SEEING ART AROUND YOU: NYC SUBWAY TRANSFORMS INTO A LIBRARY DESTINATION “THE BRONX “

  
The No. 1 train screeched to a halt and the doors opened. I watched as 20 third graders ran into the car scrambling for seats with loud excited voices. There goes my peaceful ride I thought.  Kids are squeezed into me wiggling around how can I deal with this chaos!!

Then an amazing thing occurred. They were silent!!  I looked around and each one was fixated on a book reading.  I took in this scene of tranquility on a train speeding to the Bronx.  My mind took in each young face and the beauty of their love of reading.  My artist eye said this is a life painting that should be shared.  

WE LOVE THE KIDS OF THE BRONX!!  THEY ARE OUR FUTURE.  LIFE IS A PAINTING!

   

   

ANNOUNCING FEARLESS CREATIVITY-ART FOR ARTS’ SAKE

   

  
Okay this is really putting myself out there.  I’m finally getting my creative vision out into the world.  In 2009, after working  19 years  in a large NYC law firm, I lost  my job as a legal secretary.

Finding another administrative job was a nightmare.  I took under earning temp jobs and ended up not being able to pay for my basic needs.  Unable to keep up rent payments I lost the apartment I lived in for 14 years. The under earning temp job ended.  Now I had no job and no home!!

I’m here to tell you that this crisis ended up being the birth of Fearless Creativity. 

Miracles happen when you trust God.  I’m in a beautiful abundant apartment in Riverdale

   
    
 
That began my journey as a visible artist.  I was told by a inspirational friend that I needed to paint every day if I wanted to be prosperous as an artist. When I ran to him crying I needed to bring more money in he answered I needed to bring out my art. What he was telling me was I needed to get out of my cave and be visible. 

Fearless Creativity is about art for arts sake.  Non judgmental art classes. Creativity with iPad painting. No talent or skill required.  All that is needed is an open mind. When I tell someone I’m an artist their eyes bulge and they get nervous about art. They keep telling me they wish they could do art but they are so bad at it. 

  
MY MISSION IS TO HAVE EVERYONE EXPERIENCE THE JOY AND HAPPINESS WHEN THEY GET RID OF THE BELIEF THAT ART IS FOR THE TALENTED.

   

    
 

1970’s TRYING TO MAKE IT AS A FASHION ILLUSTRATOR- THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY 

  

  
When I was growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer.  I loved drawing fashion illustrations as a kid and fantasizing about all the clothes I would love to have.  In 1966 I was accepted into the High School of Art & Design in NYC.  I majored in fashion illustration because sewing and making patterns was not a strong point. I did really well and my drawing skills earned me a National Schoolastic art award in 1967. 

However, in order to pursue this career one needed skills in advertising layout and mechanicals. Newspapers and printing were not computerized and knowledge of how illustrations were printed was important.  This was my demise. My ADHD and learning disabilities made it impossible for me.  So I decided to try pursuing positions as a designer sketch artist. 

1970’s garment center was not an easy place to work.   

 
I was a scared 18 year old.  I didn’t know how to work. I took the first job offered to me sketching for a designer in a well known fashion company.  She was paranoid about her designs being stolen so she locked me up all day alone in a room waiting for her to ask me to sketch a design.   The boredom and isolation as well as her impending paranoia became unbearable. I quit that. 

The next job was with a discount dress firm. I was hired to sketch their designs on figures to present to buyers before the samples were made.  I did a number of sketches one day to be shown to a buyer coming in that night.  The next day I came in and found all the sketches I did with their heads cut off.  I was so upset. The owner came and told me my heads were ugly and the only way he could show the designs to the buyer was to cut the heads off.  Needless to say I walked out of that job vowing to never work in the garment center again. 

  

 
The above sketch is not mine but the ones following are my work from the 1970’s. 

    

    
   
 

CLIMBING OUT OF THE DARKNESS OF “DOUBT ” AND ANXIETY 

  
My mind took over last week.  So I did every self help technique written on a million mental health website. I was sucked into finding the perfect way to cure this anxiety I had.  Hours reading strategies for the monster in my head. 

GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?

IT GOT WORSE!

I reached out to friends and temple members and shared my shameful mental breakdown. My community surrounded me with love.  I was safe and protected by people. That was the answer. 

All that insanity looking for an answer from books that kept saying this is the way to get out of the mental pain caused more anxiety.   

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS COULDN’T HELP ME.   PEOPLE DID. WE NEED TO DEVELOP A SUPPORT NETWORK FOR TIMES LIKE THIS.  THE HUMAN TOUCH.  

Trying to get positive and working hard to change my thinking only made me feel more like a loser. Today I am recovering from this dark mental episode and moving forward in baby steps. I did a lot of iPad painting during the episode. Now I want to do an oil painting. I think that will help soothe my mind. 

   

    
 

MY FATHER ART AND DELINQUENT BOYS IN 1940

I have wanted to do this post for a long time. My dad was a very talented artist who didn’t pursue it. I only knew him up until the age of 5 when he and mom split. I was either angry at him or blaming myself. The way I dealt with the pain was to erase him from my mind. 

A couple of years ago my mom showed me this drawing he did that she saved. Why she waited 50 years to show me I’ll never figure out. She told me he also studied at the Art Students League. I never knew this but I was following in my father’s path.  

I guess he had the same beliefs I did about not being able to support himself in art because he ended up being a used car salesman.  But then mom told me about how my father was using his talent to help others. 

