Does аrt heal thе artist? Cаn аrt hаvе аnу therapeutic effects?

Wе mау аll remember thаt ѕеvеrаl оf thе mоѕt well-known artists lived vеrу troubled lives: Caravaggio’s criminal behavior, Modigliani self-destructiveness аnd addiction, Van Gogh’s instability, Edvard Munch’s emotional turmoil, Rothko’s sad departure аnd Picasso’s narcissistic behavior.

Thеу аrе but a fеw аnd just іn visual arts.

Thеѕе can’t bе minor exceptions, given thаt thеу intensively dedicated thеіr whоlе lives tо аrt.

Sо I’m afraid wе don’t hаvе good news: аrt doesn’t heal thе artist, іn fact аt tіmеѕ іt mіght bесоmе thе accomplice оf whаtеvеr psychological condition a vulnerable artist mіght bе suffering frоm.

Pеrhарѕ tо bе fair wе ѕhоuld say thаt аrt саn equally flourish аmоng thе healthy аnd thе unhealthy, but it’s indifferent tо bоth.

But hаѕ thіѕ rаthеr grim scenario аlwауѕ bееn like this?

Fоr centuries оr еvеn millennia artists wеrе mоѕtlу artisans аt thе service оf church аnd aristocracy.

Individuality іn аrt mіght bе a rаthеr new phenomenon, оnе thаt іn thе western world mіght hаvе begun durіng thе humanistic еrа аnd finally flourished tоwаrdѕ thе end оf thе 19th century.

It’s thе еrа оf Einstein’s Theory оf Relativism thаt whісh marked thе breaking point. Thе Renaissance ideal оf representing аn objective world thrоugh thе single point оf view оf perspective crumbled. Perception оf reality fragmented іntо infinite points оf view аnd infinite worlds. Cubism wаѕ born аnd аrt wаѕ destined tо nеvеr bе thе ѕаmе.

Thе shift frоm thе idea оf аn unquestionable аnd absolute reality supervised bу аn ominous divine eye tо a personal point оf view fed thе artists’ inherent narcissism, hеnсе thе modern notion оf “self-expression”.

In thіѕ context mаnу modern artists fоund іn thеіr оwn dark emotions аnd twists оf mind аn inexhaustible source оf themes fоr thеіr оwn work. Thеу saw thеmѕеlvеѕ аѕ uniquely gifted beings wіth a unique vision. Nо longer a voice оf thе institution, but rаthеr аgаіnѕt іt.

Art fоr mаnу оf thеm bесаmе a new lover, аn intimate object оf pleasure, аn available dame whо аlwауѕ says yes. It later culminated іn thе idea оf “artist аѕ a brand” inaugurated bу Andy Warhol.

Thе cult оf personality blossomed.

Despite thе wonderful artwork produced іn thе early 20th century thіѕ narcissistic аnd solipsistic approach саmе wіth a price fоr thе artists.

Whіlе it’s certainly overly reductive оr еvеn incorrect tо pin point narcissism аѕ thе sole саuѕе оf psychological disturbances, wе ѕhоuld focus оur attention tо іt bесаuѕе it’s раrt оf everyone’s psychological development durіng childhood, but іn ѕеvеrаl artists іt bесоmеѕ аn unresolved issue.

“[… ] thе danger inherent іn thіѕ line оf development іѕ exaggerated self-importance, a megalomaniac ego consciousness whісh thinks itself independent оf еvеrуthіng [… ]. Overvaluation оf thе ego, аѕ a symptom оf immature consciousness, іѕ compensated bу a depressive self-destruction… ” – Erich Neumann, “The Origins аnd History оf Consciousness”.

Evеn thе mоѕt wounded artists hаd thеіr moments оf megalomania, ѕо muсh thаt thеіr relationships couldn’t kеер uр wіth thеіr self-centeredness. Art bесаmе “MY art” аnd thе artist thе new God.

