MIND OF AN ARTIST: STUDY A BLADE OF GRASS

My mind is a monkey mind.

I know it's my ADHD. There is a quality of my life that resembles a circus. I'm always trying to train those monkeys to perform the right way. Okay you guys get yourselves in order.

I actually become the lion tamer trying to force my creativity to perform. Not only to perform but to kick ass perform.

Here's where pressure to be a creative genius sets in. In other words here comes the artist block! I HAVE TO DO THE BEST PAINTING OR DO NOTHING! So I do nothing.

The monkeys are doing nothing so out of boredom they start to act out. Avoidance creates havoc and chaos. I end up hating myself for being unproductive. It's a great big circus ring ready to explode.

My thinking is creativity needs to be a high experience with lots of bells and whistles going off. There's no sanity. There's no peace. Every work of art has to be created from a psychedelic experience. Don't forget I come from the original hippie lifestyle. The Magical Mystery tour. But it's becoming clear that flying by the seat of exploding pants is not working.

So that is why I am choosing to study a blade of grass. Slow down get off the merry go round. Be a quiet painter. I cannot be a superhuman artist. Study a blade of grass.

Here are plein air paintings done with the mindset of "study a blade of grass ".

START WITH A DOODLE:  WATERCOLOR PAINTING 

So again I have been in a creative block.  I was reminded of the quote by artist Chuck Close regarding artistic inspiration.  

“AMATEURS LOOK FOR INSPIRATION, THE REST OF US JUST GET UP AND GO TO WORK “

Can’t argue with that!!!   So I called upon my formula for breaking paralysis… START WITH A DOODLE!

I have a wonderful portable watercolor kit created to take anywhere.  A pouch filled with portable brushes and an assortment of wonderful pots of special paints.  An inexpensive set of watercolors.  Tiny tubes of gouache. Paper towels. And a 9″ x 12″ pad of cold pressed watercolor paper. Easy travel and easy clean up.  


Here is the doodle and I really got into working and playing the colors and the liquid flow of the medium.   And from the doodle two exciting and free expressive paintings. 



 

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!!


INSPIRING ART IN RIVERDALE

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My mission to engage people in creativity is finally happening! My painting classes at the Riverdale Senior Center have now begun their 3rd session!! This post is to show the incredible art from people who never painted before.

And a new student who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s has joined. Robert is a professional artist who studied at the Art Students League. He has a studio upstate New York. However, since his mental decline he has not done art for a long time. I told him the first day that he is still an artist and he can create just like Monet when his eyesight went bad.

My painting classes are not about skill. I do not teach technique. There is a very spiritual connection to art and one student, Margery, has exceptional talent.

So here’s to Riverdale’s emerging artists. And please do not refer to them as seniors dabbling in art. Their work is fearless and vibrant. Totally alive and ageless!

The following are by Robert who has Alzheimer’s:


STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO 

THE ART OF INSPIRING OTHERS

imageWhat are you doing to inspire others?  When I’m in self absorbed fear I’m in trouble

My Mind is a bad neighborhood  is yours?  Well get the hell out of Dodge NOW!!!

I realize that when I’m looking to be inspired what I really need is to inspire someone else.  So I spent yesterday being of service to my latest fearless artist Beth Gallager.  Beth doesn’t worry about being perfect – she is so happy being in her art zone.  Doing art has enhanced her life.  Her eyes are focused on seeing the world.  She is out of the cave and alive!  By the way she jumped in and never said those pitiful words “I can’t do art I can’t draw a straight line”

Who have you inspired lately?  An artist is responsible to encourage their communities to stop living in fear and start to enjoy their very special creative selves!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS HERE’S BETH’S CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS TREE! DONE ON  HER IPAD WITH ART SET PRO.

 

 

AN ARTIST MUST GET A TOUGH SKIN – THE ART OF SAYING NO

  I always say we need to be givers not takers but I am aware of red flags of giving to the wrong people.

I’m experiencing a phenomenon that artists are looked upon as not being serious professionals and what they do has no real benefit to the world. Artists are just a group of creative people who make paintings to decorate homes or to be collected by wealthy investment bankers.  If you are an artist who is not showing at Art Basel and the hottest trend then you are invisible.

I don’t need to be famous. But I want to be paid for my creative skills. Which brings me to the point of this post.  I will not give away my time or knowledge for free.

I am shocked at how many people pick my brain about iPad painting. Promoting my iPad painting workshops has been exhausting. I am treading a new path and there are a lot of biases to break through. So I have been giving a lot of lectures on it. In order to get people to register I have been too free on details which has given them the information to get the apps themselves and screw my workshop. I have been learning this iPad painting on my own since 2011. I consistently study all the ins and outs of every art app. This is my hard work and people want the information for free.

