Introduction - art and chronic illness
Ok, so an introduction!
I have #migraine and draw during attacks (usually during the pro- or post- drome phases). Migraine can do strange things to your brain. My body changes size and shape, I'm covered in bees, I speak or write gibberish, I can't read, I look at objects and do not understand what they are, I see kaleidoscopic colour shows, patterned objects gently undulate. I lose track of a sense of self and reality.
Drawing grounds me while my mind is fragmenting and helps put the pieces back together. I start always with simple lines, repetitive movements and patterns that gradually become something I recognize. Even if I do not recognize myself, the ritual of drawing soothes me and points a way forward.
I'm also a #scientist and I like to think that my fascination with plants (at all scales) shows up in the organic shapes and almost-repetitive patterns of my art.
I always start with #pencil and #paper because the scratchy smooth resistance of graphite across the page is part of the sensory centring drawing provides me. I transfer the original pencil to #ink because I like the stronger contrast and I love to redo a drawing and see something different.
Here's the original pencil for "Crone," a drawing of a very old lady with very tall hair. When I redrew it I saw a volcano.
the combination of extraordinary light sensitivity and vertigo that gets worse when I close my eyes is uniquely terrible.
Combined with the blasting music and assholes revving their fancy engines outside, I'm basically in a nightmare.
I really need to clean up the huge mess I made today, but I'm actually just sitting here with a bundle of packaging and recycling on my lap wondering if I'm gonna puke.
Did I mention I really don't like #migraine?
Michelle Hinebrook is doing stuff with glass these days. I really liked her abstract painting period though.
Sometimes a migraine is like the ocean, ebbing and flowing in intensity, but constantly there.
That is how it's been since Sunday. I've taken triptans twice and am loath to take them again. I ration them because they are expensive and increase susceptibility to attacks.
Last night was difficult, but today the tide was so far out I managed some simple work.
Bedtime now and hope to wake tomorrow with no pain at all.
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