Harnessing My Creative…Spirits? Demons?

365 Muthagrabbin' Paintings...isn't that enough for now???

365 Muthagrabbin’ Paintings…isn’t that enough for now???

While walking the dogs yesterday and listening to Maron’s interview with Adam Goldberg, Maron made a comment about Goldberg having so many ideas.  Later the conversation turned to the topic of anxiety (in Maron’s interviews, it frequently does).  It didn’t linger on that topic, but my mind did.  Whenever anxiety is brought up, my ears perk up and I feel drawn to listening because I suffer from it as well.  It always makes me feel better when people explain that their anxiety is a result of being abundantly creative.  In many ways this is very true for me.

I’ve noticed that the past few days I’ve been suffering from a bit of anxiety…which isn’t really that rare, I’ve been suffering from it since I was 6 years old.  My brain is constantly active.  “What about this?  What leads to that?

Wakey Wakey...there's so much to do!  Maybe you can start on a new book and never finish it!

Wakey Wakey…there’s so much to do! Maybe you can start on a new book and never finish it!

What can I do about this?  There’s not enough time in a lifetime to do everything I want to do!”  Then that leads to…”I don’t feel good.  Why don’t I feel good?  I must be sick.  Maybe I’m dying.  We all die.  When am I going to die?  Maybe tomorrow?  Oh shit, I haven’t done everything I need to do.”

The words in my brain are much more complex and in moments, much more dark.  People have told me (and I have also told others) there isn’t a reason to really freak out unless someone is pointing a gun to your head or if there’s a tiger in the room (metaphorically speaking).  Well, my brain is so imaginative that I can literally manifest that tiger into my reality.  When my mother passed away in March of 2013, it was a catalyst that drove me into a phase of spiraling anxiety.  After initial denial, I sought therapy which is helping immensely.

Maybe I'll learn the sitar this year?  On top of that, maybe I'll record a sitar song everyday!  Yeah, that sounds not stressful at all!

Maybe I’ll learn the sitar this year? On top of that, maybe I’ll record a sitar song everyday! Yeah, that sounds not stressful at all!

Don’t get me wrong, even with my anxiety, I’m a functioning human.  But I don’t like where it takes me.  It’s a scary place where one feels they have completely lost control…physically and mentally.

Back to yesterday.  I started thinking to myself…”I need to harness all this energy, my creative spirits (demons at times)…but how exactly?”  When will I feel like I’m doing enough creatively?  Being productive to the point of satisfaction?  I paint, draw, write novels, sew monsters and puppets, do a puppet show, perform improv with a great group of people, take classes, write music, play piano/mandolin/guitar/etc., sing, write poetry, make films…etcetera etcetera!

Maybe I haven’t found the exact thing…the specific art that is effective in harnessing this energy?  I just finished painting 365 fucking paintings a few days ago and I’m still thinking, What next???  My creativity is feeding itself.  Sometimes I feel that inspiration is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be a curse.  Sometimes I just

The tiger in my mind...beautiful and freaking scary.

The tiger in my mind…beautiful and freaking scary.

want to sit there, bored, eating my sandwich and watching stupid TV starring teenage werewolves or super heroes without my brain being somewhere else…thinking about the next “project”.  I’m not really complaining.  It’s just very interesting that something like this could be a problem.  Loving too many things.

I’m so lucky that I have the time to even muse something like this.  I am so lucky to have so many talented, supportive, like-minded friends and family.  I’m so lucky to live in such a diverse, creative, artistic area which to share my creativity in.

But still the anxiety lingers…waiting to pounce like a tiger in the shadows.

There has to be a way.  A way to tame that beast, eliminate the fear and learn to love it for what it is.

One day I will find it.



The Best Gifts!

A book from Gerard

A book from Gerard

Throughout this past year as I paid humble tribute to many great artists, a few of them have reached out to me and sent me original pieces of their beautiful artwork.