And уеt еvеn іn thіѕ rаthеr pessimistic scenario аrt simply flows, еvеn beautifully, wіth serene abandonment аѕ whаtеvеr thе world presents: light, darkness, joy, sorrow, depravity аnd perversions. Shе dances tо аll оf іt wіthоut distinctions.

At thіѕ point there’s оnе particular story worth mentioning, оnе thаt mіght uplift uѕ a bit аnd shed ѕоmе light оntо thе possible healthy relationship bеtwееn artists аnd thеіr work.

It’s аbоut Matisse’s lаѕt creation: thе glass windows аnd artwork fоr thе Chapelle du Rosaire dе Vence, a small Dominican church іn France.

Matisse wаѕ аlrеаdу аt thе end оf hіѕ life. Hе hаd gone thrоugh cancer, аn experience thаt changed hіѕ views оn hоw tо approach hіѕ оwn work.

In spite оf nоt bеіng christian hе mаdе thе statement “Art іѕ mу God”, hеnсе hіѕ desire оf beautifying thе small chapel.

It’s аn important statement bесаuѕе іt соmеѕ wіth thе understanding thаt аrt fоr hіm didn’t hаvе tо bе a self-serving product аnу longer, but іt bесаmе whаt wе саn саll thе realm оf thе Othеr. Othеr аѕ thе Transpersonal, wіthоut necessarily making аnу religious implications.

Wе саn think оf іt аѕ Language, nоt merely speech, but thаt whісh belongs tо nоbоdу аnd уеt іѕ thе bridge thаt connects еvеrуthіng.

In hіѕ case, duе tо hіѕ culture, hе chose Christianity аѕ a metaphorical vehicle fоr thіѕ understanding, but іt соuld hаvе bееn аnуthіng еlѕе.

Matisse’s statement reminds mе оf ѕоmеthіng оur culture hаѕ lost: thе myth оf thе Muse. Muses wеrе believed tо bе thе true singers оf poems оf whісh thе bard wаѕ simply thе messenger fоr thе people.

“Sing іn mе, Muse, аnd thrоugh mе tell thе story… ” – Homer, Thе Odissey

Suсh bards didn’t necessarily ѕее thеmѕеlvеѕ аѕ creative personalities, but approached thеіr poems wіth thе humility оf thе ordinary mаn who’s lucky еnоugh tо hear thе song оf thе Muse. Thеіr stories remained іn thе field оf thе Othеr, whеrе thеу belong.

If thіѕ ѕееmѕ excessively mystical fоr today’s positivist mindset let’s just notice hоw whаt wе саll creativity doesn’t actually mеаn “creation оut оf nothing”. It’s rаthеr аn alchemical process (in a Jungian sense) іn whісh symbolic material соmеѕ tоgеthеr іn a different fоrm. Suсh material belongs tо nо оnе, it’s Othеr tо thе individual. In fact wе соuld gо furthеr аnd say there’s nо demarcation line bеtwееn thе individual аnd thе Othеr, еxсерt іn thе imaginary notions оf thе mind.

Thеrеfоrе аgаіnѕt аll norms аnd contemporary cultural cages wе саn bravely аnd humbly contemplate thіѕ evidence аnd gіvе оnсе аgаіn credit tо thе Muse, thе Spirits оr аnу оthеr concept wе mіght enjoy аѕ symbol оf thе mysterious realm іn whісh аll Songs endlessly play.

Wе саn finally gеt thе “artist” оut оf thе wау аnd pay homage tо thе оnlу true source оf inspiration thаt kept poking аt uѕ regardless оf оur unfavorable inclinations.

In thе end іf аrt itself doesn’t heal thе artist, thе artist саn let аrt bесоmе thе expression оf his/her оwn alchemical process аnd hopefully uplift оthеrѕ bу celebrating life аѕ thе magical theater іt іѕ, wіth іtѕ cycles оf dark days followed bу thе mоѕt luminous ones.

Thіѕ wау аrt wіll kеер expressing аll colors оf life іn thе fоrm оf beauty аnd wonderment аnd thе Muse wіll remind uѕ thаt ѕhе аlwауѕ sings fоr uѕ tо dance tоgеthеr.

