Precipice

If there’s any constructive thing that can come from struggling with the beast, or enduring any difficult personal times, it’s this; you discover who your true friends are. I’ll leave it at that.

Lately I’ve been relating a lot to the art of Edvard Munch, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. I have always been a Munch fan, and last year wrote a blog post about his famous muse Dagny Juel. But there’s a world of difference between simply admiring art for art’s sake and identifying with its themes to a degree that goes well beyond metaphor. With all due respect to the guy, if looking into Munch’s world feels like I’m looking in a mirror at my own, then I must be in deep trouble.

A new muse entered Munch’s life in 1910, after his mental breakdown and subsequent recovery in a clinic. Just 17 years old, Ingeborg Kaurin represented a new kind of model for the Norwegian artist. Instead of a female subject who serves merely as an archetype, a human paradigm for a particular myth, message, or symbol, Ingeborg was a real flesh and blood young woman. And Munch, in a departure from his pre-breakdown years, depicted her as such. She was not required to act as a player in the artist’s storytelling or assume a fictitious role. She had only to be herself. Real rather than theoretical.

A plump, full-figured peasant girl, with a long dark mane of hair, Ingeborg came to life on Munch’s canvas in swirling brushstrokes, in a setting no more theatrical than life itself and the emotions it brings. After all, that is drama enough for an affecting work of art, isn’t it? Munch was extremely fond of Ingeborg and gave her the nickname “Mosspiken”, which means “Moss girl”.

If I wanted to share a Munch painting that reflects my current mindset, I also could have posted The Scream. That would fit the bill just fine. But I’ve chosen this one instead, as it’s even more accurate. These days I could easily be the model for this painting. But it’s Ingeborg Kaurin of course. From 1913, this is Edvard Munch’s Weeping Nude.

Munch-Weeping_Nude

I’m not doing well at all, my friends (as if you couldn’t tell). I apologize for being this way. I’m not achieving any relief from this beast episode and am finding it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Again, I apologize to everyone 😥

13 thoughts on “Precipice

  1. Elizabeth says:

    My dear Museworthy,

    Do not worry if the paint of this day is not as cheerful as the others you have worked on. Life is like that, good just like bad. But, each experience has its good things no matter how difficult could it be. Just do not avoid your life, rest a while and then rise once again.

    Wish you the best and I thank you for your words and thoughts that are a muse to my art.

    • artmodel says:

      Elizabeth,

      Those are such touching words. Warm, compassionate, and positive.

      Thank you very, very much for your kindness. It is greatly appreciated 🙂

      Claudia

  2. Waverly says:

    There is beauty in sadness. Try to find the little wonders. I was there last night, crying til my eyes turned green. Then I looked at them and saw how beautiful they are. Whether it’s the trickle of light streaming through the curtains or the warmth of your favorite blanket they’re there. Simple beauty can get you through this. Give us posts on cats! I see you smile when you do that. Try to steer clear of the artists that dwell. They’re like bad boyfriends.

    Best wishes.

    • artmodel says:

      Waverly,

      You are an intelligent and intuitive person. How right you are about my cat posts! Yes, I do smile from them 🙂 I will be posting more very soon, maybe with a little surprise.

      Thanks for reminding me that there is beauty to be found everywhere . . . in textures, tastes, smells, and visuals . . . all around us in our daily lives.

      You hang in there too, friend. And thanks for your thoughtful comments.

      Claudia

  3. Rog says:

    Claudia, Thanks for another Munch post! You know he is my favorite and study his stuff on occasion. “The Day After” is my favorite painting in the world. However, I do like this “Weeping Nude” a whole lot. Hey there is a little Mauve in the background, cool!

    Anyway, did you know there is a guy that lives in Idaho that has been struck by lightning twice, and still lives a nice normal life?

    Have you ever realized that Edvard Munch painted with much brighter and purer tones and pigments after his successful elektroshock therapy?

    Now I am not suggesting you find the nearest big thunderstorm and run out in it [like I used to do when I was a kid]. But, perhaps you can someday enjoy the rain.

    Thanks for the added insight into another Munch muse.

    …rog

    • artmodel says:

      Rog,

      You got your mauve. Yay! There’s more out there, I’m sure. The search is still on.

