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Contemporary woman artist's psychological collage self-portrait done in blue-grayish tones.  The woman's eyes are downcast.  Face shown in a profile tilted downward.  The painting's background created from an assortment of various paper products that usually get recycled or discarded.
**click portrait to enlarge**
(collage painting on cardboard, 16X20, 2004)

"Feeling Blue"

Ever since I discovered painting at the age of four I became restless when I couldn't get my hands on paintbrushes for a while. i remember as a child looking forward to sitting down to paint like one might look forward to spending time with her best friend after a long absence. For decades I felt that art represented everything happy and positive in this world and I just couldn't perceive that it could one day become an outlet for me to express my sadness.

In late February of 2004 I lost Val. We were together for years. It was turbulent. We eventually split up, but never lost a connection that only people who were truly in love with each other can have. I remember a party about a year after our break up when a friend came up to us and said that he couldn't believe that a perfect couple like us were no longer together. "We don't have to be physically together to be still together," Val replied. ...and that's how it remained until one fateful morning when I got a phone call informing me that he was in a car accident. I was at his side within an hour and I remained there for four days until he died. Watching somebody that you care about slowly die is one of the most terrifying experiences a person can go through in their lifetime. I was broken after that.

Life was just a monotonous existence filled with overwhelming sadness and guilt. Everything reminded me of him. I went to work, I came home and I slept. I knew I had to change something. At one point I remembered my grandma saying that back in the old times people with depression (or any other mental ailments) were cured through work. In special sanatoriums they were kept busy to a point that they didn't have enough time to think about how they feel. I just knew that it would work for me if only I can make myself paint again. I sat in front of a canvas for hours, but nothing came to me. I picked up a magazine and started reading. That didn't go so well either. I ripped a few pages out and tore them into little pieces out of frustration. Lethargically I played around with the torn pieces in front of me and all of a sudden I got inspired. The grays from some car ad and the blues from a vacation getaway ad became a grayish-blue reflection of my feelings. That's how "Feeling Blue" came into existence. It's a sad painting, but for me it was the first step to getting better.

"Learn how to suffer and you shall be able not to suffer."
The Acts of John

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry."
Gabriel Garcia Marquez