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Gearworld: Jackalope Offering

By ursulav
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My last gearworld painting was an offering to the gods of love--this one is an offering, if such exist, to the gods of psychopharmacology.

I painted it while coming off a five-month stint on Effexor XR, an antidepressant. If you've never been in the state of requiring meds to haul you out of a hole--well, may the merciful gods keep such a fate far from you. A lot of the time it felt like I was crawling along, following a trail of exceedingly peculiar breadcrumbs, in the hopes that it'd lead back to myself at the end. And it did, and so I am terribly grateful to the miracles of modern chemistry, but at the same time, there's something very weird and a little freaky about deliberately hacking your own brain.

So, jackalope skull, hung with pills and the obligatory small fish, and my apologies for the pretentiousness of the imagery, but it was what I had to work with. The background graffiti is mostly a listing of side-effects and warnings to avoid alcohol/empty stomach/orgasms/heavy machinery/etc.

This, I suspect, is the last Gearworld painting for at least a little time--I felt the door in my head close with a click when it was done. Oh, well. It comes when it comes--back to waiting for the next crack under the door.

Acrylic/mixed media on gessoboard, 12 x 24, original is sold, prints are available, send a note or visit [link] for details.
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© 2008 - 2020 ursulav
Comments91
anonymous's avatar
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silverwing1979's avatar
I love this. :)


[*whispers* Is it a terrible reflection on me that I read it as "Jack Off" at first? How ironic, considering the typical libido-suppressing side-effects of anti-depressants...!]
bluehentrooper's avatar
Effexor, eh? Yup, definitely been there. I knew Life was chewing on you pretty badly for a while there, but I didn't guess that it was clinical. Then again, that's not the sort of thing you broadcast to strangers with glee, I guess.

I'm glad to hear that it got you through the hard times, though. Too many people don't have the courage/knowledge/health insurance/etc. to reach out for help when they need it.
xandju's avatar
Glad to hear that your feeling better - I was on Effexor XR for a short time as well, and Thank God we're off it! Life is better without meds, i think. While Effexor keeps you from being depressed, I also keeps you on an even kneel - so not sad, but not really happy either.
I love your art, and I think pills or not, you'll contine to be great at it. lol teach me<3
:cookie:
phoenixineohp's avatar
I've been on Effexor ER for... 8? years now. It's life blood. Just about literally. So I offer hugs and support and a warm beverage and thank you for your art.

Though, I must say, I'm not familiar with the orgasm avoidance. ;) You would think that people on it need all the endorphins and happinesses they can get! =p
kawaifox11's avatar
it looks like it was done by the famous painter Georgia O'Keeffe who painted cow sckulls
ShallowBlue's avatar
haha xD I like this pic. It is comedy mixed with ordinary stuff as it usually is in your pics.
haha xD I can't stop laughing for myself when I see the fish, it was a great idea to have it in your pic.
Lovely work~
Twitchy-Kitty-Studio's avatar
That is wonderfully amazing! I'm especially appreciative of the graffiti.

:hug: hugs for making it out the dark hole!
lassie102's avatar
this reminds me of georgia o'keeffe (sorry). but there's something about a skull in the middle of a paper that has been so well known by her that it reminds me of her. that aside, this is a wonderful painting, it's very well rendered and the wall behind makes the skull in an unusual place. the pills and fish make it more interesting, however the total image is still very well balanced (not like it's a bad thing)

the rendering and bluntness makes this piece very drawing to the eye
FinalGamer's avatar
Interesting inspiration <<
KatCardy's avatar
sorry to hear that this is the last of the gearworld offerings, but if it's served it's purpose then it can only be a good thing. I hope that you are in a better place now. :hug:
Grimsqueaker81's avatar
I like the piece, but more importantly am glad to hear that you are better. I have not experienced what you had been going through, and only wish you all the best for the future lying ahead.
jiangzu's avatar
I have been lurking around your gallery for a year or two now, ever since stumbling across it, and I truly enjoy your work, from your talent to your imagination (and the silliness, too). Alot of your paintings and the captions you write for them make me giggle. I just don't comment much because I don't really have anything constructive to say. I guess I never imagined, what with the vibrant characters and worlds and things you create, that you would have depression problems....but I should probably know better. I've dealt with mild to moderate levels of depression myself, though I refused to take medication for it since I get every side effect in the book (decongestants turn me into a homicidal maniac, I'd hate to imagine a deliberate brain-hacker's side effects...until I discovered the wonder that is medical marijuana...but that's another story) Sometimes the art is what keeps you sane, I guess....but at any rate, hang in there! We love you!
Justria's avatar
Very cool jackalope skull. I may have my own foray into psychopharmacology in the near future. That remains uncertain as of yet. I agree that the idea of "hacking one's brain" is kinda freaky, even when potentially helpful. Meh. We'll see how it goes, if it goes.

