“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder The Melt Down”
18X24 pen and ink on #120 manila stock
I consider this a study for a larger painting as well as a work of art in and of itself.
I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and I was asked to draw what a melt down
looks like from the inside. The drawing took every spare moment I could find for about
I would like to thank you a few folks .
and I have had a long standing running dialog on emotions in art that help bring me back to my root, expressing what I feel in my art. And expressing it in a very honest, basic and sometimes primal way.
Jeremiah Kauffman’s mother has been maintaining a page as a memorial to her beloved son. My dialog with mom has help me get along and continue to survivor. Jeremiah’s work has inspired me to return to a style and dedication to my work that I had not felt since high school. And again there is that word honest.
An old friend of mine used to tell me that my brain just fell out. I understand why she
said that but I feel she was wrong. She was one of those blessings that came into my life
that helpful me do a lot of healing. But on this on she was wrong, my brain does not fall
out of my head... it explodes with a great deal of energy.
The multiple tiers faces represents the many explosions of a melt down event escalating.
The main figure is Oceanic in origin and is part of my on going hunt for a metaphorical
Tahiti. But instead of a joyous smile, he is sucking in air in a gasp of breath at the
moment the last straw has broken the camels back. He is experiencing an adrenaline
rush that repeats itself in a surging vicious circle that feed on itself and escalates very
Each tier of faces is the next event in a rapidly escalating situation. The lips on these
faces are held tightly drawn and closed trying to hold in the primal scream. And any
moment in an extreme pulse of the flight or fight response they are libel to be ripped
open open in a many voiced bone vibrating scream of uncontrolled fury and fear. It is a
vicious circle that if I can not break out of, it grows into a monster feeding on itself.
The many eyes ears are because I become hyper-aware and overwhelmed with my
environment, while at the same time blind to much of it. You cannot see the woods for
all the trees.
I may not be able to find or identify the stapler on the desk, but I am aware of its teal
color and hard texture to the point it is often painful.
The ears are there because I am often overwhelmed with sound. It becomes both painful
The ears double as energy bursts that end up as lighting strikes. Many strike me but I can
strike out verbally at others around me or physically at things. This lack of impulse
control has caused me toemotionally hurt others or physically hurt myself. I harbor
real fears of this getting really out of control and doing real damage.
My blood pressure must get really high because my ears often have a pounding sound in
them. I often am extremely confused and find it difficult to speak rationally or make
sense of the world around me. Colors become so bright that they hurt and confuse me.
My hands hurt.
One face at the top left of the image is the observer. He is hiding behind the column of
the others. He has no control and cannot interrupt the event but he will punish me
cruelly with the memory of the event.
The three figures around the main figure are the boogley bugs. The boogley bugs come
from my Great Grandmother's friend/maid. She would talk about having to go out in the
field as a little girl and hunt down the evil boogley bugs and killing them so her family
would be able to eat. It was years before I understood that boogley bugs were real and
grand's friend had been hunting cotton boll weevils. By this time I had created a race in
Barbarana's world call the evil boogley bugs. The boogley bugs were greatly influenced
by the Australian Aboriginal dream-time paintings and the figures found there.
The boogley bugs are often part of the problem in that they say and do things to add to
But the boogley bugs are also often very judgmental and will punish me cruelly with the
memory of the event, my actions and misdeeds.
The background is the brownian motions chaos that is the background to all our world.