So we all know Grandma Moses as being the most famous woman artist over 50. We respect her talent and giggle about her being a grandmother who was a self taught artist whose art hangs in many museums and auctions for big bucks. I don’t know of any other woman artist so celebrated in this age group. Please feel free and let me know if there are women artists who were successful after the age of 50.
I began showing my art at the age of 56. I came out of a 30 year artist block then. I went back to the Art Students League in NYC to study. The first thing I noticed was some of the male instructors would ignore me but were very helpful to the younger women. Most of the monitors were young men. So I became aware of being a second class citizen. I want to say that I did get enormous support from a small group of instructors with integrity. Thank you Michael Burban, Oldrich Teply, Dean Hartung Max Ginsburg, Barney Hodes.
I did my first group art show of my paintings in the Chelsea Room in the infamous Chelsea Hotel in 2010. That night was very exciting and as I looked around I noticed that I was the only woman artist in the show. And the only artist over 35! But I engaged the younger men and I never thought I was too old. After all an artist is an artist. Now after many years of showing my work I still am the oldest woman artist in group shows. Some of the young artists ignore me and some engage me as another artist. Sometimes they talk to me like a mother.
But the idea of being a creative woman of age has been a bee in my bonnet (talk about an old phrase, yikes!). There is a lot of age and gender discrimination in the art world. However, I push through it and have been successful for 10 years as a professional woman artist (of age). I don’t feel any difference because I’m good at my art and I don’t feel old next to anyone. We are equal with respect to being artists. And I do command respect for my talent. I also respect the talent of any artist.
I will continue to celebrate who I am: a talented ageless woman artist. Never stop pursuing being the artist you are.
Thank you Grandma Moses.
In another galaxy away from my blog for many months, I have been reclaiming my true self mentally. I had to withdraw from the world in order to get off a very powerful and destructive antidepressant I had been on for 16 years.
DISCLAIMER: This is my story and I am not endorsing that antidepressants are bad and everyone has to stop talking them. Please follow your doctor’s advice. Never stop cold turkey. It’s extremely dangerous.
Okay so I have been on psychiatric medication since the 1960s off and on. The reason was I had childhood trauma. They have been helpful for many of those years. However, I’m 65 now and many things physically are different. The last 16 years on the last medication was actually too long and I was becoming less productive in the last year. I started to experience more fear and anxiety. Less creativity. Withdrawal from people. More drugs were added and I got worse. I was under the drug spell. Believing that the drug was better than no drug. Until I went to pick up the latest drug and the pharmacist said the co-pay was $283!!!! For one month!!!! Faced with maintaining the suppression of depression or paying rent and eating I pushed the drugs back to the pharmacist and said “I don’t need these thank you “. Called my psychiatrist and said I’m over all these chemicals that are making me feel numb. I m over being dependent on meds that have me spellbound. So she didn’t try to change my mind and she agreed to wean me off.
It took 5 months of being dizzy, having brain zapping, leg pain, insomnia, anxiety, days when I couldn’t leave my house because I was not able to feel grounded. But today it’s 46 days clean!!!
46 days and I am seeing that I am not a depressed person. I stopped being depressed after I went back to doing my art. I do experience down times which is life but I embrace them. I am using exercise, diet, mindful practice, and walking in nature as my antidepressant. Another thing I became aware of was the depression I experienced had a lot to do with the anxiety of my untreated ADHD. So now I’m just treating my ADHD with less medication since I have stopped the antidepressant. I’m a different person today.
I did accomplish some wonderful things last month. A successful art show and sale. Preparing a iPad art workshop for the National Association of Women Artists for June. And this summer I am mentoring a 10 year old girl in art. And I negotiated a workshop for young men leaving prison to learn to create art on their iPads. The organization is called Getting Out and Staying Out.
I am the Jedi Artist who has returned!
THE ART SHOW
THE WITHDRAWAL PAINTINGS
In the past few weeks my painting has morphed into an abstract landscape that is a new style from my impressionist one.
The truth is that in the last 4 months I’ve been withdrawing from a very powerful antidepressant after being on it for 16 years. Last year I realized how it was making me worse and I am not depressed anymore. So powerful is this drug that my brain has zapping which feels like electrical shocks are piercing the cells. I’m dizzy, have brain fog and my legs cramped so badly I couldn’t walk for 3 weeks. But now the real me is emerging. I can finally feel myself coming out.
So I actually did this painting in withdrawal. And I also did the previous painting in withdrawal. And the experience was a struggle to focus my vision (blurred vision was a part of withdrawal). But here it is. I believe the real me is finally emerging.
THIS IS THE FINISHED PAINTING!!!
I became aware of the Russian artist in 2005. His paintings were hypnotic and colorful. Modernist for the time of early 20th Century. I posted many of them on my Flickr site as images that I admired in their strength and power.
But his story was more intriguing than I could ever imagine. His artistry included more than painting. He was an architect, a theatre set and costume designer for the Russian ballet including the infamous Sergei Diaghilev in 1898. He also studied law and history. His painting “The Messenger” 1897 earned him the title of artist securing him a place in the history of Russian art.
But it was an article on the website Atlas Obscura titled “Why the Soviets Sponsored a Doomed Expedition to a Hollow earth Kingdom “. How a search for the hidden land of Shambahala turned into a geopolitical power play. By Dimitra Nikolaidou.
