Landscape painting on my iPad.
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!!
I HAVE BEEN STALKED AND CAPTURED BY THE DARK CREVICES OF MY MIND. I CAN UNDERSTAND VAN GOGH’S FIGHT WITH SANITY. BUT I AM A VERY LEARNED WOMAN WHO HAS SPENT A LIFETIME EDUCATING MYSELF ON HOW THE BRAIN WORKS.
KNOWING IS THE FIRST STEP IN BEING ABLE TO STOP FIGHTING THE DARKNESS AND LET IT JUST FLOW THROUGH.
DURING THESE TIMES I HIDE IN MY HOME AND RETREAT. I’M TAKEN AWAY FROM INDULGING IN LUSCIOUS OILY PAINT COLORS AND BUILDING LAYER UPON LAYER OF RICH THICK PAINT. I’M IMMOBILE TO ACTION.
I accept those times even though I shut the world out and fear I will never escape my demons. But I have to always avoid giving in to false evidence appearing real.
A month ago I experienced a new mental twist…anxiety disorder! I didn’t know that I had it. But I have to say I chased my recovery from it and sought help. I don’t have to go through pain alone anymore. And all through this I let the luscious oil paints flow on canvas and shared my experience to a troubled student in my painting class.
I don’t give in but I also don’t fight my mind…my darkness is another part of being an artist. I even used darkness in a series of paintings.
I’M BACK TO BEING JEAN. I’M BACK . I trust God and give to others.
MY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE NOT A MORAL ISSUE. THEY ARE THE PIECES OF THE MYSTERIOUS PUZZLE CALLED JEAN MESSNER.
IN REMEMBRANCE OF VINCENT VAN GOGH.
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
People think art is not for them. It is only for talented artists. Art is mysterious. It’s messy and too much trouble. The bottom line is art has become a unnecessary part of life. And we have separated people into creatives and non-creatives.
I’m determined to address this myth and encourage people to engage in art as a way to create a balanced mind. It can be visual art, music, dancing, singing or writing. Creativity and imagination can improve the quality of life.
Stop listening to the news and start doing ART!!!
I have created a very inspirational painting class in the Bronx.
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.
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!!
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.
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.