View Full Version : ++ ARTIST ZONE (that means everybody) ++

08-22-2005, 08:29 AM
For everyone who makes art of one sort or another, how has being ill changed that (or hasn't it), and do you sometimes make art to express your feelings about being ill, to describe it, to illustrate it....

Of course the artist who did this most intensely was Frida Kahlo--it probably kept her from losing her mind--but do those of you who know her work find it to be interesting, cathartic (for you), do you feel she contributed to the world by so clearly and fearlessly making paintings about the pain of the body? Her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera, said, "Never before has a woman put such angonized poetry on canvas." Or do you feel, as some do, that she was indulging in self-pity? Self-obsession? Is that bad if your life is consumed by what was, in her case, a broken body? Or is it a way of managing to rise above the merely physical and achieve a sort of transcedence through art?

I've never been an artist who did autobiographical work (though of course, one's life is always being used in one way or another), but since I've been ill I've made one film, written two songs, and done two paintings that were directly and specifically about what I was experiencing (as well as many, many others). The second painting ended up being pretty amazing, to my surprise (I've only been painting since Jan.), and it helped a great deal. And it moves others, not to pity, but to sympathy, and they love the beauty and hope of life in the painting, even though it expresses intense pain.

So how do you express your condition through their art, or do you ignore it, and still take your inspiration from the same things you did before getting sick?

I'd love to know what form everyone's self-expression takes.

And lastly, can we put images into these message boxes, and if so, how? Or only in our signature boxes, and if so, again, how, or are there instructions somewhere? If I wanted to scan in and display a painting in a message box, could I? Or a photograph? Whatever? And please, if so, will others? (Sorry for the ignorance of this technology).

***Make life into art.***

08-22-2005, 04:23 PM
There's a post somewhere about avatars, it i think explains how to add other pictures as well. Once I did mine, i promptly forgot how!

My art? Well, I"m not an artist. Years ago I did pottery - stress relief pounding clay, social release with the others in the loosely formed class. Now I've been doint a bit of beading. Again for relaxation. I'll never be paidfor what I do, just do ti for myself.

Frieda - oh she was an artist. self obsessed? maybe, but she did have a heart of an artist, and could only express herself through....expression, pure raw expression. Every significant artist, I think, paints her own soul.

08-29-2005, 11:57 AM
>>Every significant artist, I think, paints her own soul.<<

Well said, Hatlady. I agree, entirely.

08-29-2005, 11:59 AM
I believe that's true in more than just art...

08-31-2005, 01:36 PM
I'm not an artist per se, but I am a writer (non-fiction). I collect and write trivia facts for a weekly paper, and I find that researching such minutiae helps to take my mind off my symptoms. :)

08-31-2005, 02:09 PM
I write too! Not incredibly well, but, I enjoy it! Mostly poems and stuff like that... It's a good release...

09-01-2005, 02:31 AM
is what I do now, and I have found it to be incredibly helpful. I paint the world I believe in, and also have painted my isolation and pain in interesting and beautiful ways that help me feel better. To make something beautiful out of pain is a great transformer. And it can be direct without being negative, which is more interesting, I think, than being bleak. Or only bleak. I also sometimes choose subjects that are about a painful or difficult thing (I painted the Death of Marat, for example), and just soaked the page with red paint on the walls of his room, to symbolize his blood-soaked reign of terror and my own pre-occupation with the sudden bleeding from my uterus. It was greatly cathartic, and not at all about me, except to those who understood there was a connection. It was fun, too, to try to capture the complexities of that moment in history.

I've written a song about what it's like to need Morphine, called "Rose-thorn kiss" and which is entirely metaphorical and dreamy, but about the necessity of that release from pain. I never use the word morphine, but refer to it as a "flower-girl" in a "red-silk dress" as it's derived from red poppies. The bee-sting, then rose-thorn kisses are the sometimes painful poke of the needle. And it ends with "I know you, but once knew bliss," emphasizing the loss of sensation that it brings, too. It helped.

I've changed my signature to reflect my other motto, which I've had on my fridge since they invented refrigerator magnets. I believe it's very important. My other motto has to do with behavior, so I'll switch between the two.

