Saturday, August 29, 2009

Taking the long way home.....

When I reached the bustling city I felt anxious but relieved. After an entire week of not leaving the house, I finally managed to take the train downtown yesterday. I ran a few errands and treated myself to an afternoon movie in the Loop.

It was so nice to get away from things for a while. Afterwards, I sat by the Chicago Riverwalk, taking in the mighty skyline and the earthy smell of the water just a stone's throw away.

So serene and beautiful and lovely!

The Chicago Riverwalk near Centennial Fountain

Friday was cloudy and cool, almost chilly. Just the way I like it!

I deliberately picked a spot rarely traveled by tourists and had the area mostly to myself. It reminded me that I'm still alone yet I felt so open and free! And I would give up being with someone if it meant absolute freedom any day!

For over 2 1/2 hours I sat by the riverwalk and thought about things. I just didn't want to go home....back to the way things were. I guess I wanted to stretch the moment out for as long as I possibly could.

And before finally leaving, I said a prayer of thanks. That I may have this feeling again someday. That it wouldn't just be a fleeting thing but that I could truly be free!

For now a piece of my heart will stay with the city until I return from the sadness.

Is the depression gone? No, it never will be. It comes in waves and intensities and right now it's lessened compared with earlier in the week.

I feel like I can get some much needed drawing and painting done again, which is what I intend to do!

Thank you, everyone!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Face the day.....

It's not easy to face the day when you really don't want to.

The morning sunlight bleeds through the blinds and I curse under my breath, making me want to draw the curtains closed. Trains can be heard rumbling by across the street. The same trains I used to take to work.

I pull the sheets and pillows over my head and lie awake for hours like a zombie. Numb and detached. Waiting for the day to end and saddened to know tomorrow and the day after that will be exactly the same.

This has been such a terrible week. Unproductive and isolated and unhappy. I no longer think I have the strength to push through it. That I'm at its mercy now. My actions for the day depend on how I'm feeling rather than what I'd like to do.

And outside, life goes on but I'm not a part of it. It's hard to look out the window because I know I'm missing something. The world keeps always and I'm hidden always.

Wasting time, wasting potential, wasting away.

What a nothing I've become.

Everyday this week I've gotten ready in the morning to go downtown. But resistance, anxiety, and fear all told me "no" so I got undressed, put everything away, and went back to bed.

How sad when it takes all my strength and focus just to try and leave the house and I can't even do that!

Everyone else seems so well-adjusted and normal. Living life comes naturally to others yet I feel lost all the time. That can't be right.

Something is wrong when it feels like torture just having to get up. When it hurts to be awake. When it becomes a struggle....just to face the day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"He broke it"

Mixed media on watercolor paper - 8" x 10" (SOLD)

There's that excitement when you first meet. A tingling that runs through your whole butterflies dancing in your stomach.

It all seems so perfect. A dream come true. Prayers finally answered.

You both have things in common and what you don't compliments each other perfectly. A divine chance to move out of your comfort zone and help each other grow and change for the better.

Deep in your heart, like a fool or a naive child, you believe that he's the one.

::: Close-up detail :::

The beginning stages of love work their magic in you. You feel more energetic and open and catch yourself softly smiling throughout the day. You know someone is waiting for you!

And just before the butterflies have a real chance to fly, it all unravels before your bewildered blue eyes. You have faith that things will come back together....pray that it will last.

Instead, that floating world you built on hope and trust begins crumbling down. Thank God we both have wings or we'd be doomed for sure!

::: Close-up detail :::

In the end you are alone once always. You feel embarrassed, worthless, and unlovable. Am I really that terrible?

You mourn what could've been and what will never be. The heart broken, the fantasy shattered.

::: Close-up detail :::

So much time has passed since then. Can the heart ever be mended and made whole? Deep down I believe it can. I have hope it will.

But can love find me when I'm buried under so much hurt? Can I expect anyone to truly love me when I don't love myself?

Maybe when it comes down to it, he didn't break it at all. I did.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nothing goes as planned.....