I joined a art organization in Riverdale when I moved here last October. I went to their business meeting and realized it was a bunch of seniors who do art. And they were rude and ignored me. The fact that they were hanging their paintings in an urgent care doctor waiting room really made me run. I couldn’t associate with them because they would tear my reputation down. But they consistently nudge me to give a lecture on my iPad painting to the group.  When I told them what I charge for the lecture the director told me that they don’t pay members to give lectures to the group.  Here is an art group that doesn’t think their members knowledge is worth paying for. Thank God my membership is over next month.

I have pitched my workshop and shown what I can do and when they ask how or what app I use I answer come to the workshop and find out.

An artist works hard to learn their skills. It is not all fun and games. Artists go to college to study art. If art were easy they wouldn’t have colleges giving out MFAs. ARTISTS ARE PROFESSIONALS!

I value my talent today and I demand respect. If you want to do what I do you need to pay for my knowledge.  

MY PORTRAIT WAS DONE BY ORRIN A SUPER ARTIST I MET IN THE SUBWAY IN NYC.

Greetings From the Sapphire Lounge In NYC – My First Solo Show

When I started to answer calls for artists I was given an opportunity to have a solo show on the Lower East hip lounge the Sapphire Lounge.  You know when you are new to all this you jump at anything.  My first solo show!!!

Challenge #1 – transporting a lot of paintings from Queens to NYC.  Trying to save money I ended up with a small van and a very interesting driver who was able to fit all the paintings in the van.  Challenge #1 no problem.

Challenge #2 – unloading paintings as the rain started to come down.  Oh no the manager is not in the lounge now…got to wait.  After a half hour the manager’s assistant showed and helped unload.  Challenge #2 no problem.

Challenge #3 – Hang paintings.  PROBLEM!  Okay the manager’s assistant was not really willing to help me.  I was alone and frustrated and always relied on my son.  Now the assistant is an old man from another country that I don’t remember.  He comes look at my work.  He stares quietly.  Then says “I have to get my tools to help you”.  Turns out he is a traditional painter.  He told me he liked my work and my clouds were beautiful.  I guess he was happy to see art that he could understand.  Challenge #3 revised to no problem.

sapphire2

So we hung it all and I stood back to admire the walls. The manager walks in and says great.  This is my opening night of my first solo show.  Things are good.  Then the manager tells me that tonight is a special night at the lounge:

IT’S GOING TO BE A RAPPER CONTEST!

10999272-Artists-of-hip-hop-Stock-Vector-rap-singing-singer

My heart sunk as I thought this is really going clash with my landscapes and rap music.  I learned the lesson of match your venue to your art.  But a miracle happened.

I saw the back of a very large man and he was looking at my paintings in silence.  I went up to him.  He was a rapper and he was the organizer of the contest.  We looked at each other and he smiled and said “did you do these paintings”.   I timidly said “yes”.  His smile got larger as he pointed to the big cloud.  “These are beautiful!”  I could not believe my ears.  He was emotional looking at my work.

I left the lounge that night with the rappers thanking me for the beautiful art for their show.  MY WORK TRANSCENDED CULTURES! WOW!

sapIce-Cube-Brotha-Blakk

 

PEOPLE DON’T THINK ART IS WORTH TRYING 

today I was journaling about the brick wall I hit when I tell a person that they don’t have to be good to do art. People think art is not important. People think art is meaningless to them. People rather rack up credit card debt shopping for things that end up in their closets.

I believe coloring books should be banned!!  Kids who struggle coloring in the lines think they are failures in art. The fact is true art is done outside the lines. That is true creativity.

My mission is to get people to see that creativity needs to be part of their lives.  It is not just for the talented. Art is necessary for the brain. Creativity works the brain by stimulating ideas. Ideas keep the brain youthful.

America wake up!  Art and culture are what makes us civilized. Kids in rural America turn to destructive forms of behavior because they have no opportunity to be creative or look at beautiful art. They end up on the internet or shooting up schools. Art can help people with mental illness.

We need to stop treating art as a subject that has no importance to our lives. Creativity needs to be seen as a valuable part of everyone’s life. It has to be seen as vital to the human experience. It is not a frivolous activity to be ignored.

And please don’t tell me you can’t draw a straight line. Creativity is not about straight lines.

ART IS IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE!!!

The picture below is my first show at the Art Students League. My son was proud of his mother.

THE 1960’S A RETROSPECT OF ART THAT WAS HIDDEN IN A DRAWER IN MY MOTHER’S HOME IN NJ FOR OVER 50 YEARS

1967 John and Yoko watercolor

Jimi Hendrix 19692202343651_5cf1118b491968 pen and inkgypsy-1Frank Zappaimage1967 fashion doodleB
1970 fashion art1969 fashion art
MORE 1970 FASHION
1970 fashion art1970 fashion art