I hope that the lack of activity here means that everyone is busily creating. I realized that "life" gets in the way of making your art. I have a house and yard to maintain, laundry, cooking, shopping, and other such tasks to do in addition to spending time in my studio pursuing my art. However, in my humble opinion, art matters...whether you are a professional, amateur or hobbyist. So, I encourage everyone to carve sometime into their busy lives to create...even if it is only once a week for a couple hours. Wishing everyone well...

Hi Fiona and Debra,

I have known many creative people,and none of them have mental disorders so I can't imagine how it is for the both of you.I can see how art can be a way of clearing your mind.I am not an emotional painter,the idea of painting what I feel is not in my mind set.I have a talent for drawing so I draw,if people see emotion in my work its in their eyes.

Dedra,as you have these other illness,and in pain some of the time,do you really want to live here?I suppose you've checked out how the system works,as theres lots of info on here. Its quite a big step to take even without health problems.

Hi Fiona...

Your painting of the settee is marvelous. I love the colors and application of the paint. Your interior portraits of furnishings shows great appreciation for these mundane items.

I have Bipolar II Disorder. I have read Kay Redfield Jamison's book, Touched With Fire. In fact, I own it. I know that there are artists that create wonderful art but have no mental health issues. I also know that approximately 1 in 5 Americans have or will have a mental illness in their life time. The percentages for Europe are no better. So, there are quite a few artists with a mental disorder. Mental disorders can make people more sensitive. I know a fair amount of people who have great artistic talent who have no interest in creating art. I also have many friends who are practicing artists who suffer some type of mental illness. The majority of the artists I know, who have a disorder, take their medications regularly, as do I. Although the mania experienced in Bipolar Disorders can cause bursts of creativity, the depression can cause one to not function on any level. I also have Multiple Sclerosis and Ankylosing Spondylitis...two autoimmune diseases. Sometimes the pain and limitations of these diseases can drive me to create more work or keep me from it. When unable to do much work, I think of what I want to create. Therefore, I always have more ideas than I could possibly transfer to physical art.

So, as to the relationship between creativity and mental disorders, it may be that the sheer numbers of people who have a mental illness tends to skew the percentages of artists who do.

I hope that you all get through the heat wave as well as possible. In my area of the USA, we are having a cooler summer than usual. Weather patterns are peculiar things.

Well I posted a watercolour a couple of weeks ago.I'm now going to get the oils out again,fancy doing a big head.Its been very hot here recently so no energy for anything.


Sorry I haven't been very active on the site. But I have been painting - an image of a settee. I tried to capture the mood in the room and the light.

It is so hot the cats sleep, the plants if they are lucky, are watered when I remember.

Sadly a friend has been hospitalized with a severe mental disorder. She is exceptionally talented and very productive that is until she comes off her medication. There is a book by Kay Redfield Jameson on the subject of depression, mania and creativity. But I wonder how many 'normal' people, who don't suffer from mental illness produce wonderful art and are highly creative and I wonder if too much is made out of the link between creativity and madness. For myself, as long as I take medication my behaviour is 'normal' and my experience of creativity is that I paint when on them or off them unless completely gone to another planet. But the quality changes? I don't know, they certainly become less bleak when on meds. Just food for thought. I wonder if anyone else has experience of illness and creativity.

Just a note to end on if you do take medication don't forget to drink lots in this heat! I forget and I ended up with tremors the other day cured with a large intake of water.

Happy creativity everyone