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The 'Artistic' Temperament-

Ebbie 30 Apr 06 - 01:12 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 30 Apr 06 - 01:26 PM
Ebbie 30 Apr 06 - 01:47 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 30 Apr 06 - 01:56 PM
Bert 30 Apr 06 - 02:06 PM
Ebbie 30 Apr 06 - 02:10 PM
Peace 30 Apr 06 - 02:13 PM
Ebbie 30 Apr 06 - 02:15 PM
Peace 30 Apr 06 - 02:18 PM
Amos 30 Apr 06 - 02:24 PM
sharyn 30 Apr 06 - 02:26 PM
Peace 30 Apr 06 - 02:27 PM
Ebbie 30 Apr 06 - 03:09 PM
Peace 30 Apr 06 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,JTT 30 Apr 06 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,wordy 30 Apr 06 - 07:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 06 - 08:21 PM
michaelr 30 Apr 06 - 08:49 PM
Peter T. 30 Apr 06 - 08:56 PM
Bobert 30 Apr 06 - 09:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 May 06 - 05:22 AM
Peter T. 01 May 06 - 11:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 May 06 - 12:35 PM
M.Ted 01 May 06 - 01:28 PM
Ebbie 01 May 06 - 01:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 May 06 - 03:56 PM
John Hardly 01 May 06 - 04:06 PM
Peter T. 01 May 06 - 04:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 May 06 - 04:54 PM
Don Firth 01 May 06 - 06:16 PM
Bobert 01 May 06 - 06:19 PM
Azizi 01 May 06 - 07:50 PM
Azizi 01 May 06 - 07:54 PM
Peace 01 May 06 - 07:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 May 06 - 08:28 PM
Bobert 01 May 06 - 08:40 PM
Amos 01 May 06 - 08:48 PM
Ebbie 01 May 06 - 09:01 PM
Elmer Fudd 01 May 06 - 09:24 PM
Peace 01 May 06 - 09:27 PM
Ebbie 01 May 06 - 09:32 PM
Don Firth 01 May 06 - 09:37 PM
Peter T. 01 May 06 - 10:06 PM
Bobert 01 May 06 - 10:20 PM
GUEST 01 May 06 - 10:47 PM
Bobert 01 May 06 - 10:52 PM
Ebbie 01 May 06 - 10:59 PM
Once Famous 01 May 06 - 11:04 PM
M.Ted 01 May 06 - 11:08 PM
number 6 01 May 06 - 11:08 PM
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Subject: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 01:12 PM

Last night I watched the video of Townes Van Zandt's life. Perhaps only with the benefit of hindsight, his end was inevitable- died at age 52 after a lifetime of drug abuse and addiction.

It is a disturbing documentary as one watches the disintegration of a tremendously talented man.

It's not a new thought, of course, but my question is: If these tortured souls (Van Zandt, Hendrix, Joplin, Hank, Parsons, Elvis, et al) had NOT gone into the arts - perhaps gone into banking or real estate- would they have survived? Would they hav 'outgrown' their warped and skewed reality? Would they have outgrown their need for the artificial high?


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 01:26 PM

I don't believe that the rant, or the spree or the bohemian lifeway is at all warped or skewed or artificial.

Depriving folks of freedom is however quite warped, skewed and as artificial as it gets.

Remember that the truly tortured spirits are those tortured by bankers, real estate agents and lawyers.

For example....having to pay a 70 dollar fine for taking a leak in publik....something all creatures outside of the human jungle do freely now that is disturbing! Been there done that..... (always carry an empty milk jug)

How much talent have we missed or lost because so many people have been inhibited and do not feel free to express themselves freely? I would say we loose more this way than to the free lifeway choices you describe.

Part of the problem is also lack of faith. Remember those folks are now singing somewhere else....

CB


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 01:47 PM

Why, #1 Peasant, I do believe you misunderstand me.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 01:56 PM

I understand how you described the lifeways...

Yes I get your main point...

The professions listed are high conformance high stress ones. If anything would contribute to a need to escape that would do it.

I associate with a lot of professionals....ever try to get them out on the spree on a sunday neet....or any working day! Impossible. Therefore they are not properly venting and the stess gets even worse.


CB


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Bert
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:06 PM

My guess, Ebbie, is that if they hadn't gone into the arts then they would have been worse. There's a load of folks in regular jobs that succumb to various addictions, they just don't make the news.

