Rise – A Story of Madness

If  I were to start talking about this painting, and the time in which I created it, you’d think me mad. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. For about a month, I was completely mad.

Rise!

Already for some time my focus had completely shifted to THE WORLD….
What we are leaving behind.

How can anyone say they love their children while living life the way they do?
I was the most judgmental person in the world.
I was living and breathing judgment, and it drove me crazy.

There was lots of talking, social media chitchat, lots of despair, virtual despair, sad words, woe me,  while actual forests were being burnt down in order to reduce land value so one or another corporation could come in and buy it cheap,  build factories, make money with cheap labor, push animals into the  corner, more and more, always more, never enough. People using products of such companies while being really really sad about the state of  affairs in the world.

Hypocrisy everywhere.

Painting detail
(Painting detail)

Humans spreading, taking, wounded little egos, concerned with nothingness,  never looking at the big picture, never looking at the damage.. always  just thinking me, me, me…
I was sick and tired.

I was part of it all. I was no different. What was I doing that was so great?! Nothing.

I was on social media, sharing my artworks, wasting time instead of doing something real. Something concrete. I needed to do more.
So I started a new painting.

The whole thing took almost a month, during which my health deteriorated  rapidly. The despair was eating me up, I felt like I was dying, drying  up from the inside out, but that didn’t matter. I cried every once in a  while, felt like screaming, at the world, at all the people, it is hard to describe everything that was going on.

Painting detail
(Painting detail)

Once I was sitting in front of the painting, with tears in my eyes, feeling lost, asking myself what the hell I was doing, what difference does it make, when my son walked in. He looked at me, with sadness and understanding in his eyes, then he hugged me, without saying anything. I hugged him, then I continued painting.

Painting detail
(Painting detail)

When it was finished, I shared it online.

The feedback I received was… moderate.

Actually, it was less than nothing compared to the feedback I was used to receiving on almost any of my artworks.
I had given it everything, it felt so important, and then… nothing.

Silence.
Symbolical silence.

Maybe it was a bad time of day for making a post, maybe the stars weren’t aligned right, maybe it was the damn algorithms, or maybe… just maybe my painting was shit.

It had to be that last option.
Splendid.
A virtual slap in the face.

That’s what I get for thinking I was doing something meaningful.
I was obviously wasting my time.

And yet, each time in my life when that thought crossed my mind…
Why am I painting?
There are so many artists out there…
They got it covered.
There are billions of people… there are millions of artists…
Who needs me and my contribution…

…absolutely  each time such thoughts crossed my mind, and that was more than once or  twice, I would get a letter or something else. Some sort of message,  from someone, somewhere in the world, telling me how much my paintings  mean for them, or what a particular painting did for them, or someone  would appear, completely infatuated with my artworks, exactly in such a  moment, wanting to buy a painting….

The timing of these messages seemed like a sign, to not give up, and felt like that hug my son gave me.

 ❧

Looking back at the beginning of 2014, I was about to drown.
Everything comes in waves, everything comes in waves, everything comes in waves.
I kept comforting myself with the idea that this was just the bottom part of that wave, so Hey, things can only look up! Just hold on, it will be better soon.
Then something new would happen, pushing me down further…

Aha! It’s a test.  
Anyone can be the best version of themselves when things are easy and nice. It is the hard times when our true character is shown. Our very nature. I will not lose my composure, nor my mind, nor my resolve, my spirit. Never the spirit, no matter what. You lose your spirit, you become a zombie. You are dead before it’s your time to die.
Never lose your spirit.

I was holding my breath, wondering just how much longer I can survive without air.

And then, something miraculous happened…, but that’s a story for another time.


“Rise!” was meant to be “a trilogy” from the start.

The here presented painting, Rise I, was painted on a Cintiq, so it is a digital, hand-painted artwork. I don’t use filters or other handy digital tools, and especially not photos (except possibly as a reference, as with a painting of any medium).
Just a stylus.

The next piece followed almost a year later. Rise II was a drawing (graphite on paper).

Rise III hasn’t been painted yet,  but when I paint it, it will be done in acrylics or oil.

3 artworks, 3 stages, 3 mediums.