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The Story Behind...Dark Days

 

As 2020 trudges on, I've spent most days with a level of increased anxiety and depression. Understandable for a lot of us, I think.

I'm blessed...I have a day job that pays the bills, since art shows and markets are close to nil (which is where most of my art sales come from). I have friends I've stayed in touch with, whether a video call or socially distanced hang out on someone's porch. I have my wonderful dog, Max, who is a point of physical touch (he loves being petted) and brings great joy, as only a dog can in one's life. He's also good exercise, as we go for about 3 walks a day (something we did before the pandemic).

So, I feel lucky, as many people are far worse off with this pandemic and other events going on. I can not imagine losing my job, etc at a time like this.

All of that said, I still have my stressors; things that existed before and have only been amplified by the pandemic. Plus, I lost a loved one to COVID-19 in April.

Which brings me to Dark Days. This abstract came about because the pandemic has brought my clinical depression back up to the surface and I've struggled at times. I have good weeks and bad ones. I haven't had such severe depressed days since more than 10 years ago, when I was in therapy for my depression and PTSD.

The abstract started on a particularly rough day...I knew it was important to pour my emotions and struggle into some art. A black and white abstract seemed the best way...combining the neutral color white with black, which would represent depression. Knowing I'd end up with various shades of gray as they blended was important, as gray can represent numbness and also the degree of depression shifting through out the day or week.

I decided on a strong texture for this, unlike the more oil painting feel I give a lot of my work. I wanted a sense of depth and cracked concrete within. All of it was meant to show how we can stand firm in tough times, even if scarred and cracked a bit from life.

2020 is the kind of year (and it's only July!) I could not have imagined (could any of us?). I am hopeful we'll all get through it, and the future will be better for the lessons learned and changes made. Dark Days is meant to capture how difficult this year is, and acknowledge the hard days we've all faced.