I worked in a very high stress job for many years and actually loved it. That was telephone customer support, which ranks extremely high on the stress level - above air traffic controllers.

Music is a release that can reduce job related stress, once you get over the initial stage fright.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:10 PM

That's what we were conjecturing last night, Bert; that if they had not gone into the performing arts they might have died even sooner, just not as publicly or as widely mourned. We be complex critters.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:13 PM

"And Something's odd - within -
That person that I was -
And this One - do not feel the same -
Could it be Madness - this?"
-Emily Dickinson


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:15 PM

Peace, that's an interesting quote in this connection. If I were bolder, I would ask you specifically for your thoughts on this. But I'm not that bold. :)


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:18 PM

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:otajhObG5yAJ:serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro01/web2/Applegate.html+artistic+temperament&hl=en&gl=ca&ct=clnk&cd=2

It is from 'A Book Review of Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament by Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.'


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:24 PM

I don't think you can predict the answer to this question based on the whole class of cases you mention.

In order to become -- for example -- real estate agents, Jimi and Janis and Townes, Inc., would have hadto walk out of one vocabulary and range of behavior and attitude into a very different one, a different measure of what success is.

Just assume they had tried. If they had any early successes, they would probably get into it deeper, motivated by the delights of those successes.

But it would not have laid their daemons to rest as such. I can see the three of them now, running a posh successful office in a nice suburban region somewhere, and each of them nursing a drinking habit after hours.

The reeducation would give them a shell of different behaviour, but without the outlets for the their inner screams and their hungry poetic insights, I suspect they would become morose, or possibly psychotic, and at best would become alcoholics. Just a wild-ass guess, though.

A


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: sharyn
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:26 PM

The "artistic temperment" does not necessarily lead to drug or alcohol abuse, which can be a genetic, chemical problem and not the result of any particular temperment. It is important for me as an artist (painter), singer, musician and writer to know that there are (and have always been) artists who didn't destroy themselves, artists who had happy marriages, artists who had supportive families. In fact, I have found that many successful come from musical families where everyone played instruments and sang -- I knew a family that played string quartets together and the kids became a violist and a claasical soprano recital singer.

I don't think anyone would think Janis Joplin could have been happy -- or safer -- as a banker or a real estate agent. Any of them might have been helped people who both loved them and confronted their addictions, facing down the denial systems over and over.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:27 PM

It looks to be a good guess from where I sit, Amos.

Sorry. This is the link.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 03:09 PM

Interesting book review. It would seem that she has made a definitive observation on certain artists. However, I too would like to see studies done on less publicized - perhaps therefore less successful - geniuses that depict settled lifestyles and satisfying relationships. As sharyn says, I'm sure they are out there; they're just not as visible.

I tell you, the older I get the more support I see for the concept of reincarnation.

As Cohen wrote, Fame doesn't take away the pain, it only pays the bills.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 03:24 PM

Chaim Potok (1929-2002) - original name Herman Harold Potok

His "My name is Asher Lev" is a wonderful novel about an artist torn between his religion and his art. Potok seems to have been 'well-adjusted'. So what does it add upto? Beats me.

Potok bio.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 06:27 PM

Plenty of musicians and composers and writers live balanced and calm and happy lives - look at the Bach clan. Look at the late lamented John McGahern.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 07:00 PM

If you get a chance watch the great new French film "The Chorus". The line that jumps out is what the teacher says about the talented pupil as he tries to persuade the mother to send him to a music school. She asks what will happen then and he says;
"He will be what he has to be."
That's the artistic temperament, You don't dabble, you don't play at...you "be what you have to be" and take the consequences. For some, these are too great. They think they are drivers but they end up being driven, and that's when control can be lost. The blessed are those who can make the journey and stay in control. I have friends who have succeeded in that, and I have lost others who failed.
I have to say that those I've known who get more success than most also have more problems controlling their journey. The moon is a better target than the stars.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 08:21 PM

People die early in all walks of life, and sometimes that's down to how they have treated their bodies, and sometimes it's down to how their bodies have treated them.

