During the last holiday season, I felt an inexplicable fear of being in the company of humans. The virus I couldn’t shake, might have had something to do with it, but the fear was palpable. The ceiling in my home seemed lower than usual and the rooms, smaller. I could hear nagging mantras and was sure I could be seen through curtained windows. Swirling images appeared in my dreaming and waking state, and as I captured what I could see with pencil and paper, the fear began to subside. Now, in the painting process, the story of the experience is beginning to reveal itself.
Creatives live with waxing and waning feelings of inadequacy. Many of us have fits of anxiety right before a reception or a performance but … imagine feeling that you’re being judged and evaluated all the time. This is the plight of people who suffer with social anxiety disorder. Though their fears are irrational, they carry constant feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and/or depression. Living in a sea of such misperception can cause people to develop a rigid body posture, a way of being in the world … but not present to it, a kind of "curling up to die" withdrawal. Their very challenging path makes it difficult for them to hear the inner divine and loving voice, that is in each of us, that guides us in manifesting our true selves.
Though a babe from Brooklyn, brought up to suck-it-up and get on with it, I recognize the difference between whining and this terrible, debilitating, disorder. I hope that when this painting is complete, it will accurately convey to the viewer, that awful fear of constant judgement and stimulate compassion for those who suffer with social anxiety disorder.
Below are a few early progress shots of this watercolor on wood. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram, where I’ll post the finished painting, and it’s key, during the first week of March.