Keep writing, painting, drawing, singing, whatever, and please stop down-playing the value of your work! No need for modesty here. Just be an artist, and assume you're doing good work. We all will.

I've been off-site for a while--taking a break. Will be back soon.

Love to all,


09-01-2005, 04:43 AM
I think that there are a couple of very important issues on art and creating it, particularly for people in our situation.

Sometimes you just got to say, "THIS SUCKS!" just to get it off of your chest. If your art and your creativity helps you with that then that's dandy.

I also feel that another very important aspect of this is that it helps create communication with others. When you create something and it's viewed by someone it creates a communcation. I think that's important for them and it's important for us. It's living life.

I had been working on my acting career and have been planning on getting into stand-up comedy, which I've done a little of. I've had to put both of those things on the back burner and have had to turn opportunities down because I knew I couldn't handle 10-12 hour day rehearsals and 14 hour shoot days etc. Also, try being funny on 60mgs. or Prednisone!

So, I'm going to be working on a couple of writing projects and create that wey.

I think we have to do what we can do with our art and our creativity adn keep our attention on the higher aspects of it (things that were mentioned in eveyone's message) like, love, beauty etc.

I hope this makes sense.


07-29-2006, 09:36 AM
I write, but I think the most obvious expression of my pain and frustration come through in my abstract art. When I learned (long before my SLE dx) that my body would have an awful time carrying a baby to term, I illustrated that in a pen and ink drawing. A more recent drawing that illustrated my reaction to my hysterectomy in 2000 is here (I hope it's all right to post this link to Flickr) http://www.flickr.com/photos/etherian/16032245/in/set-281689/

I thank god for this creative outlet. Without it, I'd go nuts.

In regards to Frida Kahlo, personally, I don't like her artwork, but I do admire her for being so forthright about her pain. She was a fascinating woman.

07-30-2006, 08:09 AM
Being a Musician and one that has put out 3 albums over the years I let out all my feeling and emotions in my lyrics and my playing....

If you listen to my lyrics you'll know me inside and out....if you listen to my playing you'll know my mood IMMEDIATLEY by what and how I am playing....
I find it to be very helpfull and theraputic !!!!!!


07-30-2006, 08:19 AM

I have actually been meaning to comment on your signature for a while now. I love it! I'm also a musician... I sing, mainly blues... And just released my first album with a band I am no longer a part of... LOL

While I don't always write my own music, I convey my emotions through my singing... Music is a WONDERFUL form of expression, even if you are just sitting in your car singing with the radio!

07-30-2006, 09:16 AM
Wow we have a lot of artists in our midst, not surprisingly! Some even in the same musical idiom.

I've always loved to write and sortof have to 'get things out'. Much of what I write, no one would want to read (I've been trying to volunteer my journals to the military for forced reading by prisoners of Guantanamo Bay to make them flip). However, once in a while I write things that might be felt and understood by others. In the past I've painted in oils, sung, acted and written non-fiction stories. I think when you do anything enough you'll develop enough talent to share with others.

Remember the quote from one of the Gnostic gospels (St. Thomas?) -

"Whatever you keep inside will kill you, and what you express will save you." That's a terrible misparaphrasing, maybe someone knows the true quote.

07-30-2006, 09:48 AM
I am ADDICTED to journalling!!! ADDICTED!!!!! I have four Live journals, a personal myspace blog, and an informational myspace blog on the support group site... NOT TO MENTION, the dream journal and regular paper journal I keep!


07-30-2006, 01:24 PM
I love my blog. I can only manage one, though. I did do a scary thing this year and branched out to start and manage a writing community. It's been growing slowly, but it's a great deal of fun putting it together and encouraging the writers. For the most part, it can help me think about something else when I'm having a low day. It also gives me a reason to get up in the morning.

