The "Family Photo" Project
A couple of days ago I heard the howl of the Black Dog in the distance. How well do I know that mournful sound! “I’m coming for a visit” he barks incessantly and I know full well that there is nothing to be done but to wait for his arrival. He arrived yesterday morning at my bedside and licked my face in greeting. No words can describe how much I hate the bastard but the more I hate him the longer he stays so I pretend to love him. Through the years, since my teenage days in fact, I have tried every trick in book to banish the fiend. Drugs of every description have been tried unsuccessfully. Alcohol, cannabis, Beta blockers, Valium, Zopiclone, uppers and downers of every description all to no avail. So now I pat him on the head and say “good doggy”. The Black Dog always brings gifts. Depression, anxiety, sadness, darks thoughts that I won’t mention and other little irritants like anger and morbidity are dropped at my feet as he wags his miserable tail. This is his first visit for many months and possibly even for a year or two so I am prepared to play his game. Embrace him, pat him on his head, scratch his ears and he soon gets bored. Take him for a walk, mow the lawn, eat well, get dressed and try to stay away from the darkened room. Avoid drugs. Concentrate. Practice patience. Meditate. It is a game but a deadly serious one because the Black Dog is a killer. A ruthless, unbiased killer. I encourage you to talk about him to your friends and family and not to hold onto the Black Dogs lead in silence. Ignore the Hound from Hell’s greatest and most lethal weapon. Stigma. People who judge you are ignorant of this illness and need to be educated because the truth is simple. Depression can be managed very successfully with the correct support and understanding. Hang in there my fellow bi-polarites, you are not alone. And now I have a painting to finish. The funny thing is that as I type this I can sense that the Black Beast from Hades is getting bored.
So now I’ve darkened the outside with blue/black and done some corrections to the markings on the forehead. I have also darkened the outline of the subject as I thought the centre of the painting was a bit dull. I now have a good likeness of Max and unless I get a bit carried away (it happens) I should end up with something quite presentable. When everything is dry, which should be overnight, I can sit down tomorrow and do some serious decorating with my 0000 brush and some colour. As mentioned, Cerulean blue is an option but what about gold?. If Gold is the choice then I will first have to use white as gold on black is too dark. Gold on white is nice and bright. Keep watching
I have kept on with the edges and lightening them up a bit as I proceed. I have also started touching Max’s face with grey and cerulean blue. This is always the hard part of any painting I do. Patience. Keep going. I am thinking about darkening the outer edge with a deep blue black and then perhaps using a cerulean blue dot matrix on top of it. Sounds like gibberish but keep watching.