When I paint I turn the world off; I close my door, shut the curtains, light some incense and put some music on. I sit and look at the blank canvas and wonder what it will look like after an hour, a day, or even a month. Then my attention is turned to my box of oil paints. I pick my colors, entirely based from my current mood and gut instinct. Then I paint, as I paint I get lost in my thoughts. To me it is a very meditative process, its my relaxation, my stress relief, it’s my time to let my mind wander off.

I started painting in 2014, it was a very spontaneous shift in my life. I was working 40 hours a week as a waiter and chef, but didn’t have any desire to work in kitchens and restaurants my whole life, but it was all I really knew. I can’t recall what made me start painting but once I started I couldn’t stop. It was a slow at the beginning, I’d paint for an evening, then work at my job for the rest of the week. But slowly the desire to paint grew more than my desire to make money. I got my manager to cut my shifts so I only worked 20 hours a week, giving myself more time to paint. Now I’m working around 15 hours a week and spend around 60 hours painting. I try to sell art to scrape from one paycheck to the other, and my managers review of me last month at my current job was quite simply; “No ambition”. My career prospects are falling down the drain.

On the weekends, I won’t be out drinking and socializing, I’ll be locked in my room and painting from dusk til dawn. I don’t even have time for a love life, people just seem like a distraction to me now. Of course after awhile I’ll get cabin fever and head outside to find my old compadres, but sometimes I’ll go for weeks til this happens. My phone used to go off alot, people asking what I’m upto, how I am, asking me to come hangout, these days I question why I even need a phone.

It’s been a struggle, but I don’t think I can go back. Since I started painting I’ve been looking at everything differently, I see more colors everywhere I go, I notice more shapes and images in everything I see. The sky is a painting that’s constantly changing, from dull greys to bright pinks, adding color to the landscape underneath. During visits to the museum I used to stand back to view a painting, whenever I go now I feel the need to get right in close and look at the brushstrokes, the layers, paying attention on the details and techniques. If I come across money I head straight to an art shop and stock up on painting supplies. I eat, sleep, and live in the same room I paint in. I even dream about painting, it’s completely out of my control. Can anybody relate? Should I seek professional help?

Hi, my name is Nicholas McCann, and I’m a paintoholic.

More info: nmccann13.wixsite.com

“Floating Boy” November 2016

“Monkey Lagoon” February 2016

“Night & Noon” April 2016

“Be Patient and You’ll Get What You Want” June 2016

“Sitting on the Dock of Despair” July 2016

“Walk to the Rapids” September 2016

“Out of Town” November 2016