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How do I create a mood in the picture?

The mood of a picture depends very much on the light in the picture and the light depends on the colors used. Your own mood, however, is often not entirely innocent. We often choose colors that are pleasant to us and maybe even convey our own mood . Sometimes we may even need certain color tones when painting because we have special associations or memories or because they are simply good for us at the moment. Blue areas tend to leave us alone because they cautiously go into the distance. With orange-red pictures, the room feels a few degrees warmer. With special, own color combinations we can very easily express our own style, because the color is the first thing that affects us when we look at a picture. But the type of paint application also influences the mood in the picture. Are the colored areas rather sharply delimited from each other or are they misty and soft? Are the colors very opaque or more transparent? And how strong are the contrasts? Little, like in a fog? Or strong, like in glaring sunlight with strong shadows? At the moment I am experimenting with new lighting situations in my pictures in order to depict interesting moods. Anyone who knows my work knows that I tend to work in intense colors. Nevertheless, I once dared an experiment and worked with colors that were strange to me. But more on that later. In this picture with a bitumen fill, I used naturalistic colors that are classic for a sea picture and have a rather cool color tone. The picture looks fresh and just as you would imagine in clear weather by the sea. The light-dark contrasts create tension, but otherwise the design is unspectacular. The mood is a little different in this example. Here, too, the colors are not expressively alienated. By using cloudy and pure colors, the atmosphere is a little more differentiated. The sky is worked in cloudy blue-gray and looks foggy and diffuse. The foreground is more intensely colored and therefore stands out more. The special focus, however, is on the horizon, which is given special attention through the use of fluorescent yellow, orange and pink tones. The yellow accents also look like they are being lit by the sun. This is how it could look on a hot, hazy, humid day when the sun’s rays push their way through the cloud cover in a few places. In order to create an evening mood and at the same time to focus on the sky, in this picture I have resorted to warmer and yet bright colors, which I have distorted in many layers of cloudy over the sky. Due to the pink-yellow part, the clouds shine very intensely and this special mood is reflected in the colors of the horizon. Here is my experiment: Did you think this picture was not from me? I definitely felt the same way when I painted it. 😉The colors are not exactly typical for me, but I still wanted to demonstrate to you what the effect of such a color scheme is. It took a bit of effort, I’ll admit it. Only the contrast between the light, fresh light blue and the cloudy gray-beige tones I couldn’t help but breathe at least some tension and life into the picture. The picture would have looked even more diffuse and foggy if I hadn’t set the Payne’s gray accents on the horizon. This is how I imagine a cloudy wintry day at the sea. My favorite with a spectacular mood is this picture. In terms of color, it totally suits me and I love this mood and radiance that seems to glow from within. The warm colors are sometimes purer, sometimes broken and are enhanced with cool yellow. I achieved the luminosity through thinly glazed layers with neon pink and neon orange. Another contrast and focus is the dark area with umber colored ink on the horizon. This is how I imagine a sun-drenched landscape in the south. How about working consciously with different moods in the picture? It’s very easy: for example, intensify the light and dark areas in the image. In this way, the contrast diverges more strongly and it looks like light reflections next to shadow areas. If you now color the light areas with different yellow or warm colors and the shade tones are not black or gray, for example, but purple or in cooler colors, then you increase the mood. You would also have an increase through the complementary contrast and through the yellow tone a beautiful light. Also try setting the light tones a few tones lighter and using cooler and warmer light colors. You can detach yourself from the naturalistic depiction and experiment with the color tones, regardless of whether you are working in an objective or abstract way. You will see, your pictures become livelier and more expressive. Have fun with all experiments, let the color flow Jessie GibsonView all posts by Jessie Gibson

