This drawing takes some of the formal qualities from the abstract portion of my project– intertwining lines, blurred colors– and puts them together in a different way to create some more dynamic movement.
Migraines are strange things, and I’m never sure when I’m talking about them if people understand. Another student at SAIC when I was there did a series of paintings based on what her auras were during a migraine. They were very different from what I see/don’t see.
This drawing isn’t what I see during a migraine, but it is maybe a little bit how it feels, the desire to move into light and the reaction I feel for it. A feeling like there is a moving barrier between me and the world. It’s hard to describe. Wanting warmth, light, companionability, but knowing that all three are actually contraindicated by the nausea, pain, and visual artifacts that are coming.
In the last year I’ve heard a few NPR shows address migraines, how it is a little understood neurological problem. But one thing made a little lightbulb go off in my head. I think I heard it on the Dianne Rehm Show, was that it is caused not just by vascular issues, but by over-excited neurons firing too often and causing various symptoms: pain, nausea, moodswings, etc.
It was a revelation to me because I can sometimes tell I’m going to get a migraine a day in advance because I feel different. No pain, no aura, just… different. And it is similar to the feeling when the migraine medicines I sometimes have to take kick in: A sort of spinning calmness and sometimes a fluttery feeling of stillness and nervousness at once.
I hope you can feel some of that in this drawing.