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. 



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!!!

    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  

    IT’S 3:00am – DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE??

     

    imageIt happens often.  I bolt up in bed look at my phone and it’s only 3:00am!  Isn’t 3:00am when the spirit world is up doing their thing?

    Arghh, I’m up for the count. But I’ve gotten used to it. In fact I love the dark quietness that surrounds me. It is a sacred time.  The Twilight Zone episode where you are the only person left on earth.  I’m in a special world with my God.  Together we create future dreams.  My mind can travel anywhere.   The world of censorship is still sleeping!!!  I journey in my journaling.   Page after page of writing whatever comes out of my sleepy mind.  


    image.gif3:00am is Alice falling down the rabbit hole.  It’s time traveling to the 1960s.  

    I conjure up the time I studied dance with ALVIN AILEY at the YMCA on Broadway and 51st Street, 8th Avenue.  I was fifteen and wanted to dance desperately.   I went and persevered amongst the other professional adults because I was fearless  I WANTED TO DANCE!  Mr. Ailey was a dark giant of a man.  You could feel his talent was brewing in those classes he taught before the big time hit.   The class was always packed.  Mr. Ailey shouting out movements and then the thundering sound of the drum banging out the moves as we each danced across the floor with quick looks to see if Mr. Ailey approved.  LOOK AT ME MR. AILEY.  CAN I BE A DANCER??  AM I GOOD??   I didn’t care, I did my best dodging the long legs of dancers who plowed through me because they were in the dance zone and didn’t know I was there.   I love the way my body felt moving and through dance I made body connection in my figure drawing.  Dance was another artistic expression for me.

    4:00am – I’m back from the sweaty dance studio and sitting in my peaceful apartment in Riverdale, NY.  

    NOTE TO SELF:  a chapter of my life story;  Dancing in Alvin Ailey’s Dance Class.

    I experienced a future genius celebrity!

    3:00am is special!

     

     

    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!!


    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. 

    5670031156_d0b44227bc_oOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA





    KEITH HARING-ARTIST OF NEW YORK CITY SUBWAYS 

    Keith Haring began his art career at my subway stop on 96th Street and Lexington Avenue number 6 train.   

    I remember the first baby drawing on black unused ad space.  A few stations away another.  I knew something was happening. BUT WHAT??

    Weeks passed more babies with more levels of complexity.  More creatures too.  I kept watching a growing art phenomenon in the subway.  This was late ’70s early ’80s.   I feel so lucky to have been witness to the emergence of an artist who was really exploring the canvases of the city.   History before my eyes. 



    I’VE SIGNED MY FIRST CONTRACT AS A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST!

    I have spent two years traveling the “road less traveled “.  There’s a reason why the road is less traveled. I went from an unemployed homeless artist to a life beyond my wildest dreams.  HOW??   


    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. 

    And Friday I was given a one year contract to continue my mission of everyone can be an artist. 

     




    HAVE YOU EVER STAYED AWAKE AT NIGHT THINKING ABOUT….?

    YOUR BLOG IS NOT WORKING AND YOU NEVER SHOULD HAVE STARTED IT. 

    I don’t know what other bloggers do or think but I am working with a ADHD mind that drifts a lot.  Also my ADHD mind started to change my theme and I finally got it back to a sane appearance. That being said I am ready to post today. 

    I want to talk about how I told my story to the Executive Director of the National Association of Women Artists. This is a 127 year art organization for women artists who have always been shunned in the art world. 

    I told the story of how art saved me as a child growing up with mentally ill caretakers.  I als was sexually abused for a year when I was 5 by a neighbor.  I never was taught how to live and I raised myself.  But I escaped into my room for hours drawing and playing Barbra Streisand records. When I say hours I mean 6-7 hours.  I also played hookey from school hiding in the attic drawing.  I was famous in my room.  I was interviewed by Johnny Carson in my room.  I designed beautiful clothes for myself.  I always knew my family was crazy and I would never be the nasty people they were.  My house was the Adams Family house.  Except the Adams family were a nice family. 

    Susan, the director, listened and after telling my story she looked in my eyes and said, “I am going to do something for you that I have only done twice since I have been director here.  I am offering you a free membership to NAWA so I can help you and promote you. “

    She finished by saying I was a good person and my story is powerful enough to help a lot of people. 

    And I will be giving a workshop at NAWA May 10th showing how iPad art apps are a powerful artists tool. 

    The following pictures are from the  days of 1966-1970 living in the house. 

    1969 one of the many cats in my life

    1966 Mod Look in doorway of house

    1970 H.S. of Art & Design Yearbook