From the monthly archives:

March 2009

Interpreting fear

by Henk ter Heide on Monday March 30, 2009

in Autism

Examining some feelings that prevent me from drawing.

Eye problems

Twenty years ago I tried my hand at studying to be a programmer. I went to school for a year and got the basic papers you need to get a job. Then I went on with studying on my own to get a perspective on a better job.
It was then that I run into a strange problem with my eyes.
Every time I picked up my books to do some studying my eyes would go out of focus and the letters on the paper would get vague. At the same time I felt very tired. Although I didn’t know why I felt tired I assumed it had something to do with the eye problems.
Although I had my eyes examined I never found out what the problem was.

Examining a feeling

My involuntary holiday of, coming up to, 4 months as a result of breaking my hip gave me a lot of time to examine a few things you never get to.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter, a lot of time thinking about several problems we have at my job, and examining a frighting cold feeling I have in the sauna and when taking a hot shower.

I don’t know about other people with broken hips, but I found that it became very easy to take really long showers. Sitting on my shower chair. Not having a lot of interesting things to do. Not having any appointments. I found I could easily sit in the shower for two hours.
Which would have been very nice if it wasn’t for the cold feeling on my back I always have when taking a shower.
I tried making the water hotter, as I always do, but that didn’t help. It never does.

But since I didn’t have a hell of a lot to do I decided that I might as well examine what was going on. Why I would feel cold under a hot shower.
Although it was very frightening I tried to concentrate on the feeling. It took me two weeks but I finally realized that the feeling I had wasn’t cold but the feeling of water running along my skin.

I also realized how it came about that I misinterpreted the feeling.
In autistics the part of the brain that recognizes feelings doesn’t work as it should. Which makes it very hard for us to recognize our feelings.
It has happened that I only found out what I was feeling by going by the authority of other people.
Someone would tell me: “I think you feel such and so”. And since I didn’t know what I was feeling I took his word for it.

In this case I learned to interpret the feeling I was having standing on the edge of the swimming pool on a cold Saturday morning 40 years ago, by listening to what people told me.
“You must be cold”. Yes I must be.
In reality it wasn’t cold that I was feeling. It was the sensation of wind blowing along my back.

Dealing with panic

Of course this blog isn’t about recognizing feelings. It’s about drawing, what I learn while drawing and what I need to draw.
I like to draw.
But being autistic I don’t really recognize that feeling. I interpret it in the same way I interpret all my feelings. In this case by the fact that I can’t get myself to stop drawing.
I don’t draw very often so after a time I tend to think that I don’t need it any more and store my drawing stuff away.
But every time I do, I get new ideas of drawings I want to do and get my drawing stuff back out.
But then I can’t get myself to sit down and draw.

After I figured out that I misinterpreted the feeling I have in hot showers, I thought that it could very well be that I also misinterpret feelings that have something to do with drawing.
So now I’m examining several annoying and frightening feelings of which I don’t think they have very much to do with drawing.
Yesterday, for the first time in twenty years, I ran into my little I eye problem. While using Twitoria to unfollow inactive Twitter profiles I got very tired and my eyes went out of focus.
At first I though that I should stop and relax for a moment but then I recognized what was happening to me. I was experiencing some type of panic attack. So I went on with what I was doing and after a while the feeling past.

Knowing what the feeling is I now realize that it’s something I have quite a lot. While writing this kinds of entries for my blog for instants.
Translating the pictures in my mind to words is hard, sometimes even painful. Many a time I’ve stopped writing and walked away with the feeling that it would go easier when I came back. It never did.
Writing this entry I also felt the need to walk off but knowing that I was experiencing a slight panic attack helped me to go on. Although the writing process is still hard to do, the panic attack did pass.

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First step

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday March 18, 2009

in Drawing

This isn’t the most beautiful drawing I’ve ever done. Actually this might be the most ugly drawing.
It’s kind of an experiment.
After concluding that I’m more interested in color then in shape this seemed a logical first step to take. No shapes, no colors. Just blobs of black on a white paper.

This is not what I had in mind. But that’s the point to draw something I don’t have in my mind. Something that’s also new to me.

First step
First step

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Abstracting three trees

by Henk ter Heide on Thursday March 12, 2009

in Drawing

It’s strange how you can never see

something that’s staring you in your face. For the past two years I’ve been trying to draw photo realistic but I could never get it. But for the longest time it escaped me why that was. Only a few weeks ago it finally dawned on me.

I don’t have any pictures on my walls because they bore me. That seems to be one of the drawbacks of having a photographic memory. Within a few days a picture on the wall starts to feel like the rerun of the rerun of a show I didn’t want to see to begin with.
So why did I ever think that I could be interested in spending weeks creating an image of something I’ve seen in real life?

This drawing derived

from a picture I was planning to copy. This drawing was more fun to do then most of the drawing I’ve done so far. But I still didn’t feel satisfied.
While doing this drawing I realized that I’m actual not interested in shapes. I’m far more interested in playing with colors.

So for my next drawing I will be doing something that’s the opposite from this one.


Abstracting three trees

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Colors

by Henk ter Heide on Saturday March 7, 2009

in Paintings & photos


New York

From http://ricardomassucatto.deviantart.com/art/New-York-17832872
Posted on Flickr by Henk ter Heide

Paris light

From http://ricardomassucatto.deviantart.com/art/Paris-Light-Watercolour-97784448
Posted on Flickr by Henk ter Heide

Playground

Posted on Flickr by Cerqueira_SV

Colored Pens #8

Posted on Flickr by Don3rdSE

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Into the cold

by Henk ter Heide on Friday March 6, 2009

in Paintings & photos


dark tunnel

Posted on Flickr by wilfy2007

Coolpix

Posted on Flickr by Symaz

Extreme Heavy Snow

Posted on Flickr by brookside2112

what i did over summer vacation

Posted on Flickr by willlaren

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