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9 X 12 Acrylic on Masonite: June 9, 2001

An 'Obligationist' ... Yes, you know one ... Perhaps you are one? It's that person who's name causes you to roll your eyes and taste the metallic acid of dread in the back of your throat. The Obligationist is the reason that you screen your calls. The Obligationist is the person behind the dreaded holiday dinner that ruins the spirit for the day. The Obligationist is the person who "volunteers" to help you out, just to be "a friend", then reminds you of that favor for the rest of your living days. The Obligationist is the person who is somehow in your life, but you can not figure out what terrible thing you did, in this life or some other, that you should deserve this. The Obligationist is a vile person who feeds on your life energy so it can feel alive.

This is someone who keeps showing up in your life like dogshit on your shoe. This person is a continuous source of frustration and irritation. A gnat circling your head in the night, it's incessant buzzing waking you just before you drop off into peaceful sleep. They are like a rash that will not go away. Obligationism is an art form for the losers of our world ... It is a black art. A dark craft practiced by people without a clear vision of "self".

They will find something that you need, or get involved with someone who you can not avoid. It is as difficult to rid yourself of the Obligationists as it is to rid your body of a wart, or an infestation of lice ... Serious measures must be taken. The question is; Are you willing to do what must be done? The Obligationist will always try to have some sort of hold on you. It is not easy to escape once one has latched on.

Perhaps your Obligationist is a family member? ... Perhaps someone you thought was a friend? A neighbor? Maybe someone you had sex with one foolish drunken night. Perhaps an ex-lover whom you feel sorry for? Oh yes!, sympathy is one of the greatest weapons in the arsenal of the Obligationist . Sympathy and guilt are their weapons of choice. Many an Obligationist will be stricken with serious and debilitating illness, (or feign it!). The Obligationist will use their illness or handicap to control you! They will milk it for every inch of sympathetic POWER it will give them! And BEWARE of any person who does you a FAVOR! This too, is a weapon of the Obligationist. THE DREADED "FAVOR!" If you let an Obligationist do you even the smallest favor, they will bind you with it as if it were chains of iron! Only your life's energy can repay the Obligationist once you are obligated!

The web of the Obligationist is tangled and complex. One obligation leads to another, and another, AND ANOTHER, until you are caught as a fly trapped in the lair of a spider! ... The Obligationist instinctively pounces upon any weakness you may have. The things which make us human, our caring natures, our generosities and pity. These are the qualities which the Obligationist will attempt to exploit to control you!

Why? What is the reason for this Obligationistic behavior? It is jealousy, envy, insecurity and fear! The Obligationist is a weak quivering thing masquerading as a normal person. A tiny naked being shivering in the dark cold closet of their head. The Obligationist is jealous of your life! Jealous because theirs is empty and devoid of meaning. The Obligationist has no substance, so it must feed on yours! They must seek, through trickery, to obligate others to be part of their shallow lives. Since the Obligationist has no confidence in their own identity, they are driven to create a symbiotic relationship with you! They are as Vampires, stealing your soul by devouring your energy, your time and attention.

We all have them. Admit it or not, there is one or more in your life. I wish you well, and may I suggest that you look at yourself, and try to recognize that part within you that is ... an Obligationist!
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feldrand Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
i'm very thankful for your words to this painting... they strike me the more as i just have to deal again with two old "obligationists" of my life... it's true, they stick to me like dogshit to a shoe... one of them used to be heavy alcoholic and is very ill now and lets me know he is sort of prepairing for death and wants to see me one more time - trying to make me a sore conscience...
and - respect due for the last sentence of your text - yepp!!!
btw. i watched the animation of the "making of" - very interesting to see - thanx for sharing...
RealityUnfiltered Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2007
This is very chilling and very effectively symbolized... my dad is an alcoholic so i can relate.... it does indeed turn men into demons.
Overtkill-UD Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2006
Again friend, I can relate to you on many levels. I have a few of these 'drones' of impurpose in my life. +Instant Favorite.

-= ( )vertkill =-
tiamat9 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2005
The concept is wonderfully depicted in the composition. The meticulous details and unique style are really amazing. The imagery is gruesome and repulsive, yet elegant and striking. Excellent form and fantastic design. I particulary love the offbeat look of the piece. The symbolism in the work is extremely well done and brilliantly effective. I think many people, myself included, can relate to the painting.
plutostarz Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2004
Wow what you said is very true!
DropOutDruggie Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2004
That's One Intense Painting ::clap::
Crandles Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2004
nice work
reminds me of hr giger
barbarianella Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2004
Love it and the text is not hogwash. Both are well executed. Keep up the good work.
Bogamaz Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2004
well, im crushed. =)
dont you suppose at one time or another in our lives we are all obligationists? Or is your perception of self so acute that you may look down from your pedestol and scrutinize the rest of us squirming doubtfull mortal worms? My ex-girldriend and i traded the roles of your so called obligationists and continualy prayed on each others wills over the past two years. First it was her turn and now its mine. very incitefull comentary, but is there redemptionhuh, or are we all doomed to writhe in our sins for the rest of our days? All things aside, beutiful work.
Bertmcguinn Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2004
Found one of your other works in Frolix8's fav's, and came to see for myself. Saw this and was taken with it right away. This is a piece I'd like to digest for a while so I added it to my favorites so I can.
RubyO Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2004  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
that is totally my mom. think she'd get it if i sent a copy of it to her for christmas? heh
excellent work as usual, R.S.
luqu Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2004  Hobbyist General Artist
I dig my inner Obligationist.
StuckInAMoment Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2004
You have really great style :D :blowkiss:
till Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2004
awesome stuff... but how do you know my ex-girlfriend so well? :giggle:
frolix8 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2004   Digital Artist
Love that description. Fantastic art work as always.
mneumonic Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2004
amazing painting with extreme description
sounds like Satanism
TreeWalking Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2004
Nice graphic.
But the text? Seems like hogwash to me.. ;)

'We all have them.' ?

Still, *very* nice graphic! :)

Don't make me feel like shit just cuz you're too scared to write your own songs.
RSConnett Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2004  Professional Traditional Artist
My "text" is hogwash? You must live on a better planet than I do.
TreeWalking Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2004
No.. *shrug* - not better. :(

Perhaps.. well, just a bit wiser or.. less cynical, maybe? :)

I hope so, anyway ;)


The more things you get, the more you want..
Just trading one for the other.
Working so hard, to make it easy..
harold-of-the-rocks Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2004   Traditional Artist
The Obligationist is someone who simply has to comment on an amazing piece when he sees it. This is so amazing...the complexity of the image, the sheer creativity, the surrealism of it, the fact that i am probably going to dream about this thing for the next few days. This is going to be added to my favorites, as it should to everyone who sees it.

seriously one of the best things i have ever seen on DA
RSConnett Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2004  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! - BTW: You can check out an animation I did showing the development of this painting here: [link] & a non-animated version here: [link] Your good words are very much appreciated. ~ RS
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Submitted on
December 4, 2004
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