This piece has a LOT of personal meaning.
It was created in June of 2007, when I was 21 years old. I was in group therapy at the time (following a hospitalization for severe depression), and the art therapy instructions that day were to draw whatever we wanted to. I usually hated instructions like that, because I never knew what to do. But for some reason, on that day, everything just flowed. I created what I thought was a pretty awesome picture.
And then, the catch: as we were finishing up, we were instructed to cut up what we had just created, and then make a collage of the pieces. WHAT?!? Here I was, having made the first piece of art that I had been proud of in nearly a decade, and I had to cut it up? I was devastated, to say the least (this may sound melodramatic, but then I refer you to the concept behind "Sensitivity" and "Hypersensitivity": I experience emotions in the extreme).
Long story short, there was insight to be had from the exercise and how we reacted to it. But that insight was nothing compared to the new light I had just gained: for the first time in my life, I had been able to just create, without being worried about getting the final product just right. I had experienced a new kind of freedom--the freedom that comes from abandoning expectations of realism and just going with the flow. Now, as I've gotten more serious about my art, I have had to exchange some of that freedom in order to improve my work. But that day, I had fallen in love with creating in the abstract.
By the way, the medium we used for that exercise? Soft pastels. It was the first time I'd ever even heard of soft pastels. In addition to my love for the abstract, that day I gained a love for soft pastels as well.
This piece holds the story to the beginnings of my soft pastel hobby. It's gotten kinda banged up over the years--I had used sticky-tack to hold down corners that came unglued, and the oil from the sticky-tack bled through the paper--but it will forever hold a special place in my heart.