Couple weeks after the last blog post, I started work on a portrait I was commissioned to do for my sister’s friend. Even though the going was slightly rough, I enjoyed it. My client was satisfied, the portrait and money exchanged hands. Everything was fine for the next three days – I mean my mood. Then it hit – depression. I don’t know if it was depression returning or worsening or if it was an episode. Maybe the term depressive episode is more apt. Will clarify with doctor.
The episode didn’t happen just like that (there were reasons) and the past two weeks were really baaaad! In my desperate search for relief from the emotional pain, I searched the Internet (where else) for answers. My doctor had forbidden me to do this because some, if not most, Internet information on depression are not reliable. I remembered this and although I did read a few dozen articles, I looked for books on depression. I came across an audio book on youtube – The Mindful Way Through Depression. Here is the link:
I don’t know what to think of the book but it gave answers for a lot of my mental and emotional distress. Very interesting. Even if you don’t have depression, it may help you to understand a relative or a close friend who is suffering.
I feel a little better now – hence the new post 🙂 But you know what? From now on, I am going to post no matter my mood. The posts might be less cheery, that’s all! So, with my client’s permission, here is the portrait I did:
For some inexplicable reason (i think it is called inspiration), midway through the work, I put morning glories in her hair – a Lefebvre-nymph style. Then I srcubbed the flowers away and went back to the original path. I took a picture of it though and am going to put it on my Facebook page.
That’s it for today. Till next time, take care and remember to breathe….
Random Kitty Picture:
I recently bought this (because I wanted to see if I could live without Strathmore and Stonehenge, which is only available for purchase online):
and decided to do a test run with graphite, colored pencil and water colors (because the paper says ‘ideal for pencil, ink, markers, watercolor). I cannot comment on how the paper is with markers.
Here is the graphite work I did on it:
With colored pencils, it may not take many layers like Stonehenge (I love you….) but you can get the work done. Everything was going well until I thought – “Hmmm….use watercolor for the background? It will be easier!” This is what happened:
As you may notice, the paper buckled (I used a light wash). Maybe it might take dry brush technique but not actual watercolor as the paper claims. I tried to straighten the paper out but it didn’t work. Maybe experienced water colorists can handle the situation? Moral of the story: Don’t take the easy way out and don’t spend bed time watching Youtube videos.
On a positive note, you can erase colored pencil quite nicely:
All this brings me to the main topic of this post – being an artist in Sharjah (miles away from exclusive art supply shops in Dubai) and being in love with more than one medium and not having a car. I love oils, watercolor, colored pencil, pastel and (gulp) a new love has taken seed – markers.
Oil painting supplies are readily available; there is a shop just 10 minutes away from my flat. For others, especially colored pencils, I have to go to multiple shops and online. For a decent water color paper (and by decent I mean Arches, Fabriano etc,.) I have to spend Dhs 100- 200 for a taxi to Dubai. Just for a sheet of paper.
Online shopping gives you a lot of options especially with paper but can be expensive and leave you feeling guilty. As though I don’t have enough of that already!
I could just stick to oil painting considering the easy availability of the materials. Only that leaves me insatiated. I can’t seem to commit to one medium. I want to play around. Does that say something about me? Okay, easy now those who are poising to comment 🙂
Wanting to work in multiple mediums is fine, I guess, for the hobbyist. For the artist who wants to be a professional, committing to one or two mediums, at least for a time period, is not only efficient, it’s economical and time saving. This is just my opinion. Please feel free to write in if you are an artist in UAE in the same predicament or have a solution or even if you disagree.
There IS a solution to all this y’know – having a sugar daddy? But where’s the fun in that? I mean, if everything is easy, how will you get the drive to make a career as an artist 🙂
A random kitty picture post (a change from all art posts all the time:-) :
I have been working on this painting for the past week and today as I was working on it, I realized something.
This painting was started, I think, 8 months ago and put away for reasons I can’t remember:
I have an obsessive rumination problem. It’s nothing new – been battling with it, oh, for 5 years at least. Random stuff would pop in to my mind and then goodbye focus! Mostly the ‘stuff’ will be something somebody said. And depression causes lethargy and restlessness (among other problems) and often they attack together. You can’t sit in one place for more than 5 minutes but you don’t want to get up. See? No joke.
As I tried to wade through these problems and tried to commit myself to the work in front of me, I realized that no matter how much you love what you do, you still have to force yourself to work. Depression or no depression. It seems obvious but it hit me with a clarity that was uncomfortable.
I’ll admit it, sometimes I feel bored to tears sitting in my room and painting. At times I feel I am missing out on things. And sometimes I feel, “Will I ever reach my destination?”
And yet, I can’t imagine not painting! Anywhere I go, there is only one place I want to return to – my studio. It’s not even a conscious thought – more like reflex.
Okay, enough of that. Here’s something to cheer you up:
“Ethan”, 5″ x7″, graphite on paper:
Whew! Done with it! Actually I was done with it a week ago and was supposed to post it here at least three days ago but I was busy being a slob 🙂 Sorry. It is advisable to put away finished paintings for 3 days to a week and then review it for mistakes. I didn’t do that for this one; in fact there are very few times I have followed that routine. I keep telling myself, “next time”. Lazy!
It was hard not to keep on tweaking with this one but I controlled myself. This painting is done in loose brush strokes. Well, as loose as my tight self would allow 🙂 Y’know, my usual style is tight, detailed work.
So here it is: A painting commissioned by my mother. Photo reference by Sandy Scott over at paintmyphoto.com
And a big, heartfelt thank you for all of you who liked my previous posts and has been and is following my blog. It is a real motivator for me. Thank you so much!
My doctor said to me, “I think it’s time for you to start finding the answers to the question ‘Who am I’?” I wasn’t expecting it but I wasn’t surprised either. “You will need to be honest to yourself….about what you want.”
I was surprised at that! I always thought I knew what I want. Or did I?
Either way I feel it is a question worth considering. Maybe it might help me recover? See the light at the end of the tunnel?
Most recent WIP: