August 12th I had carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand. It’s my dominant hand. So I took the time to relax and heal. However, it eventually took me down the mental rabbit hole. I ended up depressed, lonely and blocked creatively. It was like my mind was empty. A dust bin.
I couldn’t think and forget posting on my blog.
Weeks were passing and now I have feelings of failure. I want to write a blog post but I feel stupid. It’s been forever. I’m a terrible blogger with an artist block!!!!
And then I realized that my blog is about coming back from an artist block. Isn’t life always about the comebacks.
The artist comeback can be a Phoenix rising. A new path, a different story. And actually I have a new theme I started in my paintings. I have added figures to my landscapes. The figures are faceless children ( they are me or you) and they are escaping into landscapes. This is the first of a group that I will be working on.
I was a very lonely only child growing up in the 1950s. Being raised with mentally ill family and neglected I turned to living in my imagination and building my own family.
“Barbie was officially born at the American International Toy Fair in NYC on March 9, 1959. She wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit, a topknot ponytail and came as a blonde or brunette. Her promo read “New for ’59, The Barbie Doll: A Shapely Teenage Fashion Model”. Her clothes were created by Mattel designer Charlotte Johnson and handmade by homeworkers in Japan where the first dolls were manufactured. At $3 apiece, 350,000 Barbies were sold that first year. Wisely, Mattel acquired the rights to the Bild Lilli doll in 1964 and halted production.”
I ran out and got my first Barbie after I saw the commercial for her on tv. I had a lot of them and made sure I purchased every new outfit that came out. My Barbies became my role models and family. Barbie taught me I didn’t have to grow up and be a wife, mother, teacher or secretary. Barbie was savvy and had careers like being an entertainer on stage. As a singer she wore the a black sequin mermaid gown with long black gloves and high heel pumps. The name of the outfit is “Solo in the Spotlight “. I wanted to grow up and be an entertainer and wear a great tight sequin gown. Barbie said I could be successful for me and didn’t need to have a man to take care of me. That’s quite a message in 1959.
Barbie was strong. Barbie was sexy. She had big boobs. I wanted big boobs. She had all the latest fashions too. They made one wedding dress outfit but that seemed awkward because Ken had not come on the market. It was like they made it to placate the marriage myth to young girls. Oh yeah and after the career go get married. Little girls love weddings. That’s because little girls don’t know what marriage is and that they need a man in the picture. It’s all about the DRESS. That how I eventually tied the knot.
I wonder how Barbie’s marriage to Ken Carson ended??
It was Barbie who set the stage for my future as a creative artist not my real family. She was different in the world of dolls. I was different in the world of girls. I was encouraged to be creative. I pursued a career in fashion illustration. She also inspired me to be a compulsive clothes shopper .
By the way I did get married and I have a wonderful son Dan who attends Colgate University and made the Dean’s List this year!!
Who knew the power of a little plastic doll.
My fashion designs and illustrations from the 1960s – 1970s.
I purchased Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go ” 15 years ago. It’s my favorite inspirational book for what life is about. So this morning my daily writing practice turned to the voice of Dr. Seuss.
“OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO…”
Oh the people
It’s a journey worth taking
But it’s not a small feat
Though you may want to quit
Hide your head in the sand
If the fear takes over
You can hold someone’s hand
Never use avoidance
To deal with your plight
In fact it is sad
When you keep giving to others
It negates some of the bad
Not knowing how far
Keep being creative
Be the artist you are
I HAVE BEEN STALKED AND CAPTURED BY THE DARK CREVICES OF MY MIND. I CAN UNDERSTAND VAN GOGH’S FIGHT WITH SANITY. BUT I AM A VERY LEARNED WOMAN WHO HAS SPENT A LIFETIME EDUCATING MYSELF ON HOW THE BRAIN WORKS.
KNOWING IS THE FIRST STEP IN BEING ABLE TO STOP FIGHTING THE DARKNESS AND LET IT JUST FLOW THROUGH.
DURING THESE TIMES I HIDE IN MY HOME AND RETREAT. I’M TAKEN AWAY FROM INDULGING IN LUSCIOUS OILY PAINT COLORS AND BUILDING LAYER UPON LAYER OF RICH THICK PAINT. I’M IMMOBILE TO ACTION.
I accept those times even though I shut the world out and fear I will never escape my demons. But I have to always avoid giving in to false evidence appearing real.
A month ago I experienced a new mental twist…anxiety disorder! I didn’t know that I had it. But I have to say I chased my recovery from it and sought help. I don’t have to go through pain alone anymore. And all through this I let the luscious oil paints flow on canvas and shared my experience to a troubled student in my painting class.
I don’t give in but I also don’t fight my mind…my darkness is another part of being an artist. I even used darkness in a series of paintings.
I’M BACK TO BEING JEAN. I’M BACK . I trust God and give to others.
MY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE NOT A MORAL ISSUE. THEY ARE THE PIECES OF THE MYSTERIOUS PUZZLE CALLED JEAN MESSNER.
IN REMEMBRANCE OF VINCENT VAN GOGH.
I had a belief that God would carry me to where I would be of service. Where my talents would be acknowledged. My purpose was to be whatever change I could be in this crazy world. And I landed in RIVERDALE. THE BRONX!
I wandered the Hudson Valley and created my business “FEARLESS CREATIVITY Art for Arts Sake”.
I have made a name for myself as an artist. I’m 65 years old and feel that I can conquer the world.
I developed a painting class at the Riverdale Senior Center in February. Last month it was going to be canceled for lack of attendance. But suddenly the center loves my inspirational teaching and the work from students.