Maybe I'll just pray to the gods of psychopharmacology.
Invader-Kym's avatar
mum's on effexor, and ive been hoppin from lovan to zoloft for awhile, i sure need me one-o these worship jackalopes!
Outside-the-box's avatar
honestly, now... I just want you to know that you are probably one of my favorite artists that I know of here on DA. I greatly enjoyed reading your gearworld blogs on livejournal. I wish they'd come back. As a writer myself, I can really appreciate your work. You have this metaphor of the mind that is quite amazing and totally correct.
But more so, I also am going through that antidepressant hell, and I totally agree with you on that one. I am one of the Paxil people, blessed with the one pill of it's class that has, in fact, THE worst withdrawals. It's terrible, scary, and, as you say, "there's something very weird and a little freaky about deliberately hacking your own brain." I find even more depressing when a pill actually works, because I then know that I am dependent on it to feel GOOD. I want ME to make me feel good... but... well you know.
I didn't exactly think of it that way before, and you're right. The hacking part.
Also, I too am looking for the breadcrumbs. It seems, however, that I instead find half eaten loaves of bread, and I find them every blue moon, just enough to keep me alive.
Bottom line: keep it up.

-A fan
Matayu's avatar
Sry to butt in, but I don't think you guys have the 'hacking' thing right. It may seem like that, but the pills are supposed to correct a chemical imbalance, so it's more like your adding lube to the engine, than hacking a computer and changing the program.

Stuff justs gets worn out and doesn't want to work so you add something to fix it, it really doesn't change anything...

Hehe, just my thoughts on your concept, but take it with a grain of salt, cus I've never had to take happy pills or even pain pills before >.<
Outside-the-box's avatar
heh well, i do have to say that you are right on some parts. The lube to the engine thing is an excellent metaphor. That's pretty good; I do believe I have to add that to my list. However, imagine that this engine was to come with lube already in it (yeah, duh... I know. but...) and this lube was supposed to never, ever be replaced. Yet, in this case, the engine of people like me and ursulav here did not come with that self-replenishing, never-really-have-tho-worry about it lube. We have to add something that catalyzes the engine into making this lube. Furthermore, the stuff we put in? If we go without it for a while, the engine is worse off than it was in the first place. Say, the engine goes into withdrawals.
I hope that makes sense. No insult or anything; you defiantly are making sense, but seeing as you haven't experienced this... well, ya know. Whatever.
Matayu's avatar
Cha cha, I get it, I was thinking of that too, and I'm not sure why I didn't correct myself.

Right, like natural oil has no side-effects, while the oil that is added is crude and can damage the engine if more oil isn't sonstantly being pumped in. Teh thing is, if you stop pumping in oil, the grime builds up, damaging the engine, and since brains can't be replaced like engine blocks, the only thing we can perceive doing is reparing the damage. AND unfortunately theres really no way to clean out a persons brain, cept for labotomies and those really never work >.>

I guess technology isn't advanced enough to deal with these kinds of problems yet? Psycho-therapy is the only solution I can think of, but I doubt its credibility...
Outside-the-box's avatar
yeah. they are a very shaky thing right now, with more bad side effects than good ones.
however, depression wasn't even a concept until about 20 years ago or so. so... whatevs.
yay metaphors.
Matayu's avatar
Aren't they nice? They make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (my friend said it was my 'retardation' kicking in :bucktooth: )
Outside-the-box's avatar
metaphorically speaking?
Matayu's avatar
Yeah... sure >.> (3.7 GPA)
crabmuffin's avatar
I know how you feel, I've spent a good chunk of my life being shuffled from one horrible medication to another, and withdrawal has always sucked. Right now I'm fine though, and I hope to be completely free from my meds in a year. :shakefist:
anonymous's avatar
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