But if they are poets or singers or performers we are more likely to hear about that then if they were plumbers or lorry-drivers or office-workers.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 08:49 PM

Situations have ended sad
Relationships have all been bad
Mine've been like Verlaine's and Rimbaud's


Many creative people have been, you might say, obsessed, or even possessed. Driven by their unique urges (demons?), most of them were ridiculed in their time (Van Gogh), and only later accorded great artist status.

It could be said that artistic creativity, like religion, is a peculiar disorder of the mind. Unlike religion, it's only destructive to the one individual.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peter T.
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 08:56 PM

A friend of mine (who is a genius) says that her problem is that she was born with a skin too few. I can see that. I think some geniuses are what I would call exceptionally normal, and some are exceptionally abnormal.

I always thought Shakespeare was the best example of the exceptionally normal, until I reread Hamlet recently. I have changed my mind.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 09:03 PM

Well, well, well...

Ummmmmmmm? This is a difficult question, Eb... And fir folks who may not have the artist's soul what I amj going to say will make little or no sense and some might actually attack me for what I'm about to write but...

I am an artist an' other artists here in Mudville will knew what I mean when I say that being as artist is both a blessing and a curse...

Artists have a different way of processing information... Artists know instinctually what Carlos Castanada was talking about when Don Juan tells Carlos about "seeing by not seeing"... What he means is that most folks go thru life and they see what most folks see... Artists see that stuff too but artists also are always searching for stuff that the other fokls miss...

What other folks miss becomes the window for artists... Sometimes these windows are convoluted (Dali's "Clock" painting), melemcholy (Wyeth's "Girl in the Field" painting"), down right tortured (Munch's "Scream" or Picasso's "Guernica"), confuzing (anything bu Escher)...

Music, is very much the same... It's the same process... Don't do what other folks do... Don't walk where they walked... I think of Jimi Hendrix "National Anthem" as the the best example of "seein and not seeing"... He fou a way of not seeing the way the song had traditionally been played...

But there's more... Artists are kinda compuulsive because in their struggles to find order in their own lives they have to "create" order from disorder... Back to Castanada here... Artists are not all that intersted in what ordinary folks regard as the body of information... Because it is ordinary... No, they/I will mess with it because ordinary ain't what artists are... There's no order in the ordinery world for them (us)... So they/we go about tidying up the stuff that ordinary folks don't have a clue about...

I'm sure this only makes sense to those of you who are artists... Artists isn't about product... It's all about the way we look at stuff...

Duchamp probably said it best when he said that "art is shit" in desrobing the dadaist movement in that the product is just the "shit" part of the process... Like I said, this ain't about product...

Jimi Hendrix didn't do the "Star Spangled Banner" becuase he had thought it out and thought it would be a nice product... He did it becuase he had ***had*** to do it...

I think I was born an artist... In spite of startin' to paint and draw very early and then write poetry and then songs and then, and then, it really didn't sink in until I was well into my 30's but since it did, I think I have some grasp on it...

These are my thought and I reserve the right to alter them... But that's what artists do... Add... And subtract from the the obvious...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 May 06 - 05:22 AM

I respect what you are saying.

But there are different kinds of artists - like there are different kinds of farmers, and bankers.


Keats was pretty much finished by the time he was 23, and lived only a few more years - so he didn't have the luxury of waiting til he was in his 30's to gain some perspective - and the same could be said of Jimi Hendrix of course.

People like this have to work blindly with their perceptions, but without adult and middle aged maturity. And I'm not sure if artists look harder for things, or just select different things on which to concentrate. Henry Moore the sculptor used to say this thing, that picking the pebble from the beach was an artistic act - the act of selection, you pick that specific pebble.

Some artists like Alfred Wallis the Cornish fisherman painter don't begin their artistic careers til very late in life - after a lifetime spent relatively normally.

I once asked my college lecturer why John Clare ended up in the madhouse, whereas Blake (who seemed so much more mad) was allowed to live relatively quietly. And he said something very wise, namely that Blake could take care of his private business affairs whereas Clare's life was a mess.

