The Vulnerability Evoked in Failing to Capture the Mind's Ceaselessly Combusting Ephemera

Recently I finished this painting, "The Vulnerability Evoked in Failing to Capture the Mind's Ceaselessly Combusting Ephemera" and damn it felt good. My focus had been steadily worsening over the past few months and I just couldn't seem to keep a single thought in my head, or stay on task for more than a couple minutes at a time. Quieting the mind was impossible and thoughts were entering and flying out of my head at a rate comparable to a hallucinogenic journey. I was feeling, defeated, tired, weak and desperate to grasp a hold of my sanity above the surface while weight steadily tugged me under. I'd honestly thought I was beginning to lose my mind and started seeking help.

Shifting from a self destructive workaholic night owl into a parent and provider was a hell of a transition this past year and a half. Since becoming a father, my love, dedication, fear and "scatterbrain-ness" have intensified tenfold. Our daughter is incredible, but unfortunately not a sleeper. It'd been 1.5 years and my little gal still had yet to sleep through the night. I'm not complaining, just saying it's been really nice these past couple weeks now that she's learned to self-sooth and finally sleep through to the early morning. Since then, much of my clarity has returned and I can focus on tasks again such as typing this. So looking back, lack of sleep was definitely the biggest culprit. Also, multiple injuries kept me from exercising and my ever-amassing workload kept me from leaving the house/studio very often. No bueno.

I started this particular piece some time ago and put it on the back burner. In hindsight, I suppose I had a hard time getting back to it because it reminded me of all the frustrating roadblocks I was going through that would lead to this end result. Also, more and more time was lapsing since my last series while I conceptualized, sketched and accumulated materials for upcoming large scale and longer-term projects. I'm excited about the upcoming work, but it doesn't provide the satisfaction achieved by a timely completion.

Something weird happens if I don't paint for a month or so. As each day passes it get's harder and harder to get back into it. Fears start to creep in and the self introspection and questioning arises that, unfortunately for me, tends to lean on the darker side. Compound that with the frustration of the business side of art and other hindrances that cloud inspiration and fuel procrastination and I soon begin to over-analyze everything to the point of exhausting apathy. It gets easier to ignore your fears and handle life's boring, sometimes mindless tasks instead of delving back inside your own head to confront everything that's been bottling up and still waiting for you there.

Although I do often enjoy art-making, for the most part it's extremely stressful. The sketching and conceptual side and the gratification of finishing are really the only parts that don't make my stomach seize up and riddle my mind with anxiety. It's not relaxing in any way to constantly confront your fears and analyze, evaluate and dissect yourself and what you put into this world. No happy little trees over here (RIP Bob Ross). That said, I know that being hard on yourself and forcing unrealistic pressures into your daily life is stupid, pointless, and nothing but a self-induced sword over your head, but it's all I know and in the end is the reason my ideas actually come to fruition.

So, I've learned a few things in writing out these thoughts. It's best to never stop producing, try your best not to be hard on yourself, and sleeping is really fucking important.


While Visiting said...

Wow man. This is one of the most interesting expressions I've read. I often have wondered how the speed of modern day life has put additional pressure on artists I mean, it's never been easy to make time to express ones thoughts, the time invested has never added up to the price. Nowadays, technology has put a tighter demand on one's time, making art even more expensive to produce. It could be that and the 30's, coming into the peak of career.

Anyway, you've done it and its amazing. Congrats on your achievements. Its incredible all you've been able to experience and learn on your journey; personal and family wise. It's great you're taking the time to acknowledge it and share it.

Thanks man, I'm REALLY appreciating it.

Anonymous said...

These paintings are radical!

Your acute observations and critical thought on each artistic endeavor speaks lucidly. I empathize entirely and agree wholeheartedly with the "self-induced" theoretical breakdown of the imposed stress, anxiety and fear associated with each new project.

Your continued success as a productive human being coexisting on this cosmic plain shines brilliantly here.

Congrats on the righteous work!

Daryll Peirce said...

Thank you While Visiting (Dan). I love your attachment of "expensive" to the time it takes to produce the work. I never really looked at it that way. Obviously it's something I need to do, if nothing else, for my own therapeutic release. But it's true, that in this age and especially in this city where every minute spent is about the dollar needing to be earned, it does get expensive to "use up" time to explore your thoughts and write them out if need be. It takes away from the money earned, but without it, creativity would be lost and I suppose you'd end up simply re-hashing what others have created in some form or another. That said, time gets even more expensive and pressures more overbearing when it means not only taking your "free" time from your work, but also from your family.

Daryll Peirce said...

Thanks Anonymous (Gurz). Your comment is most appreciated. It's a bit strange as I begin to toss my innermost thoughts out into the ether and though I used to be much more introverted with my darker side, I'm realizing there's some folks out there who can relate and maybe find solace in someone else going through the same.