Back pain

Terri

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I didn't intend for this to turn into a series, but what started 6 years ago as what I thought was a kind of minor back pain turned into a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease and scoliosis.

Prior to the MRIs that diagnosed all that, I was wrestling with what I came to call my Pain Demon. He would rear his ugly head and torment me in my lower back. Sitting, standing, bending, whatever - the little SOB was there to stab me.

It got bad enough that I stepped away from my first love, photography, because I couldn't carry my backpack of lenses, toy cameras and other paraphernalia. So, I took up oil pastels as a way to hand color B&W prints, then decided to just try to paint.

This is my first painting of the Pain Demon in 2017. Mungyo Gallery oil pastels on 12x16" Arches oil paper. I always paint him as ugly, diseased, with pukey salmon flesh covered with sores.

Back Pain 1.jpg



I did this one last year, a different style. (Anyone who is familiar with Picasso can see my little tributes in this one.) ;) But the Pain Demon is still there. I realized later that I'd drawn him only slightly differently, but the eyes and the rage are the same.


Back pain II, final.jpg




Here is the most recent. This one came after my last visit to my orthopedic, who'd done another x-ray and informed me blandly that my scoliosis had gotten worse. He got up to go write an Rx for muscle relaxers or something, and left me alone with the x-ray showing on the laptop screen. I looked at it closely and felt such betrayal, since I exercise and do yoga, all the crap they told me to do.

I felt like the Pain Demon was dominating me at that moment and it was hopeless. So this painting came from that, and in fact I call it Demon Rising. Here he is not enraged but feeling rather smug.


Demon rising.jpg



Thanks for looking!
 
O my. What a beautiful pieces and brilliant mind. Im not taking any side bcz all the three looks good.
 
Wow Terri, what powerful paintings! I love these! I am especially drawn to the Picasso-inspired one aesthetically, but they all speak to me as someone who lives with a LOT of back pain, and leg pain/weakness too, as I have some similar issues. I actually have a weird kind of Lupus that effects my neurological system, but on top of that, I have a degenerative spine/disc issue (I don't even remember which or understand it) but it's called something degenerative Spondylosis? Anyway, I'm always in pain.

I have some similar kinds of art, maybe I can post it, but I may have already posted it in the past and maybe it will bore people.

But these are so inspiring and sing to my heart. I also think it's good that you have separated your pain into a demon and not taken it on as a part of you, ya know what I mean?

What are the mediums and sizes of the second two?

Did I mean how much I love these? ♥️ ♥️ ♥️
 
crap, that is good whack at showing one's feelings .. very nice work Terri
Yeah, sometimes you just have to upchuck all over your keyboard to get your point across, eh? :ROFLMAO: Thank you, Wayne!
 
Arty, I think these are all done on the same paper, which is Arches oil paper. 12x16" pad. My fave paper with oil pastels, it's nice and heavy.

They are all oil pastels, likely some Prismacolor pencils for details. I usually use a cheaper brand for a base layer and spread/blend with Turpenoid, then start new layers with the better quality op's, usually containing higher amounts of oil that glide nicely. The last two are likely more Neopastels and Sennelier, especially on finishing layers.

I didn't know you had back issues too. 😕 It can be a challenge to stand in front of that easel, can't it?

I'm so happy you like them! Thanks for the kind words! ❤
 
I've been standing over my drafting table, which is so stupid. I could be sitting, but either way it hurts. I take a lot of breaks, like right now. ;)
 
I stand, too - I find it easier. I used to sit at this old drafting table when I did a lot of hand coloring; the photo oils do better on prints lying flat. Now I have a table easel set up on it and have leveled it out.

Still have a really nice chair, with decent support. The cats love it!
 
Yeah, I have to move and stretch and reach all over the place. The chair is useless.
 
These paintings really made an impact, Terri. So much emotion in them! I'm sorry you have to live with pain but I can kind of relate. I've been dealing with chronic daily migraines for over ten years now. Needless to say, my art life took a nose dive! I named and painted my headache a few years ago. It was a hideous thing that ended up looking like an evil, possessed, television - in flames,haha I never posted it or shared it because it was so bizzare but it felt good to put a face to the monster I live with. Eventually I took him out to the burn pit in our yard and torched him. 😁 Keep up the great paintings and I hope you get some relief!
 
Donna, thank you so much for the kind words. I'm glad you like the work, but sorry that you can relate because of your migraines! 😞

I think it's fascinating how some of us with chronic pain issues are able to objectify it in this way. My pain demon sounds like your headache demon. I hope sending him up in ashes was helpful. But I think I would have liked your painting, too - it sounds amazing.
 
Wow, what the powerful pieces you did!!! I love them! That reminds me of an artist named Frida Kahlo from Mexico. Her back was destroyed in an accident and often had to lay in bed for a long time, so her family built an easel she can use while she was bedridden. She made a lot of impactful pieces as well, expressing her 'hidden' pain. Her life story and her art always send shivers through my spine, pun intended.

I'm sorry that you have to live with the pain and wish I could say or do something to magically get rid of them for you, but on a bright side, you've created something powerful with your art. 💖
 
When you carry pain for a long time you somehow become comfortably numb. i dont feel my body anymore.:LOL:
 
Wow, what the powerful pieces you did!!! I love them! That reminds me of an artist named Frida Kahlo from Mexico. Her back was destroyed in an accident and often had to lay in bed for a long time, so her family built an easel she can use while she was bedridden. She made a lot of impactful pieces as well, expressing her 'hidden' pain. Her life story and her art always send shivers through my spine, pun intended.

I'm sorry that you have to live with the pain and wish I could say or do something to magically get rid of them for you, but on a bright side, you've created something powerful with your art. 💖
Thank you for saying all this, DM! You're very kind.

It's funny, I did have someone else once comment that the last one brought Frida Kahlo to their minds. What a compliment - her work is so beautiful, while still showing so much pain.

Thank you again, I'm very humbled. :)
 
When you carry pain for a long time you somehow become comfortably numb. i dont feel my body anymore.:LOL:
I once read that a method of pain management is to immerse yourself in something so you "forget" about it. I found that dismissive and mildly offensive - until I realized that it actually works, to a degree. There are days when nothing can make me forget the pain demon because he's too assertive, but then there are also days when I can shut him up to a dull roar. ;)

I hope it works like that for you, too, Lazarus. 💓
 
I once read that a method of pain management is to immerse yourself in something so you "forget" about it. I found that dismissive and mildly offensive - until I realized that it actually works, to a degree. There are days when nothing can make me forget the pain demon because he's too assertive, but then there are also days when I can shut him up to a dull roar. ;)

I hope it works like that for you, too, Lazarus. 💓
Work very well by far since i started to use that method. there are days that you forgive yourself and let thebody speak, but no more control over the mind. as you might know all pains are nerves problems.
 
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