Brain Void – New Work

I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme in my artwork lately – I’ve been drawing heads that have holes or voids in them. I’ve been doing this and not even noticing it.

A recent painting:

watercolor on paper, about 8″ x 10″


This goes back farther than I thought —  I was looking through my photos and found this drawing from waaaaayyyy back in 2005. Sorry about the image quality – this was taken back when I only had a 4 megapixel camera!

A lot of times when I draw and paint I don’t really have  plan or an image in my mind that I’m trying to recreate. It comes intuitively. I just start and go. Sometimes it’s crap and sometimes it works. I LOVE that I’m to the point as an artist where I don’t care if something I’m doing isn’t successful or doesn’t turn out the way I want it to. When I was younger it always felt like such an abject failure every time something went wrong. Now it’s just part of the process. I’ve learned that mistakes have a way of not only teaching, but can lead to more interesting concepts. I almost cherish mistakes now–because they can lead to true originality.

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” -Thomas J. Watson

Anyway, about this brain void imagery–I’ve always had some problems with my brain (paranoia, self-destructive thoughts, crippling worry, racing/repeating thoughts) so we could probably analyze this to death….but I’m just going to roll with it, and start creating some artwork that consciously uses this imagery.

Up next — For a long time, I’m been trying to learn how to control my thoughts. It sounds so silly — of course you should be able to control your thoughts, it’s your brain! But for me it isn’t always that easy. I’ve tried many techniques — letting my thoughts float by and not attaching to anything, trying to think of a happy memory whenever I have a bad one come into my head, things like that. But nothing has really worked because my damn logical brain knows I’m trying to trick it. So the good news is that I had a dream a couple months ago about an issue in my life that has been bothering me for 5+ years. It’s one of those things that I can’t do anything about, and it’s not going away. In my dream, I took this bad thing, chopped it up, and put it in a puzzle box on a shelf that had all the lost puzzle pieces in it. So this is where I’m going next with my work. Random puzzle pieces and brain voids.

Well that was a lot more of a personal/rambling post than I initially intended! How about you? Does your neurosis influence your artwork at all? NOTE: I don’t buy into that whole “artists are mental cases” crap. Everybody has quirks.


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