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.

Best,

Linda

Day 307- Edvard Munch- Painting Anxiety

It’s Day 307 and I had a great time doing today’s painting. 🙂  I still feel like I’m fighting off a cold…so I’m going to try and rest up the rest of the afternoon and evening.  Join me in honoring Edvard Munch today…one of my favorites!

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch

The Scream- Edvard Munch

The Scream- Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch.  Painter (1863–1944)

Norwegian painter Edvard Munch is widely known for his iconic pre-Expressionist painting “The Scream” (“The Cry”).

Born in 1863 in Löten, Norway, famed painter Edvard Munch established a free-flowing, psychological-themed style all his own. His painting “The Scream” (“The Cry”; 1893), is one of the most recognizable works in the history of art. His later works proved to be less intense, but his earlier, darker paintings ensured his legacy. A testament to his importance, “The Scream” sold for more than $119 million in 2012—setting a new record.

Edvard Munch was born on December 12, 1863, in Löten, Norway, the second of five children.

Jealousy- Edvard Munch

Jealousy- Edvard Munch

In 1864, Munch moved with his family to the city of Oslo, where his mother died four years later of tuberculosis—he beginning of a series of familial tragedies in Munch’s life: His sister, Sophie, also died of tuberculosis, in 1877 at the age of 15; another of his sisters spent most of her life institutionalized for mental illness; and his only brother died of pneumonia at age 30.

In 1879, Munch began attending a technical college to study engineering, but left only a year later when his passion for art overtook his interest in engineering. In 1881, he enrolled at the Royal School of Art and Design. The following year, he rented a studio with six other artists and entered his first show, at the Industries and Art Exhibition.

Anxiety- Edvard Munch

Anxiety- Edvard Munch

Three years of study and practice later, Munch received a scholarship and traveled to Paris, France, where he spent three weeks. After returning to Oslo, he began working on new paintings, one of which was “The Sick Child,” which he would finish in 1886. In what would be seen as the first work to represent Munch’s break from the realist style, the painting symbolically captures intense emotion on the canvas—specifically depicting his feelings about the death of his sister nearly nine years earlier.

From 1889 (the year his father died) to 1892, Munch lived mainly in France—funded by state scholarships—embarking on the most productive, as well as the most troubled, period of his artistic life. It during this period that Munch undertook a series of paintings he called the “Frieze of Life,” ultimately encompassing 22 works for a 1902 Berlin exhibition.

With paintings bearing such titles as “Despair” (1892), “Melancholy” (c. 1892–93), “Anxiety” (1894), “Jealousy” (1894–95) and “The Scream” (also known as “The Cry”)—the last of which,

Golgotha- Edvard Munch

Golgotha- Edvard Munch

painted in 1893, would go on to become one of the most famous paintings ever produced—Munch’s mental state was on full display, and his style varied greatly, depending on which emotion had taken hold of him at the time. The collection was a huge success, and Munch soon became known to the art world. Subsequently, he found brief happiness in a life otherwise colored by excessive drinking, family misfortune and mental distress.

Separation- Edvard Munch

Separation- Edvard Munch

Success wasn’t enough to tame Munch’s inner demons for long, however, and as the 1900s began, his drinking spun out of control. In 1908, hearing voices and suffering from paralysis on one side, he collapsed and soon checked himself into a private sanitarium, where he drank less and regained some mental composure. In the spring of 1909, he checked out, eager to get back to work, but as history would show, most of his great works were behind him.

Munch moved to a country house in Ekely (near Oslo), Norway, where he lived in isolation and began painting landscapes. He nearly died of influenza in the pandemic of 1918-19, but recovered and would survive for more than two decades thereafter (he died at his country home in Ekley on January 23, 1944). Munch painted right up to his death, often depicting his deteriorating condition and

Madonna- Edvard Munch

Madonna- Edvard Munch

various physical maladies in his work.

In May 2012, Munch’s “The Scream” went on the auction block, selling at Sotheby’s in New York for more than $119 million—a record-breaking price—sealing its reputation as one of the most famous and important works of art ever produced.

Biography is from www.biography.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today.  I of course had to do a version of The Scream with myself doing the screaming. 🙂  I will see you tomorrow on Day 308!  I’m going to go and lay around snacking and napping now.