Townes Van Zandt's great song Poncho and Lefty, when you come down to it, is about the fact that we need to show compassion not just for the fated outlaws (artists/humans) that die young, but all those fated to committ acts of betrayal in order to go on living.

maybe he was thinking of his own inevitable encounter with death when he wrote:-

All the Federales say
We could have had him any day
Only let him get away
Out of kindness I suppose

Find me a traditional (hey oop, ee by gum, it was the 20th of February)folksong with that depth of feeling, that much insight into the modern predicament. I don't think so.

all the best

big al whittle


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 May 06 - 11:00 AM

Au contraire, Keats was only just getting rolling when he died. You look at his late work, such as the "Fall of Hyperion" and you can see him shifting into a new voice, more powerful (if such is possible). He was sick unto death in his last year. We are blessed to have the Odes, but to argue that he was finished is completely wrong.

Now Wordsworth is a different kettle of fish.


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 May 06 - 12:35 PM

I bow to your insights, its only what a friend (who was an expert on Romantic poetry) opined - namely that his best work was done by the time he was 23. But as I said it was no more than an opinion.

My main point was that some artists just don't live long enough, or maybe their creative powers don't sustain long enough - to reach that point of maturity and synthesis that a longer career makes possible.

Even in the world of folk music - surely you know people who one feels had something promising to contribute - but had their careers stalled, blocked , and destroyed by an unsympathetic folk establishment - and thought bugger this for a game of soldiers and opted for the steady job and the mortgage.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 May 06 - 01:28 PM

I think that "mad" artists work in spite of, not because of, their illnesses--this is because all art requires great discipline--and if you develop that discipline, you can use to to deal with illness in the same way you use it to deal with your art form.

Or maybe its the other way around, you develop the discipline to manage your illness, and you can use it for the art, as well.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 May 06 - 01:42 PM

That's what I was wondering, Peter T. Is there a shade, a wall, a barrier, over which the artist must peer in order to communicate with 'lesser' folk? Does the artist always feel 'different' from other people?

Bobert, thanks for a scholarly view of what is inside the artist. So tell me, did you too always feel different? If not, when did you change?


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 06 - 03:56 PM

Maybe the assumption that "creative" people are more likely to be troubled in their life, or that troubled people are more likely to be creative, is actually correct. Or maybe it's not, and it's just that while we hear the complaints of tragic poets, the tragic plumbers suffer in relative silence.

Has anyone come across any evidence one way or the other?


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: John Hardly
Date: 01 May 06 - 04:06 PM

It'd be a good question if you didn't include Elvis in the list of Townes, Hank, Parsons, etc.

It's like asking about the lives of chefs like Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck.....oh, and Ronald McDonald.

:^)


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 May 06 - 04:29 PM

Well, for what it is worth, my experience with artists is that, as I said, some of them are "exceptionally normal" -- they work far harder than everyone else, they lead fulfilling lives, and their special talent is to drive the standard stuff further than other people. The "exceptionally abnormal" people are people who are somehow able to keep stable when other abnormal people go mad or go into useless depression or whatever. They can hold together long enough to get it down. That is why some of them are kind of "bipolar" -- their editorial voice kicks in from time to time to keep the other voices from overwhelming them. How this works is mysterious: a classic example is Vincent Van Gogh. You can read his letters and marvel at his ability to bicycle along the edge of the abyss for so long.

Van Gogh is an interesting example because he also shows something that abnormal geniuses often have, which is somebody stable around them. Vincent had Theo; James Joyce had his wife Nora; and so on. There is almost always somebody to do the stability work if the artist can't do it himself or herself.

The really stunning thing is how the real artist appears. Who could predict a Picasso? Or a Keats? Or Lennon-McCartney. You just sit there with your mouth open: how do you go from "Love Me Do" to "A Day in the Life" in 4 years?

yours,

Peter T.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 May 06 - 04:54 PM

I see people are chosing as examples internationally famous artists. That's part of the picture. But, not all artistry leads to such a high level of recognition or success. I consider Mississippi John Hurt a fine artist... not trying to arrange artists in Great/Near Great/Pretty Darned Good/Not half Bad/Passable levels. If you're talking about the artistic temperament, seems like you should look at the full spectrum. The self-destructive ones get all the press, just as car accidents are more likely to make the front page than a group of teenagers helping an elderly neighbor who is down on his luck.

I do believe that in some cases, the artistic (or Creative) temperament can be a saving grace, allowing a positive outlet for emotions that might otherwise be expressed in a much more destructive way.