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."   --Anonymous

Imagine picking up a rock that instantly becomes pulverized and slips through your fingers like sand. You didn't even have a real chance to grasp it.

A chance. Everyone wants an honest-to-goodness chance in life.

Things never seem to go as planned. Job openings don't come through, goals are never fully achieved, relationships are strained and don't turn out the way I'd like.

I can't seem to move in the direction I want. Forget going in circles, it feels like I'm spiraling backwards and downwards. The disappointment weighs me down, time unwaveringly passes by, and I'm stuck, sinking into the viscous mire.

You feel foolish for getting your hopes up and yet are chastised for expecting things not to work out.

Has the universe failed me or have I failed it?

God only knows I've prayed and prayed for guidance. Are my unanswered prayers part of the plan too? I've lost my faith so many times, swearing never to go back, yet there I am like a dog with its tail between its legs, begging one more time for an answer.

So you begin again and it doesn't work out....again. And you try and fail and fail and fail. It all leaves me feeling stupid. Clearly I'm doing it wrong.

Or is it that deep down I hate myself so much that I sabotage the process because I think I'm undeserving of something good?

Have I planned to fail? Or is the lack of focus and determination, feeling sad and wasteful, wanting to let the dream die, just me failing to plan? Is it all out of my hands at this point? Like fine sand, are the dreams out of my grasp?

When putting all these thoughts together for this post, the plan was for it to be concise and focused. But it's become a series of scattered ramblings instead. Silly Dean, I should've known....nothing goes as planned.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nude Male Ink Sketch - Side Pose

Pen and ink on paper - 8" x 10 1/2" (SOLD)

Here's a recent sketch I did from a live model.

I'm really pleased with the way this nude turned out! The figure is off to the side and yet I like that the male's shadow dominates the center of the drawing.

The lively, rough lines help pump some energy into the piece too.

Subtle, strong, and soft-looking all at the same time. Love that!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ugly is beautiful.....

A bucket's filthy interior

No one can truly understand how a visual artist sees something except another visual artist. We catch things most will miss. Spot special details when other people think there aren't any. An artist can find even the most mundane object to be visually interesting.

A dead wasp

When the days of depression and despondency and apathy hit me, I realize I tend to notice all of the ugly things around me. And yet, even ugliness can be unique....which makes it beautiful.

Water-damaged paper covering a window

In the graphic novel, The Plain Janes, the main character (Jane) mentions that she tries to see the beauty in everything but struggles when everything around her at the moment looks so ugly.

Crumbling indoor wall

Can you find the loveliest parts in something grotesque? Do you see how pretty the disgusting can really be? Is there something charming about the sadness?

Badly stained enamel bathtub

Just wanted to share some random images that I see on a daily basis. To see if you can find the beauty in them like I have.

Or is it just ugly to you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Unemployed and on unemployment.....

Maybe it's because I'm a Taurus. Taureans are known to be stubborn after all and resistant to change and taking action. I waited to file for unemployment until two weeks after being laid off.

I suppose I procrastinated because filing those papers makes it all very real. That I'm officially jobless and dependent on the government for financial assistance.

Receiving unemployment is a mixed blessing. I feel grateful, embarrassed, frustrated, supported, and weak all at the same time.

Work is good for the soul....even mundane work. It gives you purpose during the day. A reason to get out of bed in the morning.

The week after getting laid off was spent mourning the loss of my job. That first Monday and Tuesday "off" hit me the hardest. I didn't care for that job and yet I'll miss the routine and seeing my coworkers....knowing I'll be productive for that day.

My UI Claimant Wage Information Sheet that arrived in the mail this weekend, which I decorated with a field of flowers, a colorful rainbow, and butterflies!

And before anyone mentions again how much free time I now have to focus on my art, let me say that when you're feeling down and uncertain you don't always want to do much of anything. Most of the time I'm unproductive and unmotivated.

Which leads to me to question. The theme of my art blog is escaping dead-end jobs to create a life in art. Should this blog continue to exist if I have no job to escape? What is its purpose now? What's my purpose?

I'll end this post with a quote my now former coworker gave to me that I read from time to time:

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning". --Ivy Baker Priest