Gifts and being broken…

When I am having financial issues like I am right now, it makes me feel bad that I cannot give to other people the way I would like.  As we just passed the holiday season, it was very difficult for me.  I did come up with gifts for my family, but they were not bought, except with my own sweat.  Here’s the drawing I gave my Mom:

I hope that the detail on this comes out decently.  This drawing took me somewhere close to 100 hours to complete.  Granted, that was, at least in part, due to my lack of ability to concentrate.

I don’t draw as much as I should because my perfectionism comes out in force when I do.  I have never drawn based on something directly in front of me.  I draw from pictures.  I also paint from pictures, although I will sometimes paint from ideas in my head.  The drawings and paintings never come out looking like the pictures (although the drawings are much closer).  I use graphite and colored pencil for drawing, and acrylics, watercolor, and watercolor pencil for painting.  I also paint ceramics.

Many people look at that list and think I must be talented.  I’m not horribly talented, I just cannot settle on one thing.  I think that might be a manifestation of my disorder.  I know that many talented artists over the years have been studied and doctors and anthropologists have decided that they most likely suffered from one mood disorder or another.  I wonder how many of them worked in multiple media?  How many of the great scientists so declared worked in multiple fields?  Are these great artists and inventors simply people that could not settle on just one thing?

Maybe we, as a society, need to give up the idea that a person has to do one thing for the rest of their life.  We are moving toward that idea due to changing times, job markets, etc.  How many people truly believe, though, that it is okay for a person to change fields multiple times in a career?   How many people insult others when they cannot decide on a major in college?  How often do you insult yourself for changing yourself, your ideals, your self-concept, and your behaviors (whether healthy or not)?  Even when we get healthier, we have a tendency to look down on ourselves for not doing it or seeing it sooner.

Take a moment today, look at the art you have created in your life.  The bright spots, the dark spots, even the blurry and out-of-focus parts and allow yourself to admire the overall picture.  No, it’s not perfect.  It is you, though.  Take that picture with you into the future, cleaning up the areas you can, shining a light on the dark areas, and reveling in the beauty of you.

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~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on February 1, 2012.

3 Responses to “Gifts and being broken…”

  1. Love this! Great job hon!

  2. IMHO a gift isn’t about how much you spend, or its tangibility. It’s about the thought. And…knowing the amount of time you put into that drawing, I am sure your mother treasures it as the beautiful gift it is. I would. It is amazing.

    • Thank you so much for your kindness and compliments!

      Orannia, my Mom actually told me she was thrilled to get it. My brother and his partner received a ceramic trivet that I had painted. The cool thing was that it matched their dining room perfectly. Since I had no idea of the colors they had, it was serendipitous. Everyone I know loves hand-made gifts, but it still makes me feel like they aren’t enough. I guess I should start counting the time I put in as though I was at work. Then maybe I might feel better about it.

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