The Series 1-6
“Purple Storm”-Abuse, “Serenity”- Brain Injury & The Serenity Prayer, “Aloha”- Breast Cancer,” Believe”- Never stop believing, “The Heat is on”- CRPS & RSD, “Lost Emotions”- Eating Disorders, “Tears of Fire”- Multiple Sclerosis
My life was melting and like Dorothy, I was off on a journey & instead of meeting the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, & the Cowardly Lion, I got to meet multiple concussions, impending divorce, & loss of close family and friends.
Then, instead of finding the wizard, I found me. Rather than melting myself, I began melting Crayola crayons when Emily, my younger daughter, showed me how to apply wax to canvas using a blow dryer & a fork.
This was all I could focus on for a while, helping me as art therapy; where I could take physical & emotional pain & turn it into something colorful & bright. I didn’t know it than, but the seeds of Alisa's True Colors were being planted to help me learn & adapt to the new me. I was creating my ability out of my disability.
2- ‘The Battle of Barrington Series’ 2015-2016
“Battle of Barrington”-Stroke, “Toxic”-Neurotoxicity”, “Toxic Rocks- “Concussion”, “Brain Battle”- Traumatic Brain Injury, “Purple Minefield”, Toxic Galaxy Dreaming”, “Oceans of Together”, “Toxic Universe”, “Toxic Sky” “Toxic Hallucinations”
So happy to find my own home in January 2015 along with my younger daughter.
But also this month I had another MRI to find out what was causing neuropathy.
Two months after moving into our new home my journey through toxic hell began.
Pushed into a wheelchair, but not this time from Post-Concussion Syndrome. I was dx with Viral Meningitis in March of 2015 and lost the abilty to lift my legs. I rolled from clueless Doctor to clueless Doctor, ending up with 3 one-month long rehab stays within 18 months. I was misdiagnosed, misplaced, mislabeled and was falling through the cracks in the medical community.
Also in December 2015, a home movie screen tore loose from the ceiling and I suffered another concussion.
August 2016 I saw a wet spot near the floor in the hall. There was a leak from the shower head all these months I was in rehab. I had a contractor come in to fix it but all he did was spread mold spores all over the house. After testing the air and walls of my home, black toxic mold was detected in August 2016.
I didn't know it than but my puzzle pieces of my health through the years of not knowing what was was wrong with me since 1999, were finally coming together which has caused a toxic explosion in my life.
With Doctors orders to vacate my premises in November 2016, I lost my home and all the belongings in it. It truly is still the Battle of Barrington.
3- ‘The Grind Series’ January- May 2017
“Battle of Detox”- Any kind of Detox, “Lost Connection”, “Masquerade”, “Fusion”, “Goober”, “Short Circuit”, “Eye to Eye”, “Land before time”, “Passion Blooms”, “Queen of Roses”, “Tropical Paradise”
Escaping the battleground, I thought I would have some peace for a while. Preparing for the Learning Man Project; a multimedia play about brain injury & recovery by Alan Wilbar, where some of my prints were digitally projected as backdrops. I also volunteered to design the True Colors Survivor Art Gallery, displaying art from disabled artists worldwide.
In April I was gathering some paintings for a preview of display for the May Dover Art Walk when I slipped on unseen broken glass on the concrete floor causing yet another severe concussion, my life changing once again.
Then, at the only the beginning of my recovery journey, pigeons visited my window left a gift of bird mites, taking away this home from myself and my daughter. Luckily it was only a short grind.
4-'Out of Darkness Series’ June 2017
“Battle Scars of a Warrior”- Suicide Prevention, “Baby you’re a Firework”-Self Love, acceptance and forgiveness, “The Grateful Flowah”-Say Yes to Medical Cannabis, Say No to Big Pharmaceutical Drugs, “Borderline”, Hope Survives”-Stop the Stigma, “True Colors Blooms”- Autism, “Oh Gracie”,“Beautiful Disaster”
All of these paintings were created in 2 weeks, when I started my journey out of the darkness homeless on a friend’s couch, driving me into one of the most prolific periods of my life.
When you look at these images I melted they look like celebration fireworks, even though I was at rock bottom in my life. But of this darkness, I began to see the light as my “True Colors’ began to burst on the canvas.
My most powerful piece in this series is" Battle Scars of A Warrior", as I cut the canvas that day instead of myself. We need to always hold on to hope in the dark times and never give up the fight.
5- ‘True Colors Blooms Series’- July-August 2017
“Purple Evolution” -Women’s Empowerment, “Healing Rain”- Depression & Anxiety, “True Explosion”, "Freedom" - Recovery, “I’m on Fire”, Survivor Dance”-Cancer Sucks, “My favorite things”-Alzheimer’s Disease”, “Purple Roses”, “Pushing up Daisies”, Free to be Me”, Brain on Fire”, Rainbow Scars”, The Experiment”, “Eternal Sunshine”, Baby Blues-Pregnancy Loss
With my younger daughter blossoming into adulthood, I was able to display all the paintings completed since 2013, creating a rainbow gallery on my walls.
Looking at the 60 plus paintings I could see the colors of my life and how they were melting together through heated toxic moments and events.
Expressing my emotion, pain, frustration, grief, toxins racing through my body pushing me back into a wheelchair from time to time allowed me to feel confident enough to share these glimpses into my life’s struggles.
The response has been overwhelming, and the true energy returned has allowed me to realize my artistic identity despite my disabilities. Now I can share them all with you.
6-“True Colors Awakens Series” September - October 2017
“My True Colors”-Be Your Own Hero, "True Colors Chakras"-"Cosmic Energy", "Wisdom", "Express Yourself", "Courage", "Love", "Confidence", "Survivor "“Somewhere in Time”, “Mad Mad World” “Recovery”, “Synchronicity”, “Abe”, “Unconditional Love”, “Mystical Dragon”, “October Blooms”, “Dancing Dakota”, “Purple Haze”, “Wings of Transformation”, “Hope”, “Reflections”, “Con-caving Emotions”
In October 2017 I had my very last MRI with contrast dye I will ever have in my life, My life has been changed forever because of MRI Contrast Dye I have had through the years. Contrast Dye is not just a dye like i thought, or my family at the time. Its called Gadolinium its number 64 on the periodic table. The dye they use is a toxic heavy metal that you get injected with and are told it leaves your body in 48 hours. Tests confirmed that I retained the gadolinium months later. I have been getting contrast since 1999, I put my puzzle pieces together when I saw Gena Norris's Story last November. I have been misdiagnosed, and misplaced. Been through hell in the medical community.
Ironically this month I debuted my paintings at Sole City Dance in Somersworth NH and have been installed at The Inner Balance Pelvic Health & Wellness Center in Newington, NH. Then in November my paintings and products were displayed at the Concussion Symposium at Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover NH.
I have learned we don’t need a superhero to save us, or make us happy. We need to be our own hero and happiness comes from self love and self care. We also need to be our own advocate in the medical community. We can never stop seeking the answers or asking the questions why.
We need to not be afraid to chase after our dreams. And if one door closes keep looking for the open ones. We only live once this is not a dress rehearsal.
I am learning happiness, calmness and patience. I am accepting the new me and learning new ways to adapt with my limitations. I have let go of the past and my old ways of thinking of what I believed of myself.
I have gained wisdom, knowledge, self-confidence, and courage to look fear in the eyes, to truly know what it means to be a survivor, fighter, and to not give up; no matter how dark my world gets. I have learned to raise awareness and not be afraid to speak the truth in the medical community.
I want to awaken others to their true colors by helping them accept their new life after trauma. To help them heal through art.