Addiction #1 Series

Addiction #1 Series. Doug Yelmen. Photoshop. 09-02-05. Royalty Free Stock. "Sad Girl" Photographer Varina Hinkle Dreamstime.com and Needle and Spoon Photographer Webking (Addiction) @ Dreamstime.com. Lower Left: Goya, Francisco Saturn (Detail). c. 1821-1823. 146 x 83 cm. Oil on remounted canvas. Courtesy of ARTChive . I'd like to mention iStockPhoto also.

Artist's comments: I think there are many addictions. Heroin is but one. Alcoholism is a huge problem in this country/world. I feel I must also add that cigarettes kill more people than any other drug. Still other addictions are food, relationships, sex, gambling, and the list goes on and on. Living in addiction (and with addiction) can be like living in hell, or as Thantalus, "who stands in a pool of water with fruit all around him, yet can never quench his thirst or hunger." The River Styx.net

There are parallels between addiction and creativity. Linda Schierse Leonard writes in Witness to the Fire: Brevity & the Veil of Addiction "“The relationship between addiction and creativity, as I see it, is not causal. Rather, there is a parallel process occurring in the psyche of that addict and the creative person. Both descend into chaos, into the unknown underworld of the unconscious. Both are fascinated by what they find there. Both encounter death, pain, suffering. But the addict is pulled down, often without choice, and is held hostage by addiction; the creative person chooses to go down into that unknown realm, even though the choice may feel destined. …But once in the realm of the underworld mysteries, they must eventually choose to find form and meaning from the chaos and to return to life and society."
Witness to the Fire: Creativity & the Veil of Addiction. Linda Schierse Leonard (xv-xvi).

For me, it is a bit more complicated. I am in recovery, and I am living a creative and spiritual life style, but I also have a diagnoses of PTSD and Major Depression. As Stephen Still sings in "Soldier"

"It's not over
It'll never be over for you
It's not over
Till they stop playing war with you,
Soldier, Soldier"

Yet, while my art is dark, and my Vietnam experience and alcoholic recovery gives me plenty of fuel for creativity, I also know that my art work is beautiful in its own way, and that I know things at a deeper level than I would if I had not have these "crosses to bear."

What does this mean to you, the viewer? Perhaps hope. Perhaps validation. Perhaps compassion. Perhaps just viewing art.

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