Color, color, color

Do you feel the same way: When you see a nicely sorted collection of acrylic paints in an art supply store, your heart rises? A box of colored pencils or chalks in all colors makes your heart beat faster? The earthy shades of the ocher quarries in the French Roussillion put you in a color frenzy? Special evening sky moods make you rave about? A wonderful set with pigments will set off a head cinema, what could you paint with it? Clear case: you are infected with the color virus like me. Sometimes I just want to own and guard these special materials like the apple of my eye. For example the XL box of water-soluble oil pastels that I just wanted to look at and not use because they were so expensive. Or the wooden box with the pigment jars bought directly in the south of France to take the beautiful colors home with you. I suppose your heart beats for color too, otherwise you wouldn’t have ended up here with this article. But today I would like to look at color from very different angles.   Color perception From a physiological point of view, color is the reception of stimuli from the eye’s cone systems. These stimuli are first converted into opposing colors . In the brain , these arousal patterns are interpretable as colors t. From a psychological point of view, color is not only the processing of external sensory stimuli by the retina or brain function, but can also be viewed as a product of the subconscious (nervous system) and as stored information. Source: Bildsprache 1, Kerner and Duroy, p. 112 Scientists have been trying to fathom and analyze the phenomenon of color vision for centuries. The research of Isaac Newton (1643-1727) forms the basis for our understanding of color today. The English doctor Thomas Young (1773 – 18299 was the first to recognize that color is a sensation . Source: Imagery 1, Kerner and Duroy Color systems There were already attempts to organize the colors in systems in antiquity. The poet (and natural scientist) Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) also studied the phenomenon of color for a long time. Among other things, he dealt with the “sensual and moral effect of colors. So he classified yellow in the category “serious / dignified, warm” as cheerful and cheerful, or blue in the category gracious / grace, dark as receding, pleasant and empty. Johannes Itten (1888-1967) worked as a master at the Bauhaus and his theory of the 7 color contrasts is taught to this day. Harald Küppers (born 1926) developed another color concept . It was of the opinion that in Itten’s color wheel, the shades designated as basic colors are not really basic colors, but mixed shades. Incidentally, I also agree. All other shades can be mixed from the primary colors primary cyan, primary yellow and primary magenta . Not from Itten’s basic shade of red, as this color consists of yellow and magenta. Source: Duden Art – Basic Knowledge School In the past centuries, however, color often had an additional symbolic value. This symbolism can have a completely different meaning in other cultures and can be understood differently. The meanings have also changed over time: For example, red was seen as the color of the devil in the Middle Ages and green was the color of love.   The effect and the symbolic meaning of the colors: Source: Duden Art – Basic Knowledge School Yellow looks warm, cheerful, extroverted and the symbolic meaning can be friendliness and optimism as well as recklessness, envy and jealousy. Orange looks exotic, lively and active and stands for joy, liveliness and fun. Red is very exciting, powerful and sometimes eccentric and symbolizes power, passion, love, but also aggressiveness and fire. Violet appears introverted, extravagant, melancholy and often stands for power, theology, but also vanity or renunciation. Blue has a calming, serious, longing, cold and distant effect. It stands for harmony, cleanliness, calm and passivity and peace. Green has a calming, fresh, natural, cheerful and young effect. The symbolic meaning is freshness, relaxation, hope, nature but also immaturity. White appears pure, empty, light and sometimes sterile and stands for purity, order, lightness and innocence. Black looks pessimistic and sad but also mysterious, solemn and serious. It stands for grief, end, hatred and misfortune   The how The different art styles in painting are characterized by their very special and in some cases pioneering use of colors. In Impressionism, the fleeting and rapidly changing impression of the moment is captured by painting. The light of the moment and the resulting colors are put together in fleeting and sometimes shimmering brushstrokes and with a lively style. At the beginning of the 20th century, expressionism increased the expression of color by painting . The shapes are simplified, in some cases almost flat. Strong, pure and contrasting colors become the absolute expression of emotions. The color is used separately from the naturalistic rendering and is intended to create a suggestive effect.   Color as material Initially only used as a coating and varnishing material in industry, acrylic paint has been used by artists as a versatile material since the mid-1950s . To this day, acrylic paint has a special charm, because the forms of expression can be more diverse than with hardly any other painting material. How is the colored area set, with brushwork ? Rich in shape and contrast or with a soft transition ? With structure (materials) and impasto relief ? Or light and translucent? This has an effect on the expression in terms of mood or can be used to create a color or aerial perspective (pure, bright warm colors are assigned to the foreground, everything behind is bluish, grayish, lighter ). The painting tools are also important for the specific, individual expression in the picture. Finally, two more examples that illustrate how the choice of color tones give the picture a completely different message. In his book “Thinking Like an Artist” Will Grompertz describes how the dejected and melancholy Picasso began to immerse his pictures in a mysterious blue color tone in 1901 , thereby shifting the mood of his pictures towards sentimental. On the one hand, this now matched his emotional state perfectly; on the other hand, it was the beginning of his “blue period” which made him known as “Picasso” and brought about the breakthrough. A wonderful article is devoted to the color blue in issue 4-18 of the magazine “Einfach.sein” . In “53 Shades of Blue” it is, among other things, attempts to make the blue of the sky measurable, but also some emotional worlds are hidden behind the color. “There is boundless longing in blue” it says there. The artist Andy Warhol is also concerned with the effect of the color blue (compared to red), so in simply. sein to read. By choosing the color of the background, he made one and the same woman portrait appear completely different. On the red ground on the woman THAT CONDITION dynamic / self-confident , on a blue ground , however,dreamy / wistful / serious . In process-oriented work, this means for us to pause and see HOW the spontaneously chosen colors work . Material as such, sensory perception or symbolic medium. No matter. In addition to all the theoretical approaches, color breathes life into artistic work and is very practical for every artist as a means of transporting their own handwriting . The possibilities and color combinations are inexhaustible. How about leaving the old paths for once and daring to try new colors in order to observe how the expression in the picture changes as a result? Painting remains an adventure that is always fascinating. Have fun with all experiments, let the color flow, Jessie GibsonView all posts by Jessie Gibson

