Despair: Abstract Painting

"Despair" - 9"x12" acrylic on canvas panel

Continuing on the theme of art being therapeutic, I sat down and decided to create a visual image of my melancholy. Poetry has been my primary method of dealing channeling those emotions. Painting, on the other hand, has been something I've done when I feel uplifted.

So creating this piece was hard. For one thing, I kept wanting to give up. I didn't want to finish it, felt there was no point. Every stroke I made with the paintbrush took so much more effort. Yet I persisted.

The result was a reddish background, which I associate with the heart. I noticed everything in this painting is moving upwards, intangible like dream. That's exactly how reality seems to me in those melancholy states: life slows down as if I'm walking underwater in everything I do. There are figures in it as well, also insubstantial. As if they lack both substance and meaning.

But the emotional impact of this little experiment was quite revealing: I felt better. I got it out, transformed it into something else. I did this while hearing the inner critic inside deriding me at every turn. But I still did it.

I think sometimes we have to "trick" ourselves into getting out of a creative rut. This method is to not control anything about the painting. I just let it happen. No plan, no outline. Just me.

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