The Art Of Obsession

When I was a young fresh faced seventeen year old country girl, starting out at my first job, as  draftsperson / graphic artist, in the big city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia I came to know an older draftsman whose name was Brem. Like so many in our field he was an artist who loved to paint.

I remember we’d often discuss art and our methods, likes and dislikes. He was like an artist mentor to me and I enjoyed our often lengthy discussions. When I think back to that time I always remember him stating that, to him, painting and the creative process was addictive, so much so that it was like a drug that he must control and at times stay away from. At the time I didn’t quite understand what he meant, as we were both passionate about our art but I had never felt the feeling he was describing or had I and not recognised it as he did?

My inquisitive mind got the better of me so I questioned him further to understand what exactly he was talking about. He described that when he took on a painting or creative project he felt obsessed and consumed by the work, rarely stopping to eat or drink, driven by the need to have it all out on paper or canvas while it was still there fresh and clear in his mind. The work invaded his sleep and took over his dreams and would not let him live a normal life until it was out from his inner sight and there in front of him for all to see. During the process he ignored his family, shut himself away and nothing else mattered until he was finished!

A few years later it was for all those reasons, an illness and his love of his God and family, that Brem one day decided that he would no longer paint. I was greatly saddened by his decision, it was a great sacrifice for him to make but he stuck to it and I don’t believe he ever painted again. The decision was like a little death, painting was his passion and his obsession, it consumed him and now it was no more.

What sort of pressure is there to make us choose something that hurts our very being?

Sometimes our own insecurity or guilt drive us to read a situation and make a choice that is not good for us, but will be for those we love.

Me on the other hand, I continued with my technical drawing at work and I would sketch and paint when I could but work took over my life and I didn’t paint or create seriously for many years, until about three years ago, when I became obsessed.

The Art Of Obsession
A-tishoo Toilet Tissue Can You Spare A Square by Joan Stratton

By Joan Stratton

Paintings By Joan - Art & Design By Joan P Stratton. I live in the tropical far north, Cape York, Queensland, Australia. My beautiful home and country is the inspiration for my art. I began my working career in Melbourne, as a trainee in graphic art, technical drawings and drafting for a mining and engineering company. With the diversity of work available to me, I gained vast experience with all manner of mediums prior to the advent of computers. In the mid '80s, as a side-line to my permanent employment, I designed and prepared artwork for record covers (Albums, Eps), promotional ads and flyers for rock bands that marketed their music independently. I see myself as a mixed media artist, I love every medium and they all call to me at one time or another. I love to create calms me, completes me and takes me away to colour, brush and creativity. Whether putting that brush to paper, canvas or using a digital brush, my mind is totally captured by the piece I am producing.

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1 month ago

First, I had to say I love your bio!
Obsession… So many of us obsess over something…. Whether it be painting, collecting, or just little parts of life. It can become an addiction and, if allowed to, it takes over your world.
I think he was very brave to tackle his.
Thank you for posting!

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