Wise, Emma

Emma Wise grew up in the Midwest and started her art work in elementary school with her third grade teacher inspiring her creativity. As time evolved and she took more of an interest in Middle and High School, Emma was offered a scholarship to attend college for the studies in the Fine Arts and Graphic Design field. Emma does creative art expressive work in her private practice as a therapist and belongs to the Boulder Arts Association. Emma’s work reflects human embodied soul work that captures the human experiences in life. 


Who we were…


I have deadened my longings and it is getting dark and hallow inside,

I have given up on people and I am tired of being hurt day in and day out,

I don't reach out anymore, I am tired and listless like the echo chambers of a hallow tree.

I am not to be seen by anyone as I am a moving target to be slaughtered, so I must be like a hidden rock in the mossy swamps.

There is no peace in a selfish culture that holds no regard for the lost and hurting of children.

Who will cry for the hurting child.

who will be there?

Is it you or I, lest it be those who arose from their own hallow grounds.

Who have mastered the course challenges of dark despair.

Not those who chant peace, peace when there is no peace.

Who will it be?

You or Me?

Who will it be?

Who will actually step up and change things,

and not just sit and feel sadness?

Who will stand for the children and demand justice and change.


by Emma Wise 2022


Hot Lava Drippings of the Heart (c) 2017 

The Hot Lava Dripping painting depicts a lava lamp that has erupted and the darkness that contrast with the hot pink depict the messiness of recovery that is not for the faint of heart but for the strong contrast of paint and of the person's resiliency. A lava lamp is also an example of a convection current. Convection currents cause liquids and gases to rise and fall because of changes in their density. There are convection currents all around you, even in the Earth's crust and thus in recovery from cultic abuse there can be a lot of convection currents that erupt. They are also known to relieve stress with lava lamps. Mathmos candle-powered lava lamps are some of the best stress relief and relaxation gifts.

My Ocean of Layers (c) 2018

This is a depiction of the ocean and the waves and the layers and movement of trauma in recovery. The layers represent the depths of the pain and complexity of the trauma one encounters in cultic abuse settings. This first painting started off with something ugly and then when adding the color to the pour it turned into something beautiful. Then if our dreams are supposed to be representative of what our unconscious minds are processing it can often be like a recurring dream that there is a tsunami and one is being pulled under the water — drowning or otherwise struggling to breathe. These dreams tend to occur when one is having a flare-up from PTSD symptoms. Whether it’s due to a known trigger that catches a person off guard so resulting with mental health taking a nosedive and can be very frustrating.  Spending countless hours doing the work of “healing” from trauma. Talk therapy, yoga, journaling, medication, and more have been weapons to combat the traumas that have taken hold of one's days — weeks even — where symptoms take hold, pulling one under like that tsunami in one's dream. In spite of all the self-soothing, coping strategies, self-care, and rituals that one can have cultivated to pull them out of the muck like a life jacket, it seems in those moments like one's mind is intently pulling a person under like an anchor to the bottom of the darkness. A person knowing full well that someday there will be another unforeseen tremor that disrupts the calm waters, threatening to suck them out to sea. It’s cyclical — and while surprising — not completely unexpected. Healing from trauma is not some kind of endpoint. It isn’t a final destination. It’s not like one's mind can take an antibiotic and that will get rid of it. It’s not like a person can put a cast on it and six weeks later the bone is mended. When things are going well, a person might be able to live life fully. When the symptoms get activated, a person may not be able to function at all. During recovery a person will begin to see patterns evolve and they start to be able to incorporate things into their lifestyles that can create longer stretches of good days. And they are better able to return to homeostasis because they have figured out what helps equilibrate them. In spite of everything a person experiences, humans are resilient. That resilience is what gives one hope, even as they recognize that to “heal” is a verb, not a noun. It requires patience and vigilance. It necessitates courage and wisdom. And mostly, it commands our attention to notice it when we are out of alignment. Healing from trauma is an act of self-love and self-respect. Just as the ocean can be both tranquil and turbulent, so can one's traumatized minds. We just have to learn how to navigate the ebbs, flows of those waters, and keep swimming. 

Haze of Memories

She’s trapped and entangled in her horror of pain with no way out. Gold is in some of her memories the rest is a haze of grey memories. Pain is in the eyes that no one sees.