I learned that Roerich was a believer in mysticism and upon arriving in America joined the Theosophy Society. He became famous in his mystical theories and had many important political followers who participated in his teachings in New York City during the 1920s. He and his wife Helena and his 2 sons were eventually sponsored by the U.S. to search for the underground city of Shambahala in Asia in 1923. That expedition would take 5 years and the Roerichs would be followed by Soviet spies as well as British and Mongolian spies in what became the “Great Chase”.
Shambahala was believed to have special weapons that would make the finders able to survive apocalyptic future.
I am not going to give a spoiler alert but Roerich ventured again in 1934 to find the hidden city. Check out Atlas obscura for more. Here are the incredible spiritual paintings that are actually at the Nicholas Roerich Museum (his home) on West 107 th Street NYC.
A painting I am working on in my escape into landscapes theme.
The original acrylic on canvas
The iPad experiments
The first painting of the year is a prediction of where I am going. After a break from painting this is what appeared.
It was done in acrylic. 18″ x 14″
HOW TO GET OFF THE HINDENBURG!
My mind is still spinning. How did so many people drink the Kool Aid???? We’ve lost our minds.
The challenge is existing in a country run by a narcissistic sexual predator for 4 years. I’ve been afraid to post my feelings of this election but this is MY blog so I can do whatever I want. However, I’m not going to give attention to the future “Not My President “.
As an artist I am guided to help the pain in the world by creating beauty again. I don’t want to do anything political in art. I want to paint serenity in a time of darkness. My art has never been motivated by politics. My paintings are to escape insanity and to remind people that there is beauty.
I’m a mature artist so I will leave politics for the younger generation. The generation that tells me my art is “over the couch art “. Great I’ll take that market. I’m not proud. A lot of people like pretty paintings.
Anyway, my point is the lack of creativity and culture in our country created this mess. A creative mind would never have been led down this path. The mind that thinks creatively would see and hear the bullshit. The way out was limited but the choice made was a misinformed one.
A creative mind sees a bigger picture. A creative mind experiences life with multiple options. It is not led by others. That’s why people think artists are strange. Different.
My mission is to get people to start creating. I want them to start to think like an artist. No talent needed. Just an open mind. Unlock imagination. Let go of fear and worry. Look at beauty again. Love people. Stop comparing. Stop complaining. The call to action is start thinking about what’s really important to you and your community. Don’t go down the rabbit hole with toxic people. No one has the power to take away your thinking. Your decisions. Your life. Your country. We gave over our power and listened to lies. We only heard what we wanted.
As an artist I have to get people to get their own minds back teaching them creativity. I have to create paintings of beauty.
THE WORLD CAN BE BEAUTIFUL AGAIN IF WE WORK TOGETHER.
A few of my “over the couch” paintings.
I have taken a quiet time the last couple of months to restore my mind. As an artist and inspired individual where do I go from here. How do I use art to heal this broken world?
The world is broken because we don’t think creatively. Every person has this ability to be naturally creative. It’s suppressed and replaced with following formulas that don’t work for everything. Schools don’t engage students to think. They memorize to pass tests. The individual is lost.
Art has been tossed out of people’s lives. Not important. Today’s craze of adult coloring books is a farce. Again no creative thought is used. Just color in someone else’s creativity.
There is a fear of being creative. Being creative is not “keeping up with the Jones”. Not following the pack.
I am mentoring a young woman artist. A beautiful Latino woman who has given up her art. I looked into her eyes and I saw a spark of hope that she could do her life differently.
I’m going to get her to think like an artist.
PEACE TO THE WORLD
I was jolted out of sleep with this compelling phrase:
“STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF”. The title of a 1962 Broadway show starring Anthony Newly.
Why did this phrase wake me up? I’ve never seen this show but that title is running through my brain cells lately. Of course now that I’m awake I Googled the synopsis of the play. It’s about a average guy called Littlechap who gets the daughter of a wealthy family pregnant. Doing the right thing, he marries her but doesn’t love her. They have a family and he becomes a upperclass man due to his wife’s family. And he never is involved with his wife or family. He realizes how he’s lived a empty deceitful life and comes to his senses. That is basically my synopsis.
Interesting, it’s always a story of reaching VIP status. The desire to enjoy the view from the top. In the end missing life’s true treasures of relationships.
As an artist I have been challenged supporting myself in my art. I was teaching painting but I only had a few dedicated students. There was no interest and the class was cancelled. But I realized that I teach a very special type of painting class. I’m a very professional artist and I have the ability to get people to explore their inner artist. They replaced my class with a coloring book class! The world is so broken
But today people want to wallow in their problems and they are watching news and getting sick from the politics of the presidential campaign. I have no TV and I don’t read newspapers. There’s nothing I need to know and my friends usually let me know. So the point of this is to keep trying to reach the suffering souls.
I a working on a group of paintings around the theme of escaping into landscapes. It is a new vision where I have now put people into my landscapes. We all need peace and quiet. Stop the chatter. Nature heals.
Experimenting with iPad to insert figures into orignal art
Experimenting with iPad to insert figures into orignal art
So that’s where I’m at for today.
Enjoy Anthony Newly singing “Once In a Lifetime” from Stop the World