Over the last few years I have suffered from clinical depression. For a while it was very severe and it was difficult to do any of the things I would normally enjoy. During this period one of the things that helped me cope was taking up painting miniatures, something I hadn’t done since I was a pre-teen. The active but somewhat mindless state I could get in while painting helped me to relax a bit and even if I wasn’t capable of enjoying myself, I felt like I was doing something I had been meaning to do for years and at least being a little creative.
Sometimes it was too hard to do any painting and I have to thank my best friend Olaf, co-author of this blog, for always encouraging me and reminding me that it helped.
I’m doing a lot better these days than I was then, but I still find I succumb to “painter’s block” for long periods – I feel unable to actually start painting, even though I keep making plans to do so. “This weekend I’ll definitely get my paints out of the box” I’d say, then find some reason not to. I’m fond of telling people “try doing something for 5 minutes and then letting yourself stop if you want”. It’s good advice for overcoming mental blocks, but it’s also very hard advice to follow sometimes.
Anyway yesterday I overcame the block and actually painted a miniature, the fancypants Fer de Lance of the Southern Republic, from Heavy Gear Blitz by Dream Pod 9. If history is any guide then I’ll probably paint several more in the coming weeks/months, and it will be as therapeutic as it always has been.
Here it is, and there’s more pics after the fold.
I think it’s fairly clear in this last shot that my painting style has changed a bit! I’m going higher contrast these days and working a little quicker and perhaps a little sloppier too. I’m not a very good painter at all but I’m always happy with what I do in the end, which is something I know a lot of painters out there would like to feel. I’m envious of their skill and style and I guess quite a few of them might be envious that I never really feel disappointed in the finished product. I know a lot of people are real hard on themselves and that’s probably a factor that helps them improve more than I ever will.