Gerard Sendrey not only gifted me with his art, but we also became friends and he has written an article about me in Creation Franche’s Publication which is due to come out in a few days.  You can visit the website here.


My tribute on top…then three Gerard sent me.

You can watch a documentary on Gerard here (it comes in two parts) and please visit my blog page here if you haven’t already.  He’s such a wonderful artist and man.

I’ve also received original work from Pierre Silvin, who happens to be Gerard’s son!  His artwork is so special and so hard to mimic since I wasn’t sure of the materials, but even when I received the actual art in the mail, I couldn’t quite figure it out.  His pieces have a kind of luminescence and beauty that can’t be emulated.  Please visit my blog on him here if you haven’t seen his work!  It’s lovely.

Pierre Silvin Original with a nice note

Pierre Silvin Original with a nice note

Today I received 7 pieces and a nice note from Sophie Orlicki who I also paid tribute to!  I squealed when I saw the package because I had a feeling it was going to be artwork.  Her pieces are so beautiful in person and I cannot wait to get them framed like I did with Gerard and Pierre’s work.  Please visit my blog page for her here.

I never expected to receive such thoughtful and wonderful gifts let alone the artist themselves contacting me.  I am honored to have paid them tribute and honored that they reached out to give their

Today's gift from Sophie Orlicki.  So beautiful in person.

Today’s gift from Sophie Orlicki. So beautiful in person.

appreciation and thanks.  It makes me feel very special and makes me understand why I did this project in the first place.  I hope I inspired you all and I want to thank you again for your support!

This is only the beginning!  I am in the process of organizing all my pieces.  Readying everything to take quality photos for the book I’m designing that’ll hopefully be on sale on amazon.  And most of all figuring out the logistics of having an art show with all 365 pieces before sending them out to all that have reserved a piece.  These artists will be getting some Linda Patricia Cleary artwork in the mail soon!

Gerard's work framed and in my house!

Gerard’s work framed and in my house!

Whatever has not been reserved, gets sold at the show etc. will be available online after the show is over.  BUT, if you’d like to reserve one in advance, please message me or “like” me on Facebook, find the painting you want and put your name in the comments to reserve it.  That’s where I am keeping track of everything.  Here’s the Facebook page for Day of the Artist.



The End AND The Beginning!

Jackson Pollock Day!

Jackson Pollock Day!

First of all, I woke up this morning thinking, “Well, better get to painting!” then I remembered that I was done, finished, complete and I had zero paintings left to do with this particular challenge.  I felt a rush of relief, then sadness and then confusion.  This project had infused itself into my life and I’m pretty sure there are elements of it that I will never rid myself of.

I learned so much this past year.  Yes, I learned technical aspects of art, TONS of art history, was introduced to new materials, styles and movements.  I’ve painted paintings I would’ve never thought of or wanted to paint (I said YES!).  I’ve painted some of my best work and some of my not so great work.  I accepted failure graciously and also moved on instead of lingering on that failure.

One of the biggest things I realized was how much I enjoy just the process of “doing”.  This challenge forced me to just “do” and not worry about the result.  And boy wouldn’t it be great to live the rest of my life like that?  Live for just now and not worry about the past or present.  Well, this project was an exercise in that for sure.  I had gotten the question, “How are you doing this?” from so many people and the only answer I could give was, “I just do it.”

This project started out as a personal challenge.  I never imagined how many people it would inspire and

Early on the the project...seems like yesterday!

Early on the the project…seems like yesterday!

affect.  I am so glad it did and I am so happy I decided to share it, declare it to all my friends.  I think that in doing so it gave me the motivation and a slight amount of pressure to make sure I did it every single day.