07-31-2006, 05:43 AM
I love this topic. It is so great to see how different people express themselves and how they deal when times are tough or when times are good. I too am a singer and that is my art. When I am feeling good, I get out there and sing and when I am feeling bad, I force myself to get out there and sing. My life is set to music and most of my memories have a soundtrack. Lyrics have powerful meaning to me and while I am not that great of a poet or writer myself, I can find great meaning in the words of someone else's song. So much the better if I can then sing that song and do it justice.

07-31-2006, 09:08 AM
That is so cool - your memories have soundtracks!

07-31-2006, 01:27 PM
Hi..I think that I mentioned before that I am also a singer. Primarily smooth jazz and ballads. I have a CD which was produced by the beloved administrator of "WeHaveLupus" which was done in memory of my daughter. I also write, mostly fiction (murder mysteries and sci-fi) and have had two short stories published.
Like janedarcy, solesinger and St. James, writing and music have been my salvation over the years. Both are my ways of expressing myself, my pain, my sadness, and my few moments of joy and happiness.
I think that most of us here are very spiritual beings and, as such, art makes us happier people. Happiness is one of the most important factors in life, especially lives like ours which is fraught with so much because of our illness. even if you only look at bare survival. I truly believe that, for us, being happy is a great part of what keeps us alive! So, our own individual art is essential for our very survival.
I am happy to see that there are so many talented, artisitic Lupies...let's keep at it, we all have a gift!

Peace and Blessings

08-01-2006, 09:50 AM
Wow! What a bunch of talented people! I'm really impressed. I have very little artistic skill other than practicing architecture, which is really more about paperwork than designing buildings. :(

Janedarcy - I quickly looked at your website, and am hoping to have more time to read more soon. I noticed a reference to your brothers and MS, SLE and TM. I was curious who has TM? (As I do, and I know of so few other people who also do. I am always looking for people to compare notes with).

08-01-2006, 10:29 AM
Hi Sheryl, first, I have to say architecture IS artistic. I have a fascination for architecture (it strikes that love of pattern so deep in my 3rd eye). We have some beautiful old buildings here in Spokane that I wish I could photograph better but I don't have a telephoto lens. So, I say rejoice in your architecture skills!

Thank you for dropping by. My family seems to be a genetic wasteland of immune disorders. My parents brought two sets of weird genes together and it exploded in the three of us kids.

Jim, my youngest brother, first began testing for lupus about three years ago. An mri and a lumbar puncture pointed to the Transverse Myelitis. According to his doctor, he's in remission and could remain so for quite awhile. He's in very good health and better since he quit smoking; finally.

08-01-2006, 11:40 AM
Yeah, arch. can be creative, it's just my particular job that is more administrative than creative.

There are some beautiful old brick buildings in Spokane! I always enjoy visiting the downtown area. (I am in Bellingham).

Glad to hear your brother is in remission - I am trying to recover from TM - got it in March, and had a relapse in May, but hopefully now will only go forward. My case is mild, so I try not complain.

08-01-2006, 12:07 PM
Awi - you bring to the surface a subject that I believe so many keep repressed for so many reasons, fear of judgement; lack of conern or caring on the parts of others, etc. I appreciate Frida's work, I believe that her use of bold colors was a statement, all in its self. I am a huge huge fan of Georgia O'Keefe..and being from New Mexico, I have had the honor of studying/researching her work.

As Andyman (I think said), that art, in whatever form it takes - commands attention, conversation and perhaps even feelings that we would not acknowledge if not for the expression of art....and I LOVE the St. Thomas quote - THAT IS THE TRUTH IN IT'S ENTIRETY. I'm not sure who is responsible for the saying " that which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" was on to something...LOOK AT US, we're still here and I would bet - we're all stronger for the challenge!!

I say hooray for you all, that you have had the courage to find a passion that gives you a sense of freedom of expression - it's a noble task that bears fruit, not for just one - but for so many others as well. Art for the ears, eyes, touch, smells - (yep, for those of us who love to cook).

THANKS FOR CHALLENGING US TO FIND THAT VOICE WITHIN US THAT YEARNS TO CRY OUT...for sanity, for peace, for acceptance; and last but not least....for fun !!!!

Life is good, love is better

p.s. If I can share my favorite saying...it goes like this: "I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly." - unknown