Years ago, after struggling through a horrific marriage and long divorce and many other debilitating problems, I finally found my way forward, met a beautiful woman and married her. A friend of mine said that I wouldn't be able to write songs any more if I was happy.
I figured I risk it, though. Turns out, I write as many songs happy as I do depressed. They're just different songs. Art can be created out of joy, as much as self-destructiveness.

Just doesn't make very good "press."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 May 06 - 06:16 PM

This is a bit of speculation based on what I've heard some famous people, mostly actors, comedians, and musicians admit to during candid interviews.

Many performers feel themselves under intense pressure when they're performing, or especially just prior to a performance. I'm sure most of the folks here on Mudcat who perform have felt this to a degree. Nervousness? Fear of getting out there in front of a bunch of people and making a complete ass of yourself? Outright stage fright? There are even a few people who are very good at what they do, but the first time they appeared before an audience, even if the performance came off well, found the experience so downright terrifying that they never did it again. That's a horrible feeling!

In the upper echelons in the performing arts, be it pop, folk, classical, acting, comedy, whatever, a very high level of perfection is expected. For the performer, ever time can be like walking a tight-rope without a net. On top of this, I don't think there is a performer in the world, no matter how seasoned and experienced, who doesn't have at least some feelings of inadequacy before walking on stage, felling that no matter how well-rehearsed they are, they're walking into a mine field of possible screw-ups. In these interviews, many performers confessed to having a nagging feeling that they are not really as good as their audiences thought they were, and that any minute, their public is going catch on to them and their career will be over.

Most performers probably have some thoughts along this line but manage not to let it bother them too much and fairly easily rise above it. But some don't. I heard that comedian Freddie Prinz ("Chico and The Man") felt so vulnerable to the possibility of people finding out that—as he thought—he didn't really have any talent at all, that he couldn't take it and, rather than "be exposed as a phony," he committed suicide.

I suspect that this kind of feeling has a lot to do with alcoholism and drug use among performers.

As I say, just speculating.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Bobert
Date: 01 May 06 - 06:19 PM

Ebbie,

No, haha, no... Hey, I was a kid and I thought everyone was like me... The fact I c ould draw better din't mean anything because I was only developin' skills... Skills and art are world's apart... I can teach anyone to draw but...

And in saying that it wasn't until my 30's for me to understand what being an artist was all about didn't mean that I waited until my 30's to be an artist... By then I had long ago graduated from VCU's "Painting and Printmaking" department, had had a couple one man's shows and was selling work... I also had a written hundreds of songs and poems...

But what I hadn't done, which reading Castanada helped, was organize my thoughts into what you have called the "artists temperament", or spirit, soul, psychic, mind, etc...

As fit artists being "washed up"... This is impossible... It is like saying that a left handed person is loosing his/her left-handedness... Okay, it's true that some artists "produce" less or produce stuff that is less "acceptable" but this should not be confused with the one being an artist... There are no retired artrits... Just those who have quit sharing their "shit" with others...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Azizi
Date: 01 May 06 - 07:50 PM

The terms "introvert" and "extravert" may no longer be in vogue, but it seems to me that some performing artists may be introverted extraverts.

What I mean by this is that though their core being is as an introvert, when they have to perform in public, these artists have to put on an outward giving, outgoing persona. Afterwards such a performance, there is even more a need for to honor and attend to their core being. In my opinion, such individuals need periods of recuperation through silence, introspection, and aloneness. And from these periods of "recuperation", their psyche can heal from the demands that they and others put upon it. As a result of taking the time and the space [away from others] they need to 'recharge their batteries", they're energy is renewed, and creativity can flow again.

However, when these types of performing artists become successful, there is less & less time for periods of recuperation. But these alone/recuperation times are needed even more. As a consequence of not being able to be true to their soul's needs, problems will occur with these people's spirits, and there will eventually be a diminution in the quality of their creativity.

What I am saying is people-performing artists or whomever-must be true to their core nature. If they are compelled to share with others through their creative work, they should recognize that the creative process, and their own soul's needs, may demand periods of solitude and quietness. To deny this or substitute artificial means for keeping one's spirits up, is courting trouble.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Azizi
Date: 01 May 06 - 07:54 PM

I apologize for the typos in my post. I hope that the core meaning of that post was clear inspite of these mistakes.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peace
Date: 01 May 06 - 07:55 PM

Are you so aghast can you not see I must have solitude:
When I'm in the darkness why must you intrude?
Do you know my world, do you know my cares or must I explain?
Will you let me be myself or is your love in vain?

