Art and Depression
This is a true story of how I became involved in the great world of painting.
I did the painting below a few weeks after Gerald's death. It is my tribute to a great artist and friend. Gerald helped me through a very difficult time in my life. He was very interested in many things known and unknown.
This is my small way of doing a memorial to him.
=========================================================I was going through a very difficult time in my life a few year's ago. I was in a very deep depression and could not see any light at the end of the tunnel. My life consisted of getting up, sitting and doing nothing and going back to bed for the night. I had been in this massive fog of depression for so long I had excepted this was the way my life would be forever. I had been to many doctors and tried different medications for my depression. I was hospitalized on numerous occasions. I had lost all interest in life as the huge waves of depression completely engulfed me.
In 1992 I met an artist through a mutual friend which helped me change my very existence and the way I viewed the world and everything in it! The artist I am speaking of is Gerald Byerley. I will simply say, "He was an angel of light sent to me by a Higher Power greater than anything I could ever comprehend!" This is a true story about me and my battle with depression and how with the care and patience's of one human being brought sunshine back into my life and soul.
Gerald would stop by two or three time a week to visit me where I lived in Knoxville,TN. We would talk about art. The other topic's of conversation would range from crop circles being formed in England, saving the environment, events happening around the world, history, movies, music and why each person is important. He would point out that every human being is a small piece of the giant puzzle which makes the world as we know it. Every piece of the puzzle is very important!
I will have to say I dreaded his visits at first. I just wanted to be alone. One day he brought me a sketch pad and charcoal. He ask me to sketch anything I wanted to do and we would discuss my sketches on his next visit. Later he brought me paints, canvas and brushes. Months came and went and I looked forward to his visits.
I would go with him and his art friends to art museums in Knoxville and surrounding areas. Socializing was very foreign to me. He and his friends had a calming and relaxing effect on me. I soon looked forward to our outings. The endless hours of discussing art in coffee houses in the 'old city' district of Knoxville became a happy stability in my life.
The fog of depression deep in me and surrounded my whole being began to slowly lift. Instead of seeing the world in different shade's of gray and gloom, I began to see the world with a burst of brilliant color and optimism. I look forward to each new day, and I have been painting ever since!
Several years have gone by and Gerald has since passed away. He was not only a friend but also my mentor and teacher. He is missed by many in the art world!
Gerald liked the way I mixed paint and used different shade's of color in my work. He thought my being color-blind was an asset to my work. I can still hear him chuckle after viewing one of my landscapes and saying, "I have never seen a tree that color but please don't change it!"
I have been very lucky that I can paint as I wish. I have tried to do what is unique to me. I work in different medium's. I like for people to relate to my work in their own personal way. I try to employ different technique's in my art. I like to capture the basic image of the subject matter with a free-form stroke and then devote time to various area's of the painting. I hope the mixed color I use with their muted tones and shades will suggest what the viewer is seeing rather than telling. I like for the viewer to be drawn into my painting and each viewer have their own interpretation of what they see and feel! I hope my art will evoke different emotions.
Gearld viewing my art one day commented, "One reason I like your work is because your art has a very dreamy effect and your paintings always include a light which catches the eye." In memory of
Former instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University
Former instructor at King College, Barbourville, KY
Former instructor at West High School, Knoxville, TN
Art Shows: New York City, Atlanta GA, Knoxville, TN, Oak Ridge, TN, etc.
My Tribute To Gerald Byerley
Dan Gibson, artist
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