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. 



 

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 

WE NEED A LITTLE STUART SMALLEY TONIGHT

imageWhen I feel like I’m going nowhere in life. When I hit the wall of the broken world. When nothing is going MY way. I turn to humor. In 1992 Al Franken created the Stuart Smalley character on SNL. Stuart was a suffering recovering 12 stepper in Overeaters Anonymous and Al anon. He was working hard to get self esteem and be a better person. I love how he would affirm the best but still regress. When he slid back into negativity he stopped and said. BUT THATS OKAY BECAUSE “I’M GOOD ENOUGH, I’M SMART ENOUGH, AND DOGGONE IT PEOPLE LIKE ME!”

So let’s end the week with Stuart. Enjoy and laugh. It’s silly but profound. Also the best skits on SNL were Stuart trying to help others. 

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.

COMPULSIVE SHOPPING, CREDIT CARD DEBT AND ART

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Okay this may be a strange title but I have experienced this when I was in my artist block for 30 years.

So here it goes. When I gave up my art I did it in a big way. I not only stopped creating I stopped going to museums and art shows. I couldn’t look at art. It was too painful to see what I had stopped doing. In those years my goals were to survive financially and find a husband to support me.

I was such a lost soul. Empty. I took jobs that I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t care about the job just the paycheck. I couldn’t keep jobs. I was not good at administrative work. My mind was not wired to be organized.  I never wanted a job that was too responsible. I wanted jobs where my desk was far away in a corner and all I would be required to do was small. I didn’t even want to answer phones!

So I had no self esteem and I needed to get rid of the pain. Drinking was an option and antidepressants too. But a better thing was shopping!  I needed to have my outsides looking good. I was always buying clothes. I made sure I never wore the same outfit twice in a week. I wasn’t making a lot of money at these jobs but I used credit cards to shop. I blocked out the consequences of having to eventually pay the bills. I never made enough money to pay them back. I had awful credit card debt and ended up in bankruptcy!!

The need to look good took me down. I was filling my empty soul with things. When I broke my artist block something big happened in my brain. Creating art put me in a zone that filled my empty soul. I was lifted to another dimension. My self esteem and confidence improved. I got myself back.

 Today my world is BIG. I used to love things and use people. Today I love people and use things. Creativity has given me a purpose in life. I connect to people through art. I no longer think about my selfish needs. My fear of people has been lifted. Through my art I have been able to bridge cultural barriers. The big picture of art is that barriers can be broken.

So I believe that people are today are chasing designer labels trying to mask the fear of reality. Women who are living at poverty level yet wear a $2000 handbag. People have been brainwashed by designers that in order to fit into society they have to wear their clothes. The truth is the designer is getting free advertising from the consumers.  The world is broken. Greed is in charge. Looking good is more important than connection to people. The sickness starts even in grade school.

Creativity can bring people together. Creativity makes life bigger. Creativity is not frivolous. We need to make it a necessity.  Get it???

Thank you.