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Eight months ago I started my adventure into art. My first sketch was Henry VIII using only an HB graphite pencil (the first picture). The second picture is also Henry, but only using one color of oil paint (monochromatic oil). I think my progress is clear, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. It's nice to reflect on how far I have come. To me, these two images embody far more than two pictures of the same man. This is growth. Growth from accumulated trauma. This growth I attribute to four things: my friends, therapy, art and medication. Art was definitely a turning point for me as I have been able to use art as a form of meditation to find peace in my life. A lot of happened in my life this past year and I think that I am a better person for it. I have found my calm. Maybe that's what I see in the second Henry. Though he looks more menacing, he seems more calm which may be a reflection of the painter. He also looks like he's not going to take shit from anyone. That may also be some of me coming out in the painting! I am no longer a doormat or someone's puppet. I am strong, I know my capabilities, and most importantly I know my self-worth. I wonder if Henry felt that way (aside from the killing his wives)? It feels good to take time to reflect on my progress and growth. I can't wait to see where things are in another 8 months!

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