Academic Medicine

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Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318235977d
Other Features: Cover Art

Artist's Statement: Mindways

Shahrokh, Peter MA, MBA

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Author Information

Mr. Shahrokh is a commissioning analyst for the Design and Construction Management Office, University of California, Davis, Davis, California; e-mail: His work can be seen at

I work in the Design and Construction Management Office at the University of California (UC) Davis, and I am also a patient of the Department of Psychiatry at the UC Davis Medical Center. I have been prescribed several mood-stabilizing medicines, which seem to set me on a more even keel and smooth out vacillations in mood swings. Painting with watercolors is a risky business because errors in judgment as one proceeds are not easily corrected, and a calm temperament is essential to do the kind of planning necessary for composition, color choices, and even brushstrokes.

As a watercolorist I have tried to convey in a somewhat whimsical way the manner in which the brain functions under the influence of such drugs. I start by studying microphotography of brain sections, and I then use some of the patterns I see within these images to begin designing my paintings. I like to use bright colors to highlight the sparkling nature of thoughts, and I add other elements, like the koi and the pills seen in Mindways, which suggest incipient ideas in the brain as the medication takes effect.

Peter Shahrokh, MA, MBA

Figure. Mindways...
Figure. Mindways...
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