painting out the stress

A friend of mine has major paranoia and zero self-esteem, in spite of many years of ego-boosting speeches, long term friendship, help from assorted counsellors and case workers.

He told me once, many years ago,  that he used to love painting, so I bought him a tabletop easel and some tubes of paint, along with an assortment of brushes.

He paints in bursts of energy, trying to relieve some stress, then often he is disgusted with his work and either paints over it, or he'll slash it up with a knife.
His paintings are done on pieces of cardboard, usually a box that he's found somewhere and torn into sections.

He thinks his pictures are terrible, but I've seen some of them and I think he shows talent.
I took a few photos one time. Tell me what you think.

I like the bird in this one, just above the centre.

Harsh Australian summer.


Cottage Garden, complete with cottage.

I haven't seen this man in quite a while, so there's a good chance these pictures no longer exist.
Which makes me glad I sneaked a few photos.
I just hope he is still painting....


  1. These paintings are called 'naif'or naive style and to my eye are quite good. The father of a neighbour had never painted before and started in this style and was amazed that people wanted to buy them.

  2. I like them, especially the second one.

  3. I think this is some amazing folk art. It would sell at shows in this country. I wish your friend could find help.

  4. How sad, River, that such a talented man should feel so badly that from time to time he destroys his own creativity. That is so sad.

  5. They are quite good, i especially like the second one and to think he destroys them after all the time and effort he puts into them, its really sad :-).

  6. The first one is my fave! They are sooo pretty. :)

  7. I love the first one! I hope he can find confidence in his art and realise it is a gift.

  8. I am a big fan of naif art, and love his work. The first one could so easily be an underwater scene with coral and the bird flying over the ocean. I do hope he gets the help he wants and also that he keeps his work.
    Thank you for taking these photos. A joy.

  9. JahTeh; I didn't know there was a name for this type of style.

    Delores; I like them all too, the first is my favourite.

    Joanne; people have been trying to help him for years. It's a "one step forward, ten steps back" process. He's been convinced he is worthless since he was very young. He's also alcoholic with lifelong clinical depression that doesn't respond to medication.

    Elisabeth; it is sad, but there's not much I can do, nor anyone else.

    Windsmoke; that second one is so Australian isn't it?

    Happy Elf Mom; they are very pretty, I wish he could be convinced to show and/or sell some.

    Sarah; I hoped that when I bought him the first paints and brushes. He's convinced they're childish, therefore no good.

    EC; If I ever see him again I'll be telling him all the good words you've all said. I wish he would accept the help thta's offered, but he doesn't think talking to psychologists or psychiatrists is any help at all. I thought that first one was an underwater scene until I saw the bird on the branch.

  10. Not bad! Actually looks cheerful and bright compared to what I see at the shops.

  11. Theyre very good, it pays not to critic your own work, it always seems crap.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Joni Llanora; they are cheerful, all of his paintings are. Perhaps they are the way he'd like to see the world, instead of the doom and gloom constantly in his mind.

    Tempo; I've told him that in the past, but he's hard to convince.

  14. OK, so I'm no art critic - but I particularly LOVE the two RED ones at 2nd & 3rd. If he was up for it, I'd ask him to be a guest on my RED Alert series!!!

    I hope he gets some joy from our comments.

  15. I love numbers one and four - very beautiful and uplifting.

  16. That top one really speaks to me. I would buy that. Sincerely, I would buy that.

    I feel for people who can't see their own worth...


  17. Red Nomad; I knew you'd like the red ones. You can feature those on your blog if you like, I don't think he'd mind, just list him as an unknown amateur. He'd probably be happy with all these comments, if I ever bump into him I'll tell him for sure.

    Kath; they're the pretty ones. My favourite is the first one.

    Pearl; I could offer to sell them for him, but I haven't seen him, so don't even know if he still has them. Also I have no idea what kind of price to put on them. He does them on pieces of cardboard boxes, most of them are about 35cm x 40cm.

  18. Well if you do get in touch with him I'd like the second from the top.

  19. Delores; if I see him, I'll let him know and we'll hope that he still has them.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the new kick-start diet

a lizard in your home is lucky, right?

Sunday Selections