Painting to express mixed mood – art as therapy – bipolar, PTSD, grief, trauma. Sunset, water.



My name is Xanthe Wyse. Diagnosed bipolar 1 disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I have filmed progress with this painting but I decided to only upload this video and maybe any future ones finishing off. I was painting without music saying what I was doing and it wasn’t going so well. So I listened to music like I usually do. Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler) was on my mind & fitted my mood so listened to it.

Currently in mixed mood episode – mixed features, dysphoric mood. Features of depression and mania at the same time. It was hard to figure out what I was feeling (mixture including loneliness and grief), so I painted. I choose music that fits my mood as it translate into music. Despite my low mood, I am painting very fast to the music which has a slow tempo and is intense and emotional. Intense emotions are a big trigger for me with PTSD.

I was using acrylics (Atelier Interactive Acrylics) with some gel medium. Painting very fast with lots of movement as I do when I am ‘into’ the music. The music expresses what I feel but avoid feeling as emotions.

All my paintings are multiple layers. Music helps me express plus to not overthink things so I go on my intuition. It is therapeutic for me to paint this way. I prefer painting messy rather than trying to be ‘perfect’.

I am imagining some layers of bright red (hopefully won’t look like a shark attack). I have a rest in between painting sessions as it’s very intensive. After painting this layer, I had a cry as I was missing my son. I was mainly feeling grief. I still haven’t recovered from being separated from my son.

Source: Youtube