Tag Archives: photoshopping for healing

Altered Horizons 22

Altered Horizons 22 Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a fabricated landscape of rocks and stones in her dealing with grief and loss and depression.

At University Sand and Gravel in Brooktondale, NY, there were mountains and mountains of rocks. Scooped up and lifted onto conveyor belts, rocks and stones were sorted and then dropped into huge piles. Walking around them on a hot sunny day, I was reminded of how my grief had felt: endless, heavy, hard, cold. Pummeling. My thoughts turned to mining accidents and death by avalanche. But there was also something jolly about the intermingling of the almost-blue momma-bear, poppa-bear, and baby-bear sized boulders. I imagined a moonscape.

 

Altered Horizons 20

Altered Horizons 20 Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops fabricated landscapes in dealing with depression and coping with loss.

Long ago, someone told me I shined like Christmas. Even though it came from a stranger, I have never forgotten those words. Better than being told I was beautiful, “shining” was something I believed I was capable of. For years after, I did shine. I radiated, loved and was loved back. These days, though, I mostly feel worn down and chewed up. Like the light in me has been extinguished.

My friend shakes her head at me, “Why are you photographing the worst-looking plants in my garden?”

“They’re more interesting than the perfect ones,” I said. But it’s more than that. I’m drawn to survivors, to the ones with scars who, though maybe not always beautiful, have a mighty shining about them anyway. It might be evidence of my still unbroken hope that, even in the wormiest cabbage, I can see a sun.

 

Altered Horizons 15

Altered Horizons 15 Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops fake landscapes with contrived horizons in her effort to deal with change and loss.

It took nearly all summer to find my way back to the old laptop and Photo-shopping. Despite the heat and rain, the past three months I’ve only wanted to be outdoors. If I wasn’t hiking, I was out by the pond. Raking algae, pulling pondweed, scrubbing the slimy stairs leading into the pond, paddling around in the tiny plastic boat. Who am I now, and what is with me, that I can’t sit still? Now that I’d rather push myself to work away in the heat than sit cool and comfy, creating new landscapes in Photoshop?

And that blasted computer. Breaking down at my first attempt to create anything in weeks. It kinda confirmed that outside is where I’m meant to be, for now. In the woods. In the pond, in the weeds. Anywhere but in the house in front of a computer.

Altered Horizons 14

Altered Horizons 14 Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops artificial created landscapes in dealing with depression and coping with loss.Altered Horizons 14

If you cannot find peace, you may need to create some yourself. It may not look or feel like anyone else’s peace. For a short while , standing by the pond in the evenings, I would play Taps on my coronet, feeling transported into a heavenly bliss. My neighbors probably felt like strangling me for disturbing their peace. These days I bring myself comfort and tranquility  photographing water, sky, and weeds swaying in wind, and then mixing them all together into a peaceful landscape in Photoshop.

Altered Horizons 13

Altered Horizons 13 Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops artificial created landscapes in dealing with depression and coping with loss.Altered Horizons 13

Sometimes it feels like the sky is falling. It’s a feeling I have learned to love because I understand now that it is mostly the heaviness of the loss of my daughter. So I put a rose in a sky, and in the background I used scratchy and oozy-goozy textures from a bath towel and soap holder—to echo the rough and slippery sides of life.

Altered Horizons 12

Altered Horizons 12 Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops artificial horizons and fake landscapes in her ongoing therapy to deal with depression and cope with change.Altered Horizons 12

When my life was upended by loss I had to redefine myself and re-find my footing in the world. Recently I began fabricating landscapes, and became obsessed seeking stability and balance as I worked in Photoshop to create tiny micro-environments. I could concoct a horizon line even during bath time.