Damn, it's good to write and paint and think about depression when I'm not actually depressed! All of the romanticism of depression and 'mental illness' in general particularly in association with the arts seems to paint a much more exciting image than that of lived experience. Typically when I am in the deeper end of depression (and often during any overwhelming emotion, including anger) all I want to do is sleep. I notice my dreams become more vivid and my dreams even feel more 'real' and relevant than my waking life. Writing this now I realize it sounds conspicuously similar to the plot line of 'The indian in the cupboard' (which was one of my favorite books my mom read to me as a kid.) This painting was done from life and the model actually appeared very content and at peace, the lighting had a gorgeous ethereal quality. But somehow this piece came very clearly to embody very particular aspects of depression for me. A very heavy impenetrable-seeming quiet. Blank endless expanse without meaning. Grey on grey on grey on grey. Why move? Why choose this or that? I can't tell you how many days I have slept through while the world outside hummed and moved and chose things and did stuff and it really did not seem to matter that I was not out there being a part of it- because I didn't really feel like a part of it anyway.
'The Daytime Sleepers' 22" x 15" Oil on Arches Archival Paper