The Mad Artist

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” 

― Friedrich Nietzsche


What is it that takes over one’s mind and compels them to create? Is it sickness? Or madness? What is it that runs through the long corridors of souls and haunts hearts with this need to make something where once there was nothing; be it a blank page or a white canvas…or a pile of wood…empty bandwidth or file space or…. just empty silence? Whatever the emptiness, it is the artist that yearns to fill it.

How does one fill emptiness ? I suppose there are as many different ways to create as there are individual artists. The nature of creativity is that it is centered in the new and the untried. There is always a risk to creation. It takes a lot of backbone to present ones work to be judged by the eyes of others, to be put up on display in front of the crowd…. it’s a gusty thing to do.

Art is definitely meant to be appreciated and the role of appreciator can be just as important as the artist. Art can be a group experience–community wide.  Art encourages more art…which is a beautiful thing.

L I F E   is   A R T

Art comes in endless various forms..shapes and hues.  It is a rich phenomena, experience, wonder…whatever you call it is sheer delight. Art can awaken and excite the senses.

It can be exhilarating, scintillating, sensual even, but also fun and whimsical…it can also be deep and rich and sometimes is emotional and it is real. You can feel it. It is that feeling that makes it great art in whatever form.

Artists, good ones, anyway…infuse an essence of themselves into their creation; a small taste of their inner soul…the really good ones make you feel what they feel.



Life is color…

It is vivid-intense, sometimes stark and sad, but a great bright and spirited thing with wings.

~N.L McKinley

sbi eyes new sepia

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” 

― Ray Bradbury


It’s a mad compulsion, speaking here from experience. Writing is infused into me…I need to write, it is a thirst that is never quite quenched. As a shy child I spent many hours alone. Writing was my only outlet. I would pour out my feelings to paper, writing as fast as I could. I would keep everything I wrote and I never showed anyone.  Whenever I was happy or sad or confused my thoughts would go straight to paper.  I was never much for talking. I kept my feelings deeply contained inside me.

I still do write everything out. I have made the mistake in the past of publishing things perhaps I shouldn’t have. I am a sensitive sort and at times I cannot move past something without writing it out.

I can become quite testy when I don’t have a chance to write. I become like a caged animal; I pace, looking out the window. I get anxious and tense.  It is not fun to be around me at those times. I must admit I do have my dark moods but once I get at them by writing I am as free as a bird–totally unencumbered and at ease with the world.

It’s like I am a junkie who has just had a fix. I am never as happy as when I am in the middle of it all; writing away…fingers tapping, when I reach an especially engaging patch my fingers get faster and faster, the tapping gets harder and louder. When I am going at full tilt it is total ecstasy!

That is my personal madness and I claim it as my own. Are you a bit mad? Do you engage in a creative endeavor that demands your engagement? Tell me about your madness and we can compare notes.

Have a fantastic day full of loveliness,



“You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine

Vladimir Nabokov

van gogh self-portrait-with-bandaged-ear-1889-1.jpg!Blog

Famous Artists a to z



 A brief history of mental illness in art (


Artist Paints by Snorting Colors Then Crying Them Onto a Canvas (






Author: Strawberryindigo

A starry-eyed dreamer and adventurer of the imagination. I am a feisty Aspie exploding with colorfully creative energies.

26 thoughts on “The Mad Artist”

  1. Hmmm… I love that you’re showing us what you write these days. It’s always fun or instructive or stretches the mind. For me, I suspect it has something to do with the camera click?


    1. Gunta, you are an amazing photographer who happens to be smart and lucky enough to live on a very beautiful spot on the planet. You have the best taste in quotes and you are the best my friend. Thanks for the kind words.


  2. Every word you’ve written is pretty much how I feel also. Madness indeed, gloriously so! You just said it much better than I would have Nancy!! 🙂 Darn I wish I lived just a few smidgens closer to Portland! Okay just one smidgen closer! 🙂 Great post, love it! 🙂


    1. Hey Penny, I am glad we share in this madness, this reminds of a quote I think applies:

      “Cheshire Puss,’ [Alice] began, rather timidly, “`But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked.
      Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: `we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
      How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice.
      You must be,’ said the Cat, `or you wouldn’t have come here.’ ~― Lewis Carroll

      Thanks for dropping by. I too wish you were closer to Portland, why aren’t you by the way?…Portland is the best.


  3. I think everyone has some sort of madness – a compulsion or obsession, or perhaps just a need. It makes life more interesting! Have a lovely creative day Nancy!


  4. A wonderful post, Nancy. I just played at the dedication of the Remembrance Wall at the hospital, and I was struck with what the artist who created it said: “I choose to do art that explores what I don’t understand.” I think there is a seeking to understand, to know deeply, behind all that we create. Certainly in writing – like you I write to find my way through life. But with all creativity I think there is also a longing to rejoin the original creating Source that ends up being expressed in whatever we create. It is in our creativity that we are made “in the image and likeness of God,” and so we are infused with a holy madness. I would not want to be on this earth without such madness!


    1. Janet, A Wonderful comment. 🙂 Deep, wise and so very well put.I don’t think if I have ever received such an eloquent comment as this one. “I would not want to be on this earth without such madness!” either.


  5. I know what you mean, my dear. I’ve been there with both dancing and writing.
    Once the beat of a tune is danceable, my body forms moves and twists that match the flow.
    I do a lot of pondering too, and not being able to put them to writing often gets me pacing around and uneasy.
    We’ve all seem to got some sort of madness. I prefer to call it weirdness.
    Yes, each of us are unique in our own way.
    Lovely post indeed!


  6. Reblogged this on omtatjuan and commented:
    I can not say this any better than she did! I am completely mad. The tragic irony is my Muse is completely and wholly unattainable and I still write that I may enter her heart and soul… Complete and utter madness.



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