Dylan made it rhyme.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 06 - 08:28 PM

"Van Gogh is an interesting example because he also shows something that abnormal geniuses often have, which is somebody stable around them. Vincent had Theo.

Theo was better at business stuff, sure enough - but stable? Within days of Vincent's death Theo had competely cracked up, and was admitted to a mental hospital in a condition described as "acute maniacal excitability with megalomania and progressive general paralysis". And within six months he was dead.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Bobert
Date: 01 May 06 - 08:40 PM

Well, MiziAzizi, you are 100% correct and I couldn't agree with you more... Yeah, artists, just from shear demands on them, can loose the necesssary down time to be at their creative best...

Seems every time in my life where I have either sold visual art or played music for money I got screwed up and had to reload... Right now, I have two guys in my band and give them the money to split but, hey, they drive down from DC to play and gotta pay for gasoline... But, no matter, between that little matter and the few gigs I take, it works.... But...

...it drives the P-Vine nutso 'cause it keeps my artistic juices all juicey...

But back to my premise that once an' artist allways an artist... Hey, things happen that short circuit artists just as things happen that short circuit non-artists... This is going to effect product (i.e., in the words of Duchamp, "shit" but this isn't going to take one ounce of "artist" out of the artist...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 06 - 08:48 PM

There is nothing neurotic per se about being an artist. There is nothing neurotic per se about not being one either.

But suppressing what you see and know is a good way to crack up, too.

Bobert, as usual, is on the money.

A


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 May 06 - 09:01 PM

The reason I mentioned Elvis, John H, is that I'm casting my net wide. If Elvis had had a proper education and intelligent 'handling' who knows what the man would have been capable of. As it was, he exhibited a great many of the behaviors that I'm asking about

(By the way, it was kind of lame bringing in Ronald McDonald, doncha thnk?)

There are many different kinds of artistry but to me they all seem tied together. Music and poetry and leather carving and painting and drawing and yes, pottery making, are all different forms of creativity. It seems almost a given that if a person is talented in one of the arts that he or she is also talented in others. That was pretty well covered in a thread from a few years back.

Writers too are notoriously subject to oddnesses. I suspect that anyone who has to dig deep within themselves over and over and over is at risk. Look at Truman Capote- a tremendously talented man - who never wrote again after his biggest hit.

Thanks, Bobert. More, please!


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 01 May 06 - 09:24 PM

I don't believe that being a tortured soul is a requirement for great art. There isn't one characterological type of artist. Some lead outwardly pedestrian lives with little evidence of inner turmoil. Some are drama queens. Some are hellishly self-destructive. Some are friggin' nutz. Many are bits and pieces of all the above.

Janis Joplin, by the way, made an attempt to go straight after she first went to San Francisco to make it as a folk singer and got strung out on speed. She returned to Port Arthur, Texas, stopped singing, shed her beat persona and tried like hell to be "normal." After a while she quit trying, headed back to San Francisco, joined Big Brother and the Holding Company, let her freak flag fly, and the rest is history.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peace
Date: 01 May 06 - 09:27 PM

I believe heroin was her substance of abuse--that and Southern Comfort.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 May 06 - 09:32 PM

According to the documentary, Townes also tried to detoxify several times. Therw were several poignant remininsces by others. Incidentally, very early on - maybe about his first 'high' - Townes discovered and latched onto airplane glue. (Later he was asked if he was addicted to it and he said, No, that he was only stuck.)


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 May 06 - 09:37 PM

Well put, Azizi. But sometimes it's the method of recuperation that the artist chooses that can turn into a problem.

While watching "Classic Arts Showcase" on the tube a few weeks back I saw a short documentary on the great Swedish tenor, Jussi Björling. Björling's voice was like burnished silver and his musicianship was second to none. He sang at the Met a lot and was considered to be one of the few world-class tenors who was not Italian (things have changed a bit since then). His only flaw in opera was that, as rich and beautiful as his voice was, he couldn't act worth sour owl jowls. He was sometimes referred to as "the Swedisn choirboy" because he was so wooden on stage. But his recordings are marvelous. All that emotional expression goes into his voice! It's all there.