I also made new friends through this challenge.  People who followed and commented on my blog, relatives of some of the artists that I paid tribute to (writing me to tell me that they appreciated my tribute to their grandfather, uncles, grandmothers etc.) and even some artists themselves like Gerard Sendrey, Pierre Silvin, Sophie Orlicki, Anne Billon (Ruzena), John “CRASH” Matos and Matt Sesow.  Gerard Sendrey writes me regularly and we have become friends.  He and his son Pierre Silvin have both sent me their own personal artwork in thanks to my tribute.  Gerard has also written an article about my project/art in a French publication that will be published in a few days!  I was also interviewed by Scott Lefebvre who is a writer and maintains his own blog where he interviews interesting people.

So like I said, so much has come from this idea that I had for this insane project.

That one time (and the last time) I painted with my mouth...

That one time (and the last time) I painted with my mouth…

I am going to continue to paint (of course!) and I have many ideas for series of paintings.  I’ll be putting all this experience into larger pieces and I’m going to continue to promote my own art and live my life in the mind frame that I’ve adopted while engaging in this challenge.  My experience has grown and so have I as a person.

I hope I don’t sound too bold when I say that I am damned proud of myself but I also cannot believe that I actually did it.  I hope that this project has inspired you and that people keep on discovering it and it continues to inspire people to challenge themselves, enjoy the process of creating and just “do”.

Keep creating, start creating in whatever shape, form, sound or action you feel.  Don’t worry about people liking it, it being a masterpiece or making money.  Do it because it makes you happy and you are learning something from it.

I want to end this blog with some kind words I received (or people posted about my project).

My friend Rohan had this to say…(He expressed my project in a way that I couldn’t have…and of course it made me cry)

I’m not one to promote other people’s stuff too often on Facebook, but today I would like to profess my sincere admiration for Linda Cleary. When I first met her, now 8 or so years ago I was

Buried in art

Buried in art

immediately impressed by her unashamed, unpretentious, and very hard-working creativity. She has always been writing books, painting pictures, making music and acting the whole time I have known her, and unlike so many other folks I know, almost every project is followed through and finished. Those who know me personally will be aware how prolific (and unedited) I am, but Linda puts me to shame. Last year, on Jan 1st, she embarked on a massive, and deeply un-egotistical project – to paint a painting per day, for a year, each one a sincere homage, either stylistically, emotionally, or conceptually, to an artist she admires, some famous, some personal friends, some just worthy of her admiration; a different artist each day for a year. Believe me, having watched the project progress, this is not an exercise in “look what I can do” so much as a genuine pilgrimage through the styles and visions she admires and have influenced her along the way. As the project progressed her blog began

Last day!

Last day!

to attract interest, and in some cases, artists she had paid homage to to got personally in touch to express appreciation (and send her pressies). All of this with no intention of making money or becoming famous. Just because that is one of many things that art is about. Yesterday she posted her final, 365th painting of the series. So today I applaud Linda Cleary, and recommend you go and take a look at her Day of the Artist.

My friend Clay posted this:

Today is the last day of my very good friend Linda Cleary’s incredible project. She has created a painting every day, each honoring a different artist, for the past year. When she first told me of her plans to do it, I didn’t believe there was any way a person could be so committed to pull that off. Today however, will be her 365th installment in the series. I highly encourage you to check out some of the work on her facebook page and at dayoftheartist.com, where she also includes a short bio of each artist for each day. I’m so incredibly proud of her and she inspires me so much every day. I’m also crazy excited to say that I will be partnering with her for next year’s project. More info on that soon, but wish us luck. In the meantime, check out her stuff and tell her how awesome / insane she is pulling this whole thing off.

I am honored and humbled for those posts!  SO many of you have written me, commented and told me in

Whew!  This is just a portion of the paintings...there's about 50 hanging and a whole other stack of the 3-D paintings that can't stack.

Whew! This is just a portion of the paintings…there’s about 50 hanging and a whole other stack of the 3-D paintings that can’t stack.

person how inspiring this project was to you and every word means so much.  Thank you to you all for your support, encouragement and inspiration.  I love you all!

P.S.  I could keep writing and writing about every single thing I learned from this project, but I’m saving that for my doctoral thesis.  Does that even make sense?  Sorry, I don’t have a Ph. D. 😉