Best,

Linda

Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Linda Screaming- Tribute to Edvard Munch
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day Seventy-Eight- Alexandra Huber- “Nobody”

It’s Day 78…two more paintings away from 80 paintings.  Wow, I can’t believe I have made it this far. 🙂  Today I realized how Alexandra2riddled I am with anxiety and stress.  Well, I’ve known for quite a while, but today I think I’m hitting my upper limit.  I feel physically stressed and the thoughts in my mind aren’t helping.  Today’s artist is a perfect one for how I’m feeling today so join me in celebrating Art Brut artist Alexandra Huber!  I love her work.

Holy Place 2008- Alexandra Huber

Holy Place 2008- Alexandra Huber

Bored with her work-a-day life, Alexandra Huber (b. 1955) began painting around 1990 — at home, after work and with no formal training. Her work was first shown in her hometown of Munich, Germany in 1992 and in very little time she became one of Europe’s most acclaimed and sought after self-taught artists. In the ensuing ten years, Huber’s work has grown larger and more complex.

Her large canvases often contain smaller drawings collaged into them. And she

Alexandra Huber

Alexandra Huber

finds arresting new ways of using her “Esperanto of signs.” Using childlike stick figures as a symbolic “Nobody” she imbues her works with intense emotional content, “intangible, because incorporeal, he is the ideal protagonist for all human lamenting, suffering, hoping, and thinking. What Nobody will admit to, ‘Nobody’ has done. What everyone wishes, ‘Nobody’ expresses.” Alexandra

Alexandra Huber

Alexandra Huber

Huber is a major talent whose work gets deeper and stronger with time. She has shown in major galleries all over Europe and America. Her work garnered tremendous attention at the New York City Outsider Art Fair in recent years. Her first museum show will be in the Fall of 2002 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Biography is from www.headfooters.com.

~

Alexandra Huber

Alexandra Huber

“Alexandra Huber’s oeuvre is characterized by an apparent Esperanto of signs. It is not an art of the unconscious. The human being and the often puzzling order of things are her major theme. The figures in her art are interpreted by the objects around them as aggressive, painful, threatened or else whimsical, witty, clownish.

She symbolically loads them up and unloads them sentimentally, organically,

Alexandra Huber

Deibistnichtallein- Alexandra Huber

historically. She fills them up and empties them out with allusions, gestures, thoughts, speculations, wishes, fears, anger and pain but also with wit and irony. The feelings are always in between states, never fixed, never categorical. These spiritual feelings, usually decisions between pro and con, or else ‘indifferent’, are the actual subject matter.

Zeit brancht Abstand 1999- Alexandra Huber

Zeit brancht Abstand 1999- Alexandra Huber

Her ominous painted figure, perhaps an ‘alter ego,’ of ‘Hercules at the crossroads,’ can best be explained as ‘nobody.’ Intangible, because incorporeal, he is the ideal protagonist for all human lamenting, suffering, hoping and thinking. What nobody will admit to, ‘nobody’ has done. What everyone wishes, ‘nobody’ expresses. Her works or art revolve around the meaning, humor and

Ein Bischen- Alexandra Huber

Ein Bischen- Alexandra Huber

tragedy of human existence. It is an existence that even the pages of a sketchbook cannot reduce in grandeur. It is always conceived monumentally. Her paintings are intended on the one hand to be shocking and provocative, and on the other to be read and empathized with. They deliberately negate the slightest suggestion of solidity and smoothness. The hard, scruffy, infantile brushstroke reflects and awareness of life that ignores social taboos, approaches problems with an exploring touch and exposes deplorable states of affairs, no matter how small or how big.”

 

Johannes van Megen (art critic)- From www.artbrut.com

 

I had no problem figuring out what I was going to paint for my Huber tribute.  It’s a sad painting for me, but it was also therapeutic to paint it.  This past year has been a tragic one where on most days I can deal with everything, but today was especially hard.  These are the days I’m grateful for my friends, husband, dogs, art, music and painting in my life!  If I didn’t have those things I don’t know what I’d do.  Now to just work on my anxiety!  I recently had a talk with a friend about how artists and creative types tend to have a lot of anxiety.  Maybe I need to write more since I’m so good at manifesting stories in my mind.  Ha.  Thanks for listening to my rant and I hope you enjoy my painting.  I’ll see you tomorrow on day 79!  Best, Linda

Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 4 Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 4
Welcome to my Home- Tribute to Alexandra Huber
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas