The MIND OF AN ARTIST:  THE RETURN OF THE JEDI

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 




 

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!!!

    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

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    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  

    A FAMOUS ARTIST BLOCK  –  GEORGIA O’KEEFE 


    Sometimes I think I’m alone in my artist block.  The ability to see that others have been in this position and they have gone through the pain of not creating for a long time helps me identify and not feel alone.   Even hearing that a person has survived being hospitalized for a mental breakdown is inspiring and hopeful for me .  I’m always in fear of having a mental breakdown.  I’m afraid people will leave me for being crazy. I’m afraid of never being creative again.  

    I started to research artists who have had breakdowns and blocks.   Here’s one that surprised me.  Georgia O’Keefe. 

    In 1932, after falling far behind on a Radio City Music Hall mural, O’Keefe suffered an intense nervous breakdown. It was only after a period of hospitalization and NOT PAINTING FOR TWO YEARS that she was able to rekindle her life’s love of creating art. 

    I was blown away by this story.   I’m in great company with my mental breakdowns and blocks.   It happens.  So what.  

    I’M NOT ALONE!!!!!   HERE’S TO YOU GEORGIA!!


    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. 


    BEING RAISED BY BARBIE

    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.”

    img_6034

    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.

    imageimg_6040


    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??


    img_6076

    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. 

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    THE DR. SEUSS THEORY OF MY LIFE

    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 

    you’ll meet 

    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

    So be courageous and go towards the light 

    Never use avoidance 

    To deal with your plight 

    This world isn’t pretty 

    In fact it is sad

    When you keep giving to others 

    It negates some of the bad


    As an artist standing at the turning point 

    Not knowing how far

    Keep being creative 

    Be the artist you are