Some paintings just jump out of my fingers as if I’m simply the channel through which they’re born. Others take true labor, enormous consideration, and months of adjustment until they are done. Witness I Felt Like the One on the Left.

As the title suggests, it represents how I felt in the last few years of marriage. On the right, we see a healthy tree, represented by whites, coppers, and light luminescent glass tiles (leaves — but you got that, didn’t you)? The smaller tree on the left looks unhealthy, struggling to survive. The red represents wounds but also anger and passion. The yellow and gray are, to me, about the ugliest pairing of colors imaginable, so they fit right in. There are far fewer leaves, and they are dark brown, dead, barely clinging on to branches. The background is heavily layered paints — black, blue, red, green — and the entire painting has a high gloss varnish with the exception of the tree on the left which has been kept matte to represent dull sickness.

I’m relieved to be finished with it. Unlike, say Fizz!, this painting wasn’t a whole lot of fun to paint. But it pretty much sums up how I felt about myself for a few years, and I’m glad it’s out of my system.