      I remember your fondness for Munch. You had posted a comment way back on the Dagny Juel post. Munch worked with terrific models. You’re right that his work, especially his palette, changed significantly after his stint at the clinic. Must have been the ECT 🙂

      Your suggestion – actually “non-suggestion” – that I run outside during a thunderstorm in hopes of a lightning strike isn’t totally out of the question as far as I’m concerned. To kill the beast, we sufferers will try anything. Hey, I’m game!

      As far as enjoying the rain, you’ll be happy to know that it’s raining right this very minute as I type this comment. I’m listening to it through the open window, a gentle, rhythmic pitter-patter. Very nice. Very soothing.

      Thanks for your comments, Rog. Glad you enjoyed your Munch man.

      Claudia

  4. planetcity1 says:

    Claudia:
    I love the Munch painting. As for the Beast, may I suggest a Vegetarian/Vegan dietary supplement called NOW 5-HTP, which helps support a positive mood? You can find it online thru Google shopping. It’s the best Beast-Be-Gone product that I have found.

    http://www.google.com/products?q=NOW+5-HTP&aq=f

    Take care…

    • artmodel says:

      planetcity,

      I haven’t heard of that. Thanks for the tip! Sounds interesting. I’m going to my local health food store tomorrow to get some other things. I will ask about it when I’m there.

      I appreciate the link, and I love “beast-be-gone”! I should adopt that as my new mantra.

      Thanks very much for your comment and your support.

      Claudia

  5. Amanda says:

    Wonderful post. And thanks for your honest postings. I get hit now and then and right now I am going through a pretty bought. Your honesty gives me courage. Thank you.

    • artmodel says:

      Amanda,

      I am so touched by your words. In my blogging, I’ve always trusted that my honesty on this issue will be refreshing to others. My instincts seem to be right. Conditions such as this should not be sequestered in the shadows. Nothing good can come of that. Openness, empathy, and even a bit of humor (if possible) can alleviate feelings of shame and isolation.

      If my candor has given you even a bit of courage, well that makes me very happy, Amanda. But comments like yours and the other readers’ above, provide me with courage as well. They give me hope, solace, smiles, and much-needed perspective. I am very lucky to have people like you reading and participating in this blog.

      You stick out your rough patch, and I will stick out mine with you :holds hands:

      See you at the bright end of the tunnel . . 🙂

      Claudia

  6. Brian says:

    Claudia,

    I’ve been catching up on your blogs and I’m troubled by what I’ve read…it just seems so unlike YOU. Nonetheless, it is a reminder that we are all human and fallible in one way or another, and that no one is immune from life’s difficulties.

    More importantly, I’m glad you’re letting it out and making it “public” – there is NO SHAME to admit that one is “stuck in a moment” (despite what our culture has us programmed to believe). Sometimes, living out loud can be the best of therapies – not that its always that easy for me – it’s still rare that I allow myself to come out of my “man cave” and open up (unless I’ve had a few beers anyway ;).

    And, while I suspect that what you’re up against is more complex both psychologically and physiologically, I’d like to offer my own, “simple” remedy for when I’m down and feeling like life is out of control:

    (1) Find a quiet place
    (2) Meditate
    (3) Reflect on the fact that there are always millions of other people who TRUELY have bigger problems that I have.
    (4) Be glad I’m not like “them”
    (5) Mentally tell myself to quit playing the “Victim”
    (6) Remind myself that I – and I alone – am the creator of my experiences/emotions and that I have the power to choose
    (7) Realize that if I don’t like what I’ve created, that I can change it (maybe not right away, but I’m not powerless to take action – even if just a little)
    (8) Take the first step – whatever I deem that to be.
    (9) Keep going
    (10) Never give up – even when I really would rather do that instead.

    I wish I could be of more help.

    Brian

  7. swatch says:

    Ai – hang in there Claudia. You really are having a bumpy ride. And you keep getting up again. You look the beast in the eye with these sad paintings. Then you change direction and give all something interesting and thought provoking. Take care my friend. Your courage is inspiring. S

  8. ray says:

    Hi Claudia
    Sometimes when were downa little music can pick us up. Let this flow thru youand if you feel like dancing go ahead! I wish I could be there to take a twirl with youon this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9KnuJZkBjg

    Ray

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