The Tourist (self-portrait)


Perth, Australia

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Artist's Description

Inks, Charcoal and cheap white pastel.
The paper may have been grey or brown to start with. It was very thin and also crappy.

I wrote a song around the time I drew this. I think.
It’s got similar stuffspilled on the words.

It is… passionate… here:

There’s a girl asleep on my window ledge.
She must be cold, and while she sleeps she cries.
I leaned against the glass
Raven’s wings – beating the backs of my eyes.
For the space of a cigarette,
I came inside and found her.
In a blue dress in my bath, filled with black water, and clover.
I dressed her up in a black coat
And she looked up in the dark.
Like a child Madonna,
Only covered in scars.

Too many DRINKS
Too many BONGS
Too many black and bitter SONGS.
And don’t you THINK
It’s time to put the madman in the madhouse
Where he belongs.

Bathing at your closed wet lips.
Behind a lace of smiles.
Playing poker with some other rats
And making faces
At the blind.

Halloween’s a good day to be born
When you start off a little weird.
You know you’re going to end up
Making cocktails out of rats tears.
Making cocktails
Out of rats…. Tears

Cynicism, this passion, your apathy and my past
I burned my books, my letters, and my chance.

Cynicism, dispassion, apathy and lies
I burned my books, my letters and my eyes.


The top of this piece is wavy etc because it is torn. it is torn because it grew mold on it and because the paper rotted; in the corner of the room where i lived – the rain…

I sold it recently to a neurologist in denver, whom I had not met.
He told me that every time he saw it, he cried.

He paid far more than I asked for it. He has chronic bipolar just like me.

I drew it… well. drunk starving had scurvy self-harming in and out of mental hospitals. but so much more fierce than that I FOUGHT i always FOUGHT.

this, however, is the truth of right now:

I’m still trying to write, and to paint when I can.
I am not getting better.

I am not.

However the extremities of bipolar seem to have stilled in the torrent of pain.

I don’t do very much; there is little I can do. I read. I play puerile games. I read. I read and read.

I do not go out apart from to the shops when needed or to the doctors and the chemist. I stare at others performing simple tasks with simple ease with something like awe.

I have come to understand that my quality of life is in many ways far better than it was when I spent eight months of each year in despair.

The biggest improvement of course is that the absence of psychotic depressive episodes means that I am not going to die by my own hand.


Is an improvement.

But the pain… ah well. It goes on. Endlessly.

The hardest, most intimate agony is that it denies me the ability to work. I cannot. I fail.

I fail.

I am very lonely. Sinn is sick with her own difficulties; which she keeps carefully from impinging upon my life.

This is too dark to send to everyone.

I will try again.

Perhaps tomorrow.

Perhaps I will have a blissful, calm day. And not be sick.

I am sick. I am sick… Too often. Too much, I think. I… do not know what else to do.

I have applied every extremity of thought and action.

It is my way. I have learned so much about what is wrong with my brain and how very broken it is.

Understanding and the action driven by its gifts has made some small difference. The painkillers I take work enough for me to… sit still and exist.

They are all fairly mild. Anything opiate based does nothing. I don’t know why.

No one knows… no one knows why any of this happened. The professor of neurology, the neuro-surgeon, the pain specialist, the psychiatrist, the pharmacologist, the gp. All are at a loss as to why my mind changed, why my brain turned on itself with pain in lieu of madness.

Some suggest and guess, prevaricate intellectually or describe in detail.

My psychiatrist believes that the relationship with Amy was the final impetus, causing an alteration in the way the mutated brain presented; with pain.

I disagree.

But we both… Guess.

I am so tired. I am so very tired all the time. The distress has become a constant. It is extant in the way that the madness never could be.

I have to go to bed.

I have to… tomorrow I must, I must…

Endure. And that is all.



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Artwork Comments

  • Deborah Lazarus
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  • Caroline Roberti
  • Reg  Lyons
  • pauldrobertson
  • Ina Mar
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