Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Painting - The Brain and Smoking, Part 1

If you are a smoker, ever wonder where that "feel good feeling" comes from? My latest painting in my ongoing Brain Series helps describe what's going on.

[Working Title] The Brain and Smoking, Part 1

20" x 24"
Acrylic on stretched canvas

The Brain:
Two chemicals in the brain which influence our mood are triggered when one smokes something with an addictive substance such as cigarettes that have nicotine. Opioids is one feel good chemical which contributes to positive feelings and calming pain. Dopamine is another feel good chemical

The Artistic Process:
Though I usually post in progress pictures, my SD Card suddenly stopped working so I couldn't retrieve the files. Lesson learned to back up more often.

This painting is the first part of a diptych. The second half of this piece is of the brain of a non-smoker's experience with secondhand smoke.

I was working on another brain painting which was more involved before starting this one. That led to me wanting the composition for this one to be simpler and to the point.

And black and white composition, with the brain filled up with smoke was the idea. The areas of the brain that trigger opioids and dopamine and the area of the brain that manages emotions are highlighted with gold.

The composition illustrates that as one inhales cigarette smoke, the nicotine from it begins to trigger the creation of opioids in the brain. That will turn trigger the production of dopamine. Those chemicals send signals to our frontal lobe which generates the feelings of pleasure, smoothing of pain and reward.

Over a long period of time, smoking induces addiction. Drugs like heroin and morphine contain chemicals that create those similar feelings. Source: )

Check out the others works that make up the brain series so far. The works address: being present, caffeine, memory, alcohol, sleep and music.


Contemporary Artist

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