Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pushing Through the Pain

I am a stubborn person. It's just the way I am and I am sure it frustrates my fiance to no end. It's just that when I get an idea in my head, it is really hard to get me to stray from what I think is right. So when my wrist and hand started hurting on Saturday, I did what I usually did...I worked while in pain. I know it doesn't make sense since I have tendonitis in both wrists, elbows, and shoulders and it tends to get exacerbated by excessive use, but I didn't want to stop. I wanted to get as much work done and meet my deadline. I was stubborn. Now I am in major pain.

So what do you do when you're in major pain but have a huge deadline looming? I took a day off and then got right back on the saddle again the next day, even though I was still in pain, even though people kept telling me to rest. Like I said, I'm stubborn.

Now that I have been painting for a few days while in pain, I am starting to wonder: Is it worth it? Is completing my deadline worth wrecking my body? I think the answer is pretty obvious but I'm sure that I am not the first artist who has put her health on the line just to complete a painting. So why do we do it? Why do artists continually put their health on the line by doing such things as not having adequate ventillation? Or  not wearing gloves? Or working to the point that our body starts to fall apart? Is it sheer stubborness or blind devotion to our art? I'm sure it's a little of both, at least it is for me.
I have slowly coming to the realization that if I don't take care of my physical (and mental) health, then I'm not going to be around long and I won't be creating anything if I am dead or handicapped. You would think that this would be an obvious thing to realize, but when I'm working on something that I feel so passionately about and want to get finished, it's hard to remember that. My health just isn't a priority, like it should be and that is ridiculous. Nothing is more important than my health. NOTHING. So what am I going to do now? I'm going to take it easy and rest my wrist and hand. I'm going to wear my brace religiously even though I hate doin it. I am going to do what I need to in order to take better care of my body. In short, I'm going to take care of ME. 

Images: "Beach Chair", 16" x 16", oil and encaustic wax on panel
"Reading" 12" x 12", oil and encaustic wax on panel.
"On Leave", 12" x 12", oil and encaustic wax on panel.

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