thick wet lines


     It’s hard to describe how I feel.  I just finished the thick, wet lines of this piece.  Something about this painting has put me in an intense, mostly unidentifiable mood.  This is a skull so I’m guessing fear is in there.  Probably some of the standard fear of the future associated with skulls and skeletons but that’s definitely not all.  There’s something angry and brooding about this as well.  Something that drains me and outrages me at the thought of it stealing my energy.  Still, I’m fascinated by it.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  How it makes me feel.  I find myself frowning, like my whole skull and brain area is tensing up.  My head feels warm.  No, my brain feels warm.  I feel like I need to cry but I’m not sure why.  I feel violent.  I’m sick and tired of work.  I’m bored at work.  I only have one or two days a week during a normal week when I have the time and feel rested enough to pursue my artwork.  Not sure where I’m going with this.

     Last night the wife and I enjoyed a bunch of sushi and wine.  Afterwards we had desert, mixed drinks and enjoyed a very good vampire movie.  Today we went out to eat, got caught in a downpour, drove to get ice cream and soda in said downpour and came home.  After a brief scare of our air conditioner temporarily not working due to the storm, I made myself a jumbo margarita and completed another fuzzy skeletonian for October.  When we got hungry again, we nommed the hell out of a pre-made rotisserie chicken.  After dinner and coffee I came back here to my room and completed this painting.  Now I’m sitting here, listening to the Blade Runner soundtrack trying to sort out my feelings.  Maybe I’m wrestling with some sort of moody, artistic conundrum or maybe I’m just a tad hung over and disappointed that the weekend is winding to a close.  I think the painting is dry now.  Better get it scanned and start getting ready for bed.  Have a good week.

12 thoughts on “thick wet lines

  1. jesus, that's a deep rant…wow, well…i like the skull :D the thick lines give it a good “halloweenish” feel :D i hope ya feel better :D work may suck, but on the bright side, it beats unemployment :D

  2. Well, it definitely sounds to me like you're depressed. Negativity? Wanting to cry for “no reason” (there is a reason)? Lacking in energy? Sounds like a mild depression to me. At the least, you've mentioned being miserable at your job and fears/concerns about the future. That's certainly enough right there to make one depressed. I also know you just had a birthday, so perhaps that has triggered something. Knowing you are like me about Summer, I wonder if that's playing a big role in this. I always say I have the opposite of Seasonal Affective Disorder, in that I am more prone to depression in the Summer, not Winter. The heat changes people. There is a reason violent crime increases in the summer. I do think this goddamn heat/humidity is getting you down, and adding to this dragging, heavy feeling you have. Here's a visualization for you: imagine a crisp, cold winter day when the sun is shining, sparkly snow is already on the ground, and you take that first step out of the house and you feel that sun while simultaneously breath in that delicious, cold air that makes you feel ALIVE! Come on, now. You know what I'm talkin' about.

    With you having shared what you did, it seems obvious to me that this piece totally shows how you are feeling. I can't say what the skull means, but the thick, heavy, wet, dark lines seem to equal how you say you are feeling.

    Hang in there and do what you need to do to stay afloat until this passes. And it will pass. And keep doing your art when you have the energy, because it's therapeutic. Sorry this is so long.

  3. Aquilus: Thanks! Yeah, I guess no job at all would end up being more stressful but sometimes I wonder…

    Katn: I'd have to agree with you about the reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder theory. I think all of us with July birthdays got our little infant brains par boiled in the heat prior to being born, making us more sensitive to heat and humidity.

    As for your visualization suggestion, I have no trouble picturing that. Especially since watching that aforementioned vampire movie. It was set in delicious delicious winter time with crunchy snow on the ground and little kids running around with visible frosty breath coming out of their mouths! So very nice. I wish I was a reverse bear and could hibernate through the summer months.

  4. Another weird coincidence. For years I have also told people I think I was born hating the heat because I had to spend a hot, humid Midwest Summer in the womb. Plus the fact that my mom never sweated enough – her body was terrible at cooling itself and she'd always get really red in the face. And I was in her womb, the lady whose body couldn't cool itself properly. Go figure. At least I inherited my dad's ability to sweat my ass off. May not look pretty, but otherwise I think I'd die.

    “Reverse Bear” – Ha!

