The Artist and Mental Health

I have counselling every week for past traumas and always feel invigorated artistically afterwards.

The process of clearing the mind of its angst makes space for the visionaries to communicate through painting, a poem, maybe a composition.

Clarity for me is the first step to making good art. Without it, I am flailing around in a quagmire of self-doubt or confusing motives. That is not to say the confused mind cannot make great art, just that for my working process, the clear mind and clear motive make a great launchpad for something with power.


We can't all have counselling, unfortunately. I do believe we should all have a few sessions each year. Mental health is a potent source of inspiration but also can destroy creativity.


I will be writing about how mental health effects art practice in this blog from time to time and will share stories and artworks of artists afflicted with difficult emotions. As an activist I want to normalise 'us', the sufferers, the batty fruitcakes, the ones who understand what it takes to have this courage we call art.


I found this on google....


Some painters who displayed possibly the most tragic manifestation of the suffering artist — the suffering of the tortured mind.


  1. Vincent Van Gogh.

  2. Edvard Munch. ...

  3. Fransisco Goya. ...

  4. Georgia O'Keefe. ...

  5. Paul Gaugin. ...

  6. Mark Rothko. ...

  7. Michelangelo. ...

  8. Richard Dadd. ...

Wait, where are the women? Oh, of course, no such thing as a female artist. silly me.


I confess to feeling indignant that there are no women on the list but I do hope they were burnt as witches at the very least.


Now I am off to make some batty art.


Peace x

Madness is our right


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