A WOMAN ARTIST OF A CERTAIN AGE 

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. 



THE SLAVE PORTRAIT PAINTER “PRINCE DEMAH BARNES “

I love history and art.  But I had never heard this amazing story of a slave who became a professional portrait painter in 18th century America.  I found the story on OUT OF THE ARCHIVES – a blog exploring the Archives at the Hingham Heritage Museum.  
Henry Barnes was a distiller and manufacturer of pearl ash.  He and Christian were members of Marlborough’s financial elite and in the early 1770’s owned 3 slaves.  Prince was the son of their slave Daphney.   I’m not sure when Prince’s artistic talent became known but eventually he was supported by Christian Barnes who seeing his genius had Henry purchase Prince with a view towards improving his genius in painting “. 

PORTRAIT OF CHRISTIAN BARNES BY PRINCE DEMAH BARNES 


In a letter by Christian she writes:

“Prince is here and I am sitting to him for my picture.”

A month later in November 1769 Prince is purchased by Henry Barnes with the intention to educate and improve his talent. 

HENRY BARNES BY PRINCE DEMAH BARNES 


In 1770 Christian Barnes wrote:

Prince is “a most surprising instance of the force of natural genius for without the least instruction or improvement he has taken several faces which are thought to be very well done. He has taken a copy of my picture which I think has more resemblance than Coping’s. [sic].   She is referring to the famous 18th century portrait painter John Singleton Copley. 

So Prince is the first African-American professional artist in America!   For approximately 10 years he had a career as an artist.  When the Revolution came the Barnes fled and Prince enlisted in the Massachusetts militia as a free man. He was now called Prince Demah (removing “Barnes “).  He died from either smallpox or another disease on March 1778. In his will he left all he had to his mother Daphney. 

PORTRAIT OF WILLIAM DUGUID BY PRINCE DEMAH 


An amazing artist story. Never judge a person by the color of their skin but by the content of their character!!!





I’VE BEEN NOMINATED FOR THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD!!

After a month of chronic arthritis in my leg and not being able to walk I was debating if I could ever think positively again.  Forget being creative.  Of course my ADHD brain went into “I’m a failure “.  

   

Then Friday I received a comment from one of my incredible blogger followers Mitch Teemley of The Power of Story saying he nominated me for The Blogger Recognition Award!  

Check out Mitch Teemley’s blog.   https://mitchteemley.com

Amazing because a year ago I didn’t have any idea how to do a blog.  I just lost my art website because I couldn’t afford the monthly fees and it was old and needed sprucing up.  I wanted to try doing a new one with WordPress but ended up with a blog for some unknown reason.  Go figure.  So I decided to play with it and tell my story of how I came out of a 30 year artist block where I stopped doing any form of creative work until I turned 50. 

The rest is history.  I spent my school years with untreated ADHD and learning disabilities so I never understood what grammar was.  I was confused by prepositions and what the heck is a verb anyway.  I never went to college because I couldn’t take tests.  I was successful in art in High School but was afraid to pursue it.  The rest of my life was trying to make money as an ineffective secretary.  Hiding from the world and living a life unlived.  

In 2002 at the age of 50 I finally was diagnosed and treated for ADHD.  I returned to becoming the artist I was meant to be.  I am blessed to have been successful by taking risks to bring out my art.  I began selling paintings.  Doing many shows in NYC from 2010.  I lost the secretary job in 2009 and burned all my office suits that made me look like Hillary Clinton.  

Since then I have created a business “Fearless Creativity Art for Arts Sake”.  I engage people who think they have no talent that they do.  Art will save people from worry.  It saved me during my childhood trauma. 

And all this is a result of my spiritual practice. My faith is stronger then any adversary. I trust God and help others.

TIPS FROM MY BLOGGING EXPERIENCE OF THE PAST YEAR:

  1. Just have FUN.  Authenticity to share my life story of becoming the artist I was meant to be was the motivation. 
  2. Don’t try to be famous.  It was not important that the Internet world would discover my talented writing.  
  3. Forgive yourself if you fall off the writing cliff.  I would miss weeks of posting and thought I could never start again.  But I forgave my inconsistency and found that my followers didn’t judge me. 

     

    NOW I AM NOMINATING THE FOLLOWING BLOGS FOR INSPIRING ME:

    1. Certainline.wordpress.com – the art of drawing 
    2. VisualAtelier.wordpress.com – art, design,photography 
    3. Cedricramey.wordpress.com – art, travel, fashion, lifestyle 
    4. Oneblessedfool.wordpress.com – faith, freedom, imagination 
    5. Pmuink.com – Daily Doodle 
    6. Orchidslantern.wordpress.com – art and stories of life 
    7. Michaelehrhardt.wordpress.com – original art 
    8. Impliedspaces.wordpress.com – digital art 
    9. Saidsimply.wordpress.com – thoughts of life & stuff 
    10. Ambiguousbrush.wordpress.com – wonderful drawings 
    11. Storyofthefootloose.com – a talented pen writing well 
    12. Littlefears.co.uk – short stories & art
    13. Fugitivedreamblog.wordpress.com – inspiring muses of the past 
    14. Izzyink.co.wordpress.com –  a journey into the world of illustration 
    15. Histolines.wordpress.com – history 

    Blogger Recognition Award Rules

     • Thank the blogger/s who nominated you and provide a link to their blog

     • Write a post about it the Blogger Recognition Award

     • Briefly tell how your blog started

     • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers

     • Select 15 bloggers to give this award to. 

    THANKS MITCH!!!

    I AM A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST -I DO NOT GIVE AWAY MY TIME FOR FREE 

    I have to reinforce this.  To myself and others.  I have a special talent and skill and it needs to be compensated for.  A lot of non profit organizations try to get me to volunteer my services.   When they ask me to create a flyer for them they don’t realize the work that is involved.  Actually, I never realized how much work I have been doing for free thinking it’s not a big deal.  Well recently I did a lot of free creative work for my congregation.   I was never thanked for the service I did.  Nor was the congregation aware of my creative contributions.   A member finally monetized my work.   I have given my time away for free.  I made my talent and skill not important. So I have given into the belief that art is not that important.  I spent almost 4 plus hours creating and designing advertising that will bring in business.  I give a professional product that will attract attention. 

    And I have not been given credit or appreciation from these organizations.  So I am posting the flyers that I gave away for free.  And from now on I will be paid either with money or a service or membership payment.   

    Here are some of my promotional projects. 



    POST-ELECTION AND CREATIVITY 

    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. 



    THERE IS NO COLOR


    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. 

    SHOULDN’T EVERYONE?

    PEACE TO THE WORLD 


    3:00am PART II

    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

    img_6274

    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  

    CREATING MOOD IN LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS 

    I like to play around with mood by using color.  Here are some of my moody landscape paintings. 

    BACK FROM AN ARTIST BLOCK –  THE COMEBACKS 

    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. 


    MORE FABULOUS ART ON THE HUDSON RIVER – WAVE HILL 

    Wave Hill has a Sunroom Project Space where guest artists display their work.  I met artist Amie Cunat peeking through her exhibition “HIDEOUT “.    Her work is created with cardboard and paper mache.


    I love this colorful hanging and I think it would be an extraordinary room divider in my apartment.  

    And Amie’s special guest at the opening was dressed to match the art.