanity's gage
yet revealed on earth's lighted stage
1978 - Pen and Ink
I was not aware and had not been diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder when I created this drawing but I did know that there was something wrong with me.
i moved the wind from nowhere to nowhere
cradled among heaven's bright and beautiful
unbound in uncharted abode
i lost the wind from nowhere to nowhere
ordered midst the dark and distant
bound firm in toxic anguish
This drawing was inspired by the emotional extremes I had been experiencing for a long time. Fortunately I had learned over my years how to hide my emotional state enough to function successfully around others. I managed as long as the "triggers" weren't too great. I was hospitalized in 1977 after a mental breakdown but was not properly diagnosed... at the time the doctor believed I had taken LSD which was not true... all I knew was that I was not in control of my brain. It wasn't until 2003 after another mental breakdown that I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.
Allegorically, I wanted to illustrate the two extreme emotional differences that I experienced in a single image. So this two-headed monster is the result. The lower left end of the image (an upside down caricature of a human head) represents downward depressed thinking. The upper right end of the image (an upside up caricature of a fire breathing dragon) represents the high energetic insanity of what I eventually came to know as manic thinking. The tiny dragons inside each polarized head represents the suicidal thoughts that can accompany the two extremes.
Sometimes manic thinking can be quite vivid, even extremely pleasant, making perfect sense to the individual but not usually to other people. Delusions of grandeur are common in the manic state.
thoughts of glory
thoughts with story
oh wonderful feeling
mind is reeling
with prescription pleasure
without medicinal measure
Sometimes manic thinking becomes distant. Racing thoughts can seem to have a life of their own... at its worse, it feels like someone else is controlling the brain. This can be very painful mentally as well as physically, kind of like sitting in the pilot’s seat of a jet aircraft and trying to control it with an array of external overriding remote controlling operators fighting over what direction and how fast the plane will go and each operator has a different flight plan. This extremely unpleasant condition can be horrifying and bewildering at the same time. It's like watching a suspenseful horror movie that does not make sense or provide a break in the tension. Suicidal thoughts are also possible during the manic phase. Racing thoughts can lead to a feeling of hopelessness... a feeling of drowning in thought discontinuity... drowning in the sense of being aware of the lack of thought control.
thoughts fly by
not blinking eye
the soul sees
the mind leave
is this madness
where is adeptness
i drown yet alive
as my soul cries
I see depression as an evil wandering black hole seeking to devour life. It uses all sorts of tactics like reminding you in elaborate detail… over and over… any and all mistakes you’ve made in your lifetime. It also likes to tenderize you with thoughts of unworthiness, making you believe that you do not deserve to live. Another heart wrenching tactic is to take the joy out of the things that you love to do making you further feel inadequate unable to create and socialize. The most heinous of all is the life threatening suicidal thoughts that can occur. Life can seem too much to bear and at its worst, death appears to be relief. At extreme states, medical support and guidance from outside is usually needed.
I have dealt with the evil of depression on and off over most of my life. I have used alcohol to self medicate but that creates another set of problems. I take my prescribed medication for bipolar, try to get good sleep and constantly work at controlling my thoughts. I know the black hole is starting to move closer when I begin to reflect on my history of mistakes. To combat, I tell my brain to think of something good that I did to change focus. It’s an ongoing mental battle that must be fought because the black hole wants to consume me. Writing this is an example of fighting the fight. It helps to focus on what I have learned in my experience. The most important thing is to remind myself that it DOES NOT LAST FOREVER and will subside in time. I repeat this many times in my head until I’m feeling better. Also important, is exercise and healthy eating habits including vitamins. Things I do play a big part in helping my cause.
I usually just tell my wife that I don’t feel good. I explain that it’s like having a virus in my brain. I let her know that thankfully my medication helps so it isn’t as bad as it could be. I’m blessed to have a loving family that cares about me. I'm blessed in so many ways. Since I take meds that actually work, the depression usually doesn’t last very long. Bipolar depression stems from malfunctioning brain chemistry so there isn’t necessarily an outside stimulus or tangible reason for it. However, there are certain triggers that help feed depressed thinking. Even a simple negative comment can help trigger an episode. I have lots of good reasons to be a happy person but sometimes I'm fighting a battle.
The simple answer is there isn't a simple answer. Dealing with depression is a battle of the bad thoughts with good thoughts AND deeds. Depression is a stubborn greedy evil black hole. PLEASE ask for help from outside when you first sense your depression is heading out of control. It is very important that seeking help from outside be part of your battle strategy when the black hole gets too near.
the soul creaks
writhing wormy things bask in the dim
i shudder, i sicken, i'm sightless
oh when will this end...
this eclipse amidst the day
stealthy demons lurking in the shadow...
laughing insanely in its playground
more than a thorn in the side...
a black hole slowly devouring being
i linger coveting death...
but take heart... have patience!
relief has always been time away
hold on to the rim
you know darkness seeps...
only 'til light casts it back to the deep...
until darkness comes again
Currently, there's not a cure for bipolar disorder. However, science has developed several drugs that can help the brain operate without the extreme manic and depressed conditions. Having a caring and stable home life is also a great advantage. Managing bipolar can be difficult at times but it is more so without people around you that want to help. I'm blessed with a wonderful caring family. I also know that doing my best to listen to God through his Word and the World around me is largely responsible for my success. Thankfully my regiment of medications and lifestyle are working very well and I have been episode free for a number of years now!
i ride the wind from nowhere to nowhere
residing in God sheltered creation
reflecting science in earthly expectation
Spiritual therapy... God’s bridge between darkness and light painted with morning color... His Art is infinitely the most inspirational!
Porch therapy...This is a Fall season photo... one of my favorite times to enjoy our front porch!
Wind therapy... Beautiful isn’t she!
Craft therapy... Playhouse I built for my daughters in Spring 1990 matching the basic style of our home. It sports a Dutch door with a heart shaped peep window. Inside I incorporated a fold away table using my Beginnings era drawing board.
Cloud therapy... This picture is from one of the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks. I was riding alone on my motorcycle and God grabbed my attention out of the corner of my eye with this lone little cloud. I felt Great Love as I always do when I'm feeling exceptionally grateful. God loves us and is always telling us! John 4:16