It seems in the 1940s the NYC school system was developing classes to help delinquent boys learn how to get skills for jobs so they didn’t turn to illegal activities.  They also introduced them to art.  My father was hired as an art instructor. Schools realized culture can civilize. 

Then WWII came and he was drafted. But he also had skills as a photographer so ended up being a government photographer in the Phillpines where he was stationed. 

I am proud of you dad!   (Below is his colored pencil drawing of Lana Turner 1939)

Lana Turner by George Barbella 1939

WE NEED ANOTHER GERTRUDE STEIN 

  
“On a typical Saturday evening, 60 years ago, one would have found Gertrude Stein at her post in the atelier, garbed in brown corduroy, sitting in a high-backed Renaissance chair, her legs dangling, next to the big cast-iron stove that heated the chilly room. A few feet away, one could hear Leo expounding to a group of visitors, his views on modern art. Among the crowd of Hungarian painters, French intellectuals, English aristocrats and German students, one might pick out the figures of Picasso and his mistress, Fernande Olivier (Picasso looking like an intense young bootblack; Fernande, almond-eyed and attractive). The man with the reddish beard and spectacles, looking like a German professor, would be Matisse. Next to him might be the poet Guillaume Apollinaire and his clinging friend, the painter Marie Laurencin. The tall figure would be that of Georges Braque, whose superior stature among the smaller cubists made him the official hanger- of-pictures in the atelier. In the American contingent, the familiars would be the painters Patrick Henry Bruce and Alfred Maurer, both of them early advocates of the modernist vision and both, at the same time, followers of Matisse. It was Alfred, as Gertrude recalled, who held up lighted matches so visitors could see that the Cézannes were, indeed, finished paintings because they were framed.”

Artists need to share with other artists. I think Gertrude Stein’s salon was a catalyst for a major art movement. Artists inspire artists. Talking about ideas together was important. There was no fear about ideas being stolen or competition among them. When I talk with other artists I become inspired to go further in my art. Communication and community are what is needed today. 

The art world is making artists create to be famous and make big money. Artists are not talking to other artists. At the Art Students League I always felt surrounded by jealousy and competition. Who’s going to be the instructors favorite. Artistic savages. Grabbing for attention. The art world needs to start giving to communities. Artists need to get over their egos. Nobody is that special. 

LETS TALK!  LETS GIVE TO OUR COMMUNITIES!

  

WHAT WILL MAKE ME STEP OUTSIDE MY COMFORT ZONE?

  

THE COMFORT ZONE- I am very happy there. Why do I need to leave it?  
I have created a vision and I believe in it totally. I have a lot of interest in my iPad painting workshop. But I am stuck on approaching new clients.  I am fighting my past behavior of creating excitement in my project and then disappearing because I need to deal with making it happen. 

I’M COMMITTED TO BEING FEARLESS NOW.  THE COMFORT ZONE IS NOT SERVING ME ANYMORE. 

As an artist being visible is important.  My mission is to engage people to be creative.  That art can change the way a person lives in the world.  Art is not just for the talented. Its for everyone. I have been working with a mature woman who has been very depressed. She is retired and has spent her retirement hanging out with negative friends complaining about her life. They use compulsive shopping to have fun. Yesterday she told me she is buying an iPad because she wants to be creative.   She hasn’t been creative since she was a child.  She was attracted to my joy of living through art. This is a powerful action she’s taking.  She is letting go of her toxic relationships and taking a journey outside her COMFORT ZONE!

I know my purpose in life is to make people have bigger lives.  Everyone is in fear. People want to complain as form of communication. The news will make them sick. Negativity is rampant today. Negativity has become the comfort zone. This can change if creativity becomes important instead of frivolous.  When I get people to try art I see a change of the way they open up to the world. 

BE FEARLESS!  TODAY I WILL BE FEARLESS AND REACH OUT TO MORE PEOPLE. I BELIEVE IN MY MISSION. 


TRAPPED IN A STYLE OF ART – BRANDING OR STUCK?

This is hanging in a law firm

This is hanging in a law firm my experiment with a tryptic painting 

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I always say if you think you are good enough you will never be successful.  An artist needs to be curious and explore. I know that having a consistent body of work is important and it is important to have work that shows your style. But I see that change is important to up the creative ante.

Picasso speaks to the exploration of an artist. He explored many mediums and styles. The creative brain needs to be challenged to keep it alive. Ideas are important too.

FEARLESS CREATIVITY RULES!

TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE ART

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I used to complain about not having time to do art because I had a full time job and I was too tired after work to be creative.  I hired a coach who worked with ADHD artists. She helped me see all the pockets of time that were available to do art. Especially traveling to and from work which added up to 3 hours a day.  I could use that time to do art.

I got small sketch books and found portable water color brushes and a small water color box of paints. Every morning on the express bus I painted and filled up these tiny books with art. It began the daily practice of art.

NO EXCUSES!

I’M BACK FROM FALLING OFF THE CLIFF AGAIN PHEW!!

  
I won’t beat myself up for getting lost in my ADHD head the past few weeks. I had exertion/exhaustion. I gave too much of myself and that doesn’t benefit my goals. 

I’m in the process of weeding out vampires who will take my energy away. I can’t rescue the world. 

 I must take care of my health and my mind now. Health is wealth!

I have had setbacks recently with workshops being pushed back. So I am using the free time to do more art on my iPad!  What a joy. Here are some new paintings.