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 




 

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

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 

IT ALL BEGINS WITH A DOODLE

 

I have learned that waiting to be inspired to create art can be a very long wait.  Days. Weeks. Years.  Decades.

I don’t wait for inspiration I start it.   With a DOODLE.

The following art began with a squiggly line and the path it took.

UNFINISHED

I kill a lot of paintings because I don’t know when to STOP.

A new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is exploring this artistic dilemma.  It is called “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible ” .  I t will run till September 4th.

UNFINISHED THOUGHTS

Exhibition at Met

I’m inspired now to show my unfinished art without shame but to celebrate their presence.  I am taking them out of hiding.

Will I ever finish them?   Maybe. Maybe not.  But they are just as important as finished art.

WHAT UNFINISHED ART ARE YOU HIDING?  

EVERYONE POST YOUR UNFINISHED ART AND WE WILL ALL CELEBRATE!!

TIME FOR A FUN POST

I like to post art I have done and then the photos behind it.  I call it the art of inspiration.  Jimi Hendrix was part of my hippie days and I got to see him at the Filmore East during the sixties.  Yikes.  I found this photo on the internet and below is the watercolor drawing I did of him as a doodle (I always was prolific and would draw on scrapes of paper.  I’m grateful that my mother saved my drawings.
01789b7c754c5f52b57544d3c732fb0dJimi Hendrix 1969

BACK FROM THE RABBIT HOLE

Yes it has been an adventure the last few weeks and after a year and a half of building a creative business in iPad painting workshops in the New York area things began to pop.

I was asked to be co-curator for a digital art show at the Blue Door Gallery in Yonkers, NY that opened in February and closed March 5th.  The show opened up a lot of interest in iPad painting.  It was a first digital art show in the New York area.  After I gave a number of workshops at Blue Door that got excited about it and decided this was an important art movement.   The show was reviewed by The Riverdale Press with a front page story on the Events section.

Riverdale Press Link: http://www.riverdalepress.com/stories/Future-of-art-is-looking-blue,59190?content_source=&category_id=160&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=&town_id=

 

DIGITAL WORKSHOPS THIS SATURDAY FEBRUARY 27th Join our Featured Artist, and Co-Curator of Future/Canvas, Jean Messner, as she leads participants through a workshop teaching them how to create artwork through the use Tablets and Smartphones.

 

TODAY’S UPDATED ART

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HELLO MY NAME IS JEAN AND I’M AN ARTIST WITH ADHD 

I wish there was a 12 Step program for my struggles with this issue.  So I am going to adapt AA’s program to help me work through ADHD symptoms that do not serve me as an artist who is building a creative business.  Please join me on a road less traveled – it starts with BELIEF!
  

DISCLAIMER:  I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST OR COUNSELOR.  I ONLY SHARE MY EXPERIENCE STRENGTH AND HOPE ON DEALING WITH MY ADHD ISSUES.  PLEASE CONSULT PROFESSIONAL HELP TO DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS. 

I have been blogging for a very short time.  It was done without really thinking about what my blog would be.  I admit I was impulsive and said this may work (or not).  So I wanted to let artists know how I recovered from a 30 year artist block that ended in the loss of a 13 year marriage and losing  custody of my 5 year old son due to the destruction of my true self.  That is a whole other post.  

I AM READY FOR THE NEXT BLOGGER LEVEL.  TRANSPARENCY.  AUTHENTICITY AND CREATIVITY.  

I never knew I had ADHD until I turned 50.  I struggled my whole life to survive and fit in a world I didn’t understand.  I ended up abusing alcohol and drugs to self medicate since I was 11 years old.  In February 2001 I destroyed myself and everyone around me.  I was sent to a treatment center in Pennsylvania for 30 days but I was so sick I ended up there for 7 months.  On September 10, 2001 I left rehab with a suitcase and pillow and quilt to my new apartment in Queens. The next morning 9/11 happened.  I realize now what a metaphor that was.  The end of New York City as we knew it (safe and routine).  As I watched the Towers crumble before my eyes in disbelief the impact of something so permanent crashing down and disappearing in a short time I now see as the crumbling of my life as knew it was also crashing. 

I needed to rebuild me. 

6 months later I was diagnosed with ADHD and learning disabilities.  FINALLY EVERYTHING MADE SENSE!  I learned I was not crazy, lazy or stupid.  

So I want to let my blogging friends know who I am and how I dealt with my struggles to manage a life that was lost for so many years.

In 2009 I was laid off from a 19 year legal secretary position in a very large New York City law firm.  I didn’t see the gift this would eventually become.  I had to make a decision at the age of 57 to not hide out in a secretarial job.  I had to face the question either I’m an artist or not.  Am I willing to go to any lengths to finally be visible and show my art. 

I’m committed to finally being free to stop giving up on myself and my talent.  My previous posts show my journey. Now I am adding to that journey the up and down pathways of a artist of maturity in a world of economic uncertainty creating a prosperous business in the arts. 

I’m spiritually guided to help artists who struggle with believing that they can’t be successful.  Who have given up on their art. Who feel that they are too old or not good enough to live a creative life.  This is not for artists who want to do art to make money and be famous.  I’m an artist who does art because I must.  I never paint to sell.  I have come out of the cave and have built a big internet exposure slowly.  I have done art shows where I was the oldest person there. Also the only woman artist. I don’t think about being old and not fitting in. In fact I am grateful to be able to have my work out there. When I first let my work be shown I SOLD MY ART! And I continue to sell. 

My vision expanded to be an inspirational artist speaker and coach to help those who have ADHD or artist blocks.  

THIS BLOG IS ABOUT BEING A FEARLESS ARTIST.  BEING A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST DEALING WITH ADHD SYMPTOMS.  I NOW WORK WITHOUT EGO.  I WANT TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE SUCCESS. I DEFINE SUCCESS IN ALL AREAS OF MY LIFE.  

IT STARTS WITH BELIEF!

  


MEET PHOTOGRAPHER SAM HORINE

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As an artist in today’s art world I make sure I get out and learn what other artists are doing to be successful with their art.  I posted the lecture I attended at the National Arts Club on how artists are using Instagram to promote their work. 

I took a seat in the front row as I always do and that put me within a foot of the handsome face of Sam Horine, one of the guest speakers   Sam radiated a sense of true authenticity and confidence without ego   I’m good at picking up “artistic ego driven” vibes   A couple of them sat next to me.  You know the kind.   They think they’re the most talented artists around.  They are usually seniors belonging to prestigious art clubs and have been going to art school forever.  They desperately want to be famous and sell their art.  Behind me sat a prominent (that’s how he was introduced) sculptor who has been known in the art world.  I tried to engage in a conversation but was dismissed.  They always look down their noses when they dismiss you right!

STOP…back to the real topic of this post…Sam.  Why I want to put him on my blog is that he is an example of an artist who creates because it is his soul.  And he is an artist who is open to all people.  He is adjunct professor at NYU teaching photography.  He is a successful freelance photographer working with major companies.  Best of all he is SAM and his work is expressive of the integrity I felt being across the table from him.

The artist savage next to me questioned him with “are you selling on Instagram ?”  He graciously replied that he doesn’t use Instagram as a tool to sell.  He said it was more important to use it to show his work to a large audience.  That being said the senior artist savage grumbled and I know she won’t be using Instagram.

Here’s to Sam Horine.  An artist in the true sense of the word.

His website: http://www.samhorine.com  knock out photography