How Carl Jung inspired me to become a painter

As an abstract oil painter based in Washington DC, I often feel like my journey to become an artist has been a surreal and unexpected one. But what makes my story remarkable is the journey I took to become a painter. It was not a straightforward process. 

Before discovering my passion for art, I served as an officer and helicopter pilot in the United States Army for many years. It was a life filled with discipline, structure, and a clear sense of purpose. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. In fact, I’ve always had a sense that something was missing throughout the majority of my twenties. 

In my search for meaning, I turned to the works of Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Jung’s ideas about the human psyche and the collective unconscious fascinated and resonated with me, and I began exploring my own personal unconscious in order to gain a deeper understanding of myself. In the same way Carl Jung encountered his own personal unconscious over a seven year period, I too plunged myself into the depths of the psyche. It was a mysterious and oftentimes chaotic period of my life. 

It was during this exploration that I discovered two things. One, I was a creative at heart. Two, painting emerged as my desired form of expression of my creativity.  I found that painting was a way to express the images and symbols I had encountered in my inner world. Painting became a way to explore my own psyche and make sense of my experiences. It was a transformative process. 

Figuring myself out was not an easy process. It required me to embark on an inner journey of self-discovery, facing my own fears and vulnerabilities. I’ll talk about those fears and vulnerabilities in another blog post. However, the rewards were immense. Through my art, I was able to connect with something greater than myself, tap into the collective unconscious, and pursue a career that I had never imagined for myself. My family has been surprised by my recent artistic activities, because for many years I was very much the opposite of an artist - I was a military guy. It’s been cool to see how supportive and encouraging people are when I talk about my journey. In all my professional experiences, it was the first time people liked what I was doing just for doing it. Not because what I was doing was “respectable” or status-driven. 

I am not the only artist to have been inspired by the work of Carl Jung. Other artists, such as Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, and Frida Kahlo, have also drawn on Jung’s ideas in their own work. Like me, these artists recognized that unlocking their creativity required a deep understanding of the self and the human psyche.

If you’re looking to discover your own creative passion, I suggest you start reading Carl Jung, particularly his books “Psychology of the unconscious” and “Man and His Symbols.” The first step is confront your fears and anxieties, because they will lead you on the right path to self discovery. This can be a difficult process, as it requires you to confront your own fears and vulnerabilities. But through this exploration, you may discover a newfound sense of purpose and creativity that you never knew existed.

In conclusion, my story is a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to discover your true passion in life. Whether you’re an artist, a writer, or simply someone looking to tap into their own creativity, the journey begins with a deep understanding of the self. By drawing on the ideas of Carl Jung and embarking on your own inner journey, you too may uncover your own personal diamond in the rough. 

The Hidden Art Scene in Washington DC

Washington DC may be known for its politics and monuments, but there’s a hidden side to this city that most tourists don’t know about - its thriving art scene. As a seasoned art connoisseur, I’ve discovered some off-the-beaten-path destinations for those seeking to experience the best of DC’s local art scene.

First up, we have the Jackson Art Center - a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Georgetown. This place is like an oasis for the art lover, showcasing the work of over 40 artists who create in various mediums. It’s not just an art center - it’s an experience. And if you’re lucky enough to be in town on April 22nd, make sure to check out their Open Studios event. You’ll get a chance to visit artist studios, meet the artists themselves, and even purchase some of their unique, locally-made art.

Next on the list is Transformer Gallery - a non-profit gallery in the Dupont Circle neighborhood that’s all about promoting emerging artists in the DC area. They host exhibitions, workshops, and events that showcase a variety of innovative and experimental works of art. Their FlatFile program is a must-see - featuring small-scale works of art from local artists that you won’t find anywhere else.

Last but not least, we have Art Enables - a non-profit organization located in the historic Brookland neighborhood that provides opportunities for artists with disabilities to create and sell their artwork. Here, you’ll find a diverse selection of artworks in various mediums - from paintings to ceramics - all created by talented artists. And the best part? You’ll be supporting a great cause while snagging some unique art for your collection.

So, if you’re looking to experience something beyond the usual tourist spots in Washington DC, make sure to add these off-the-beaten-path destinations to your itinerary. From the exclusive Open Studios event at the Jackson Art Center, to the innovative and experimental exhibitions at Transformer Gallery, and the unique art at Art Enables, you’ll discover a side of DC that most tourists never see. Come and join me in exploring the vibrant art scene of Washington DC - it’s a feast for the senses!

Where to attend artist talks in Washington DC

Washington DC is a hub for the arts, and attending artist talks is a great way to learn more about the creative process and engage with the local art community. Luckily, there are many opportunities to attend these events throughout the city.

One popular venue for artist talks in Washington DC is the Jackson Art Center in Georgetown. In particular, artist Philip Linder has been known to regularly host artist talks at this venue. As an accomplished artist himself, Linder is passionate about promoting the arts and fostering a sense of community among local artists.

If you’re interested in attending an artist talk at the Jackson Art Center or elsewhere in the city, Eventbrite is a great resource for finding upcoming events. This platform makes it easy to search for events by location, date, and other filters, so you can easily find talks that fit your schedule and interests.

Attending artist talks can be a great way to learn more about the creative process, hear about the inspirations behind different works of art, and engage with fellow art enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or just starting to explore the local arts scene, there are plenty of opportunities to attend these events throughout Washington DC.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about the arts in Washington DC, be sure to check out the many artist talks happening around the city. And if you’re particularly interested in hearing from Philip Linder or other local artists, keep an eye on Eventbrite for upcoming events at the Jackson Art Center and other venues. By attending these talks, you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your appreciation for the arts and connect with others who share your passion for creativity.

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