Other Features: Cover Art
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