Art · Gastroparesis · General chronic conditions

Art: Nausea

My latest bit of art has taken me a lot longer than anticipated! The last few weeks haven’t been the best for me, and so I wasn’t able to work on my painting as much as I had hoped.

I also tried working with acrylic paints this time and found it a new challenge. Because the paints I used were much thinner than I’m used to, I found that I had to do a few more layers than usual. A few times this required me to wait until a layer dried so that I could add more later. This also added to the time it took to get this painting completed.

I also found that I couldn’t create the same sort of texture that came easy with the oils I had previously worked with. I like working with texture, so I tried to create it by swirling as much paint as possible and being generous with how much paint I added to the canvas.

This particular painting is attempting to portray nausea.

I have Gastroparesis (see Gastroparesis Awareness Month! ) and one of the main symptoms is constant, or frequent, nausea. I take a high dose of anti-nausea medication each day, and use holistic methods such as ginger and peppermint, but, unfortunately, they only deal with about 20-35% of my nausea. Enough to help and make things better, but not enough that I feel significant relief.

Nausea is a very hard concept to paint as an abstract concept, so I decided to paint the experience as best I could (be gentle… I’m not a trained artist or anything! 😉)


You see a simple scene. A large bed, curtains, a light, a woman in the bed, and a bin next to the bed. The bed rests on an uneven floor.

The floor is green, the colour that often represents nausea, but also a colour that could easily be the sea. It is uneven and the paint is swirling. This is done to not only show the dizzy, swirling feeling that is nausea, but also to represent the sea. As the bed rests on the this moving seascape, it shows that when you have nausea, you might feel as if you are seasick, or that the world is moving beneath you.

The woman in the bed is curled up. She isn’t moving… She is just lying there. Stuck and powerless whilst the nausea has a hold of her.

The bin is there to ensure that if she is sick, she won’t make a mess.

And so the woman remains curled up in her bed. A slave to the beast called Nausea.


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