In the documentary, his widow, Anna-Lisa Björling, told how he agonized before going on stage, feeling (even after a substantial career of bravura performances) that he just wasn't good enough to be doing what he was doing and fearing that he would disappoint his audience. He found that the reception line after a performance, where people would line up to shake his hand and tell him how much they loved his singing, didn't help. It was actually torture to him because he just wanted to get out of there and get a drink. He was sober when he went on stage, but he would really pour it down afterward. His drinking really bothered his friends and relatives, but there it was.

He died young, merely 49. Heart attack before a performance at London's Covent Garden. He went on in spite of it and performed. He died about six months later of heart complications. His drinking hadn't helped his heart much.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:06 PM

McGrath, you are of course right, but Theo was, until his brother's death, pretty stable compared to his brother (and of course they obviously needed each other!). I have often wondered about Theo, he has been examined so much less than his brother.   Theo's wife was the survivor, and I would have to say, did a pretty good job of handling it.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Bobert
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:20 PM

Yeah, Don, another artist hung up on the product... Yeah, I think its safe to say that most of the artists who died young had the same problem...

Too bad that we just can't let artist be themselves without the monetary/worship aspect... Once that gets into the equation then the artist is not able to do his or her thing...

I mean, we can all name a lot of folks (artists) who just didn't do well after being, ahhhh, "discovered".... And the scropts, unfortunately, are all to similiar.... Escesses of_____________ to escape the demands put on them...

Hey, artists are people, too... But in this world where folks who have money (but not a clue) put dollar signs on various "products" that artists leave in their wake as if ownin' (haha) these things will make the clueless less clueless (???) it will mess jup a lot of artists...

Yeah, artists are introverts in that when they "create" (think Duchant's definition here) they rather do it by themselves... Then comes the public unvielin' of the product, then comes the worship, the money and the artist wonderin' just how the Hell he or she ended up like this...

I mean, look at Hendrix, or Joplin, or Van Gogh an' the pattern keeps reemergin' and playing itself out over and over and one thing that is a constant, it's demand for "product"... Okay, maybe Van Gogh, might be the exception but his brother was pushing him real hard so even he isn't a given exception...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:47 PM

...these people don't save anything back for themselves at the end of the day. They slit themselves wide open from top to bottom with the most poignant blade they can find, and bleed without reservation all over their chosen medium. Sometimes what they create is divine, the result of pouring so much of themselves into a project that it's hard to tell where the artist leaves off and the art begins. They become what they create.

And when the pace becomes less frantic, away from the public eye, there is no semblance of self to retreat to - no place of solace to regroup and reassemble. All the main parts have been disassembled and reconstructed to produce something of great beauty, and what's left over is not enough to reconstitute a whole person.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Bobert
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:52 PM

Very good, GUEST... Very good...


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:59 PM

"And when the pace becomes less frantic, away from the public eye, there is no semblance of self to retreat to - no place of solace to regroup and reassemble. All the main parts have been disassembled and reconstructed to produce something of great beauty, and what's left over is not enough to reconstitute a whole person."

Guest, that is lovely. Alarming but lovely.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: Once Famous
Date: 01 May 06 - 11:04 PM

A lot of silly generalizations here.


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 May 06 - 11:08 PM

True for some, not for others, GUEST--and, from what I remember, Vincent was the one who did the pushing--he was aware that he had a very limited amount of time to do the things that he wanted to do, and he pushed himself. You couldn't push anyone hard enough to turn out the amount of work he produced, and brilliant work at that.

Then you've got others--like Ellington, Quincy Jones, Chet Atkins, who do great work, both artistically and business wise, for years and and years. Or Picasso, if we're talking painters(which, when you think about it, is kind outside the scope)--


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Subject: RE: The 'Artistic' Temperament-
From: number 6
Date: 01 May 06 - 11:08 PM

Interesting thread Ebbie. BTW, that was an excellent documentaty on Townes, and yes very disturbing.

If Townes had become a bank manager ... imagine going to him for a mortgage or a business loan. Unfortuantely there are many people in the business and professional world who have succumbed to the 'demons'such as he has ... personally have known a Chartered Accountant who lost everything, family, house and his licence due to drugs.

One reason many artists especially musicians fall into substance abuse is the nature of the business they are in ... you are young, and you are in a world of many temptations, ... nature of the business.

sIx


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