“What the fuck do you want?!”

“What the fuck do you want?!” by Ian James Roche
“What the fuck do you want?!”

9/4/2018

Throughout my life, I would get subconscious visitors in the night while I slept. I would wake up in the middle of the night and there would be a human figure standing over my bed. The first time this happened, I was around 9 or 10 years old. I got very scared and pulled my blanket over my head. I was okay with it after the fact, and I don’t remember telling anyone about it. This painting is about one of those visits that happened more recently.

The visit that this painting is based on happened about a year ago. I woke up and there was a human figure who seemed pretty tall, and felt to me like a male standing over my bed. The figure was leaning on this sort of orange ledge, and although I could not make out the face, it felt to me that this figure was looking down at me as if to tell me there was something that I had to do. It seemed that the figure was expecting something from me. I realized all of this after I got scared and quickly swung my pillow at the figure and screamed out, “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?!”

I moved into my first art studio a couple of months later and after I had gotten all settled in, I started visualizing the figure that came to me that night and decided to paint it. This painting was a little difficult compared to my paintings before. I actually had to get used to being in a new studio, which was triple the size of the spaces that I was working in before. Plus, I used a different gesso than I normally use to prime the sheetrock before I put any pastel down, and it was very stiff and had an elephant skin-like texture. The pastel didn’t glide across the surface like the gesso I was used to. So I took my time with this painting. I actually didn’t like the painting for the majority of the time I worked on it, but now I love it.

I believe the figure that I woke up to, was a messenger or an angel, or it could have been my father. But whoever the figure was had an important message for me. The message was to bring forth the passion in my heart and to let this passion be the fire that fuels my creativity through my art. The whole middle of the painting represents fire. It derives from the orange ledge I had noticed the figure leaning on, as they glanced at me with a look which seemed to say, “What are you gonna do?” The figure was asking me how I wanted to create my life. That fire is my passion and creativity.

I am very grateful for this visit. I was able to figure out the message from the visit through the process of painting it, and the experience has let me know that I am doing what is true to me by following my heart and expressing myself through my art. It has moved me into my passion and my responsibility as an artist even more. Thank you.