Spotlight Sunday [Steve]

This weeks Spotlight Sunday will be about the painting Steve. Steve was painted alongside Catherine and Liz so I decided to cover all three this month. I wanted to cover a topic this week that was relevant to the thoughts I had when painting back in April. These three paintings are about a range of themes because I would often think things through while working.

Steve: A3 Drawing inks on perspex

Green is always a difficult colour to work with when it comes to drawing inks. The green tones are usually washy which means the colour isn’t as defined as my other paintings. To counteract this I will either use a blue or a yellow acrylic ink to create a bolder colour that has more depth. Steve is a combination of both the blue and yellow in the one painting. The yellow ink is effective in small amounts because it doesn’t dry as fast as the drawing inks and sometimes has a tacky surface that repels the ink from my pens. Over time I have learnt what is the optimal amount of yellow to use to avoid this effect.

Steve was one of the first paintings that I wasn’t as careful when creating all three at the same time. Each painting has specks of colour that it picked up from the others during the creation. I use will use my brush flick ink into the form so the colour can bleed into it creating new tones. Steve was beside Liz when he was created so there are plenty of pink streaks that have crossed over. This relationship that the paintings share was not something that had happened before but over time I have become fond of the process.

Steve has a theme that has become very relevant for me this past week. I take into account what people think far too much, sometimes to a unhealthy amount. During April I would work hard during the day and then in the evening I would play a video game called Destiny. I get consumed by both my art and video games and it can become an obsession quickly. This is most likely because I am on the autistic spectrum and is usually referred to as a special interest. This means I seek information about Destiny and get sucked into playing in my down time. The problem is I feel guilty for playing video games. I know it has a social stigma in society and I am aware to what extent I can use it as ammunition against myself.

Video games are enjoyable to me because they’re a social activity which removes the issues face-to-face interaction can create. I work together with my friends with a common goal in mind and we enjoy ourselves and laugh. The social aspect is what brings me back. Despite all this I still feel an incredible amount of guilt for doing so. I feel like I should be doing something more productive with my time even though I am truly enjoying myself. Its a typical thing to hear someone say I shouldn’t care what people think but it can sometimes become a problem in a world were social media can be a barrage of opinions, adding millions of voices to your own self doubt.

This week Pokémon Go came out in the UK. Anybody who knows me personally will know how much I love the franchise as a whole. I have been playing since the 90’s with the first generation of games so I was very excited to get my hands on a new addition to the universe. I have been out on numerous walks catching Pokemon with friends and by myself. Despite having a great time once again I feel an incredible amount of guilt for doing so. I haven’t come to terms with allowing myself to enjoy my life without ridiculing myself, and it’s hard to deny that this behaviour is self destructive. Realising that I do it to such an extent is hopefully the starting point to making a change.

Steve became the embodiment of guilt where guilt had no place. I have no reason to feel guilty for enjoying myself and deep down I know that. My paintings give me a sense of clarity and Spotlight Sunday is becoming a reflection of how I felt during the time the painting was being made compared to where I am in my life now. My work is ever evolving and developing into something new and exciting. Steve is a reminder to myself to go out and do whatever it is that makes you happy, even if that means you are a 23 year old man enjoying a game that is designed for kids. This isn’t just a reminder to me but everyone out there that feels guilty for enjoying anything in life.

After writing this I have decided I will go out on this sunny Sunday afternoon and I will spend time enjoying myself for once and I urge you to do the same. Mental health can get better if you work on it.

Steve is available in A4 Print on 120 gsm fine art grade paper in the MessyMiscreation store:


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