  5. Vincent,
    I know the feeling well…. the very deep calling to scream. It's a combination of anxiety and depression that has gone underground and it wants out. It could be just chemical, like you and KATN have been discussing, due to the heat, or it could be indicating a deeper dissatisfaction with what you are committed to in your life, or your situation.
    At times in my life, when a similar feeling has gripped me, there has only been one way to completely cure it…. by screaming. Then, the most magical thing happens. While you are screaming your brain clears and the reasons become obvious. If you heed the message it could be like beginning life anew. I'm just saying…. it can be magical.
    Anyway, I know this post is more than a few days old and I'm late arriving. I hope you are feeling better. I enjoyed your thick wet skull painting.
    Best,
    Camille

  6. Camille: That's a very interesting insight. It's been a while since I've screamed or cried. You may be onto something. The feeling only manifested itself when I looked at the painting. It was strongest when I was gazing into the murky, wet darkness of the freshly applied paint. I've had similar reactions that evoked, dark, primal reactions. I remember a time when we rented a house and the garbage disposal drain backed up. It was most apparent in the basement where the floor drain had erupted with all of the detritus. Logically, I identified it as rice and other ground up food particles mixed with mostly water but the emotional reaction was that of deep, subconscious, fear and pissed-off-edness. I'm still scarred by it. I've often thought about what I would do if I didn't have to work anymore, like if I won the lottery or something. The first thought that always comes to mind when pondering this fantasy situation is just taking a day or three to just cry and scream and get it all out. Just let myself go crazy/hysterical to get all the garbage out. Out of my head, releasing the all pressure, just letting my mind BLOW THE FUCK UP. The thought of picking up all the pieces and putting them back together in a new way sounds DELICIOUS.

    Thank you for the perspective.

  7. Vincent- About once a week for the past month I have gone home and just sobbed for about an hour. Usually I will try to hold back my tears to some extent. Lately though, all my defenses have been shattered and I have felt utterly lost. So I've let go.

    I sit down on the couch in the living room and just let it come up. Deep gut wrenching sobs, usually in waves. I cry and clinch my face and just let the sadness have me. Afterwards my face and shirt are soaked and sometimes my ribs hurt a little, but I think that if I held any of it in I might get physically sick.

    I type all this like I've had any control over any of it, but I suppose I could have “put on a happy face”. I guess my control / choice was to not get in the way of sadness and to let it pass through me. The first time it happened I thought I would come apart mentally, but surprisingly I didn't. I just kept trying to open myself up enough to let it out…to feel that sorrow and grief and just let it all go, to become the doorway of my sorrow and not its blockade.

    Having that kind of experience 10 or even 5 years ago would have demolished me, but I guess being in a place where I cannot have a nervous breakdown again and being forced to deal with all this emotional pressure forced me to let it out. All theories aside – I'm talking out of my ass here. I just tried to survive it. It sucked and I followed my instinct.

    HUGGS to you man! Great Skeletonian. Not nearly fuzzy enough though. :-P :-)

    Camille – To let it all out, I have had fantasies about screaming so hard and long and animalistic that my neighbors call the police. Of course the trickster part of me wanted to do it at 3AM. I want to make a noise that makes people scared and worried. “What the hell was that?!?” There should be public screaming rooms. hmmm…It is time to watch the Descent again.

  8. Jesse: Thanks for sharing. The thought of just letting sorrow just pass through and be released sounds wonderful. You and Camille have really got me thinking, or rather, FEELING to be more accurate. I feel my stress levels rising lately and maybe what I need is a good scream/cry to let it all out. Definitely something that needs some serious consideration.

  9. This weekend I emptied out one of my closets and filled it with bean bags and covered the opeing with a curtain to create a sensory deprivation chamber to meditate within. Total darkness makes it much easier. I have meditated every day for the past three and it has helped my mental / emotional space IMMENSELY. I TOTALLY recommend a meditation space if you have the room. Beyond scream / cry therapy of course.

  10. I've often thought about someday getting one of those coffin-like sensory deprivation chambers to experiment with but the idea of simply using a closet is just so dang pragmatic and attainable I may have to try it! Much simpler than having a huge container of water and having to get dressed in a wet suit too.

  11. I don't why the idea of a sensdep chamber never occured to me before now. I guess the need was never truly urgent until now. I've wanted a sensdep chamber since I saw Altered States when I was younger. Although minus the William Hurt turning into an ape-man bit…or maybe because of. LOL.

    Of course, in all this I fail to mention the pile o displaced stuff taking up space in my living room. It is all just collected junk though that needs to find a better home anyway. Ah, the constant fight against becoming a horder.

    The chamber truly has made a difference though. Every day now, at least once, I meditate. I'm becoming addicted. Night before last I actually fell asleep inside and didn't wake until the next morning. In some ways it is more comfortable than my bed. Okay. Stopping now. LOL. I feel like a drug a pusher. C'mon man…just try it. LOL It feels so good.

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