Refuge

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When you hear the word art, you probably think of that one Pablo Picasso piece your teacher made you look at; You might think of The Mona Lisa and how her eyes follow you wherever you go; Michael Angelo’s iconic scene on the ceiling of the sistine chapel may come to mind. When I hear the word art, I think of my favorite escape.
Art has been my way out of this world. When I pick up my paintbrush and start my underpainting of god knows what, I go into a trance; my mind and body is focused and relaxed. Every time the brush touches the paper, my heart jumps. I prep my painting for greatness. The underpainting is the foundation to this painting, it will be the beginning of the short lived adrenaline rush. The feeling of looking at my underpainting, is like what I imagine heroin addicts feel at the beginning their high’s. I become oblivious to the world around me. When it's time to put the colors over this piece, my mind goes numb. I am hypnotised by the tones, by the way my paintbrush is shading. My mind and heart is invested in this. These water colors feel like a drug to me. My mind is focused on making this painting worth someone's time to look at, to make it look worth my time to paint. At the end of this high, I crash. When I walk away from the painting and take a good look; I stare at the detail and regret everything. This means it's time to start back up and fix this project. The high comes back. The rush of bringing this piece to life lives again.


I keep my pen close to my heart. When I reach for my sketchbook, my face starts to glow. My imagination is running wild. Once the pen hits the paper, the hypothetical joint has been lit. My eyes get glossy, my mind starts to slow down. The detail takes slow concentration, I can’t mess up; pen is forever. My eyes stay wide and focused. My hand slips and makes a mark that wasn’t intended. I sit and stare at this one line. This singular line mocks me, it reminds me that this mistake just happened. As I figure out how to fix this, it’s as if I’m taking another hit of whatever I’m smoking. The high is back and I am back to drawing, incorporating this mistaken line. My imagination is running wild all over again. I have an addiction to this euphoric feeling. I want it to never end. I pull the sketchbook away and take a look. As I criticize my work, the rush starts back up, I have packed this bowl again. I keep shading and stippling till I feel the piece is done. When this piece is done, I crash onto my bed and sleep. The next day the cycle repeats.


Art has been my safe haven. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, the water in the desert, my reason to keep going. I believe art is much more than the pretty piece you see in a gallery. Behind every painting is a struggle. There is a battle with your own imagination, a fight against your eyes and what they are seeing. Art is my refuge. It keeps me dry during this s***ty storm that is my life. My eyes dilate just thinking about my drug of choice, my medication, my home, my art.






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Diane said...
Mar. 5 at 8:30 pm
Dear Nella, I read your article with great interest. First let me say I think it is wonderful that talented, young people like yourself have this forum to showcase your work. I think the analogy of artwork to taking drugs is quite interesting. I wish more young people would find this ability and substitute something creative that would save them from the destruction of drugs. I can only hope that this article gives them pause for thought to turn their lives around. Great job...
 
Mama said...
Mar. 5 at 12:27 am
This is an amazing piece of art in itself. It conveys your ability to relate the passion you have to write as well as the great artist you are. I look forward to your next heart's creation. You are talented in so many ways and I am so proud to call you my daughter. God bless you <3
 
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