8 tips how you can increase the depth in the picture.

Often people come to my courses who want to learn to paint more freely . You want to loosen up and get to the image results with more ease . They have to function in everyday life through work and family and are therefore used to the mind taking the lead and spreading out so much that there is no place for intuition. Lately I have been reading more often about “ gut feeling ”, which ideally is placed next to the mind. Your gut feeling can help you to make decisions in a flash, without your mind weighing all the information for hours. In painting, it often doesn’t help you if you’re just in the “head”. Why? Even if you have mastered all the compositional rules perfectly, the picture may still lack the lightness, the specific swing or the disturbing factor that makes the whole thing really lively and individual. Often I only find pictures interesting when the rules of composition are turned a little upside down. The gut feeling can develop from the experience . In my opinion, it is good if the knowledge slides down a floor and you are more likely to “ feel ” what is to come next. You are then able to play freely with these rules and gain ease, but also your own clarity , because you do not cling to the rules of composition and bite into them.   How do you get out of the mind into the feeling, into your intuition? It is a good idea to open all your senses while painting: To really look carefully is an art that strengthens your perception. But also the other senses like hearing, taste, smell, feeling can help you to work less from the mind. Now you might be wondering what this is about now? Why can hearing be important for painters? I think all of this is good for perceiving more sensitively. There are people who take in their information primarily with their eyes, but there are also people who are auditory-oriented. Others have to feel something to feel what’s going on with it. So: what does it sound like when the paint is warped on the canvas? Does the brush rustle? How does the material you work with smell? Do you feel the pressure with which you guide your painting tool and how does it feel in your hand? To expand your possibilities, it is great if the less developed senses have something to do. And because “tasting” is really difficult when painting, there is a delicious lunch in the studio during all-day courses that stimulates all the senses🙂 Linking the left and right hemispheres of the brain Even if scientists do not agree, I am convinced that by activating both hemispheres of the brain, you can be holistically creative. Among other things , the left hemisphere  should be responsible for the rational handling of tasks. Logical skills, numbers, language, facts are ascribed to her. She has analytical tendencies and likes order. The right half of the brain  is more about fantasy, rhythm and feelings. It should be spontaneous, creative, intuitive and visual and also likes chaos. By networking the two halves, you can benefit from both sides. This can be done, for example, by working with both hands, for example with 2 pens in the right and left hand to draw in yourself (also crosswise). You can also try to approach tasks differently than you are used to: e.g. using your untrained hand to paint or draw. Then you also train the less pronounced half of the brain.   I am a person of movement. Although I also like “lying down” in all its variations (on the sofa, in the hammock, in bed, on the beach), I often only manage to change perspective through movement. I can also relax better through movement than through absolute rest. In the resting position, the thoughts circle in my head all the more, but through the movement I feel my body and the mind is calm ! 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Or is it better when you have peace and quiet, are alone and you can concentrate fully on yourself? Try out how this aspect affects your painting.   How does the room have to be so that you feel comfortable  and you get into a good painting mood? Do you have to cover up or make space to work undisturbed  ? How must the noises be like the light? Does music inspire you or do fragrances open your senses? All of this can help you let the thinking fade into the background for a brief moment.   Stress and too little time kill creativity, as does too strong an inner critic and expectation pressure (also that of other people). Likewise distraction. Switch the phone to quiet when you go to the studio so that you can really get involved in the ” feeling “!   In one of my last week’s courses I had a participant whose intellect first wanted to ” understand ” the further procedure in the picture and who thought many, many steps in advance. After a while the saying came: “I’ll just do it!” Then I knew she was ready to put her mind back a little and dare to venture into the unknown and the unexpected . And I was allowed to accompany you in this important step !   Have fun with all experiments, let the color flow Jessie GibsonView all posts by Jessie Gibson

