Depression Awareness Series
October is the National Depression Education and Awareness Month. In 2017, I began sharing paintings that were made during depression-challenged times in my life. Recurring themes are a dark color palette, drowning womxn, and eels. I sell limited, signed prints of these pieces at conventions — and from those sales, 50% of the proceeds are donated to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
You are not alone.
Thalassophobia — (thalassa: “sea”, phobos: “fear”) is an intense and persistent fear of the sea, or sea travel. That is the word that inspired this painting.
Since I was a child, I have been afraid of swimming in large bodies of water. The vast, murky emptiness below is threatening. For me, depression is very much like that. I’m far away from land, and the only thing keeping me afloat is increasingly sluggish kicks of my own legs.
I made this during a dark period of my life. Like the other piece, I don’t plan these at all — I just sit down and paint until it feels done.
Everything that makes life worth living, the brightness, the joy, and the triumph, is escaping. The original version of this painting was made back in college, during the darkest period of my life. My technical ability has since improved, and I decided to revisit this concept here.
While painting this I felt a profound sense of gratitude. I reflected back on the experience that caused this — and I am glad that I am so well now.