About The Series

Samantha Rochard - Living with Meniere's Disease and depression is no easy task. I have hid the depression for years. In 2013,I was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease...now I have to accept living with both. Fighting is not the way, acceptance of my new limits is a must. Sometimes, limits can boost creativity. It is said in one study that Vincent Van Gogh may have suffered from Meniere's. I am creating this blog with the assumption that he had the affliction, and journeying with him during his St. Remy period.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Can't do the Death's Head Moth, Vincent

Battimamzelle (Dragonfly) 2017  - Samantha Rochard


I see your moth painting, the next in your series at St. Remy.
You wrote to Theo on it :

 I have on the go you’ll see that, considering that life happens above all in the garden, it isn’t so sad. Yesterday I drew a very large, rather rare night moth there which is called the death’s head, its coloration astonishingly distinguished: black, grey, white, shaded, and with glints of carmine or vaguely tending towards olive green; it’s very big. To paint it I would have had to kill it, and that would have been a shame since the animal was so beautiful.27 I’ll send you the drawing of it with a few other drawings of plants.

(Source : http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let776/letter.html)

I wonder if you did kill it.  I wonder too.....given the state of our minds and a tendency toward morbid subjects occasionally, I wonder if a "DEATH's" Head moth should be ruminated on.

I offer, for you, instead, a BATTIMAMZELLE ( Trinidadian word for Dragonfly). Such a beautiful sparkly creature!
Very uplifting if you think of the life cycle. Stretch your mind to its beginnings in water (emotion) and its eventual upliftment to the air, in all its beauty, transcending the crawling existence it the water!

Much like the lotus flower, another one of my favourite themes. Except the lotus grows from dank. dirty water, where as the dragonfly usually is found near clean flowing water.

Went near to a river the other day, in an area most people won't go to. I suppose persons would say I am mad, and there is no beauty that a non-painting person would notice, but the dragonflies Vincent!!!
All Around!!!
There were so many, and they were beautiful!

On the Meniere's subject.....well....the attacks are still coming, and the frustration is that I have little control on my environment. Understanding isn't there really, empathy isn't there either. Unlike you, I have no Theo to depend on. I must earn something, for I do have children who depend on me. I sell some work, which can be encouraging, and I think perhaps if I continue to build, I can manage to survive and hopefully be comfortable living with this condition.

Till you pop into my head again.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Garden at St. Joseph.

The Garden at St. Joseph - Vincent, Ah hear yuh Series - Samantha Rochard
Vincent, ah hear yuh!

I can't imagine what it was like for you nah boy. At least in this day and age the doctors are aware of our conditions and how to treat it. Knowing what is going on, certainly helps remove the fear a bit. But boy, de frustration though- trying to resolve what the mind wants to do when the body can't anymore! Most frustratin yes!

Vincent, yuh say something in yuh letter dated 15th May 1889. The one yuh write to yuh sister-in-law ,
:"It is rather queer perhaps that the result of this terrible attack is that there is hardly any very definite desire or hope left in my mind, and I wonder if this is the way one thinks when, with the passions lessened, one descends the hill instead of climbing it."

Boy...ah hear yuh. But I feel the hill jes' slightly less steep...it still there though. And I wonder....because to me now reaching the top means there might be nothing left to live for. With a feeling like that one tends to linger at every point of the path and it becomes about the journey upward-not reaching the top. Like a painting...is de process; not the end goal.

Still, painting gives purpose.
Landscape painting, for me- means capturing a point in time which may never exist again. For that brief moment in time that spot sparkled with a perfect beauty worthy of remembering the way I saw it and how it registered in MY mind. Perfection.
Perhaps perfection is not meant to be attained. Perhaps it is just meant to be experienced, as is, jes' so jes' so; in every moment.

But boy...you rested in St. Remy. I had to come to my parents in St. Joseph. Not a hospital, cuz this small island ah livin on doh have them thing....(well, what dey have yuh doh want to be in). But learning to live with people again is difficult.  I so accustomed to quiet, no media distractions, not much conversation or ah should say the need to keep up a conversation- and now I have to deal with unwarranted intrusions to my mental musings. The continuous barrage of discussion, debate, judgement about everything- it doh help me create in any way whatsoever! It real tiring yuh no! But is meh family, an they mean well.

Vincent boy, in dis century it have things that woulda drive yuh mad! one set ah t'ing have low tones that feel like a drill in yuh eardrum. Television, radio, helicopters, pressure washers- making yuh feel like yuh getting licks auditarily  (if it have such a word- like de sound beatin yuh in yuh head, nah.)

Blessings for a focus though. That we could both paint and still drag some meaning out of this existence. Blessings for you, that you could inspire purpose for me; because boy sometimes ah does feel like I being sucked under by a blackness. Wait...a better description would be like swimmin in the dark; but with no stars or anything to look toward. Just dark all around....buh yuh have to fight to keep above the water and jes t'read water till a pinpoint of light show up!

This project will keep me above water for a while. For that; ah real grateful eh Vincent!

Yours Creatively,