Angelika, what are you doing with the picture edges?

I am often asked that and I had already told you in one of the last blog articles that I don’t pay so much attention to the edges of my work. However, there are different views and options, which I will briefly explain to you below. 1. You leave the edges as they are . It can also be seen in the large art houses: the traces of work that arise in the painting process can be found on the edge of the picture . Running tracks and splashes are therefore desirable in this case. I think this is an interesting option, it sometimes gives the viewer an insight into how the picture was created. 2. You consciously work in the edges . This is particularly recommended for deeper stretcher frames (XL frame strips) or for picture boards (Casani boxes). I drag all colored areas, lines or collage paper around the corner. The edge is treated like the front of the picture. By incorporating the wide picture borders, I came up with the idea of ​​working on cubes in order to bring the design into three dimensions. 3. You draw at least the color tones around the edge of the picture, a similar color scheme is enough . But since I work the pictures in many layers, I don’t know what the final color will look like until the very end. It is therefore advisable to wait until the work is completely finished, otherwise you will be more concerned with the edge than with the actual motif. 4. You tape off the edge. I’ve really never done that before, but I’ve seen it many times with participants. That way, the edge remains sparkling clean, of course , but looks like a foreign body depending on where the picture is hanging. This can work well on white walls, but less so on colored walls. When viewed from the side, the white border quickly becomes an unwanted focal point. 4. You draw a dark color from the edge to just over the front edge of the picture. This then works like a frame and a bit decorative. The dark edge gives the picture a hold and looks immediately refined. I have seen this with some colleagues. This can make sense, especially with abstract structural images, because the edge then appears calm. 5. You choose a frame, for example a shadow gap frame . Admittedly, that is simply too expensive for me. Since I paint a lot, I sell more often and I rearrange my work at home at least as often, it doesn’t make sense to frame the pictures every time. At times I would have to store them very carefully. But if you really have a great job that finds its final place, a suitable framing can increase the effect of the picture enormously. What are you doing with the edges Do you have options that I haven’t mentioned yet? I am very happy about your comments, enjoy all experiments, let the color flow Jessie GibsonView all posts by Jessie Gibson

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