ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jonas Gerard, Abstract Expressionism, & DIY Art Therapy

Updated on October 25, 2009


Jonas Gerard is a modern artist who was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1941. His art is abstract expressionistic and representational art. He is perhaps best known for his live painting sessions. He paints freely to music. On at least one occasion, he had live dancers perform while he painted.

While he paints, it is as if he borrows creative flow from the music. Here is a video of one of his live painting sessions.

As an artist, I have not only used this technique for the sake of having fun creating art, but as a method of do-it-yourself art therapy. Participating in creative activities is my primary coping skill for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder (or recurrent, severe depression depending on which of my medical charts you look at). There’s something about doing something creative with my hands that helps me shift the focus from negative thinking or haunting memories.

Like Jonas Gerard, I am a self-taught artist. I taught myself how to paint a few years ago. I’ve had two solo art shows so far and have sold several paintings. I consider this a beginning, as I am still finding my voice.

Abstract expressionism is ideal for art therapy since it involves less concern with the final product and more focus on putting trust in the creative process. I doubt that Jonas Gerard has any clue how he has helped others by showing his technique on YouTube. He probably has no idea that his method is an ideal outlet for those of us struggling with depression and other mood disorders as well as anxiety disorders.

When I have a paintbrush in my hand, and only then, am I free. I encourage other people struggling with mental illness to try this method of painting. It’s pure self-expression. Before I begin, I chose my music, eat a piece of chocolate, and clear my head of any expectations. That is just my process. Another may work best for you. Jonas Gerard uses mostly acrylic paints. Sometimes, I use acrylics, but I usually use oils.

I have several paintings that I have done with this method that I just ended up scrapping after it was done, but that’s okay. I consider myself a student, not a master. I can’t expect them all to be works of art. The painting at the top of this article is the painting that I have done with this method that I am most proud of. It is also my profile picture. I call it Recovery.

If you try this method for art therapy purposes, I would certainly appreciate it if you would leave a comment about your experience.

I wrote a related hub titled "Do-It-Yourself Art Therapy."



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Karen M 

      6 years ago

      I started college 5months ago to do art and design but primarily came from a crafting back ground and fell into this way of painting just to experiment with different mediums. I also have depression and found it helped greatly. It was not until to we were given a project to choose a movement that I came upon this. This is my way forward and I can now explain it better to my lecturers thank you so much

    • profile image

      Michael Jordan 

      6 years ago

      Sir, this paintings that you do are extrodonary and it helps other people to paint.

    • L. Ray Haynes profile image

      L. Ray Haynes 

      7 years ago from the biosphere

      Hi Sheila, I just read your hub here. I joined hubpages yesterday and for my first hub I posted an essay I wrote at the end of October. It oddly enough is regarding art therapy in relation to Jackson Pollock and the dream-work of Carl Jung. I find it interesting and synchronous that abstract-expressionism is the stylistic template being used. I think it is well suited due to the reasons you highlight. I too have been using my art recently to deal with my own set of traumatic issues and I see in the process a ritual for expression and consequent healing of emotional and psychological damage.

      I wish you the best in your endeavors of discovery! Oh and 'Recovery' is a lovely piece of art, it really drew me in and I see in it very personal, purposeful meaning. It is interesting how such work can resonate with others who view the art. The healing you receive reverberates and ripples outwardly! Keep creating! d;^}>

    • wearing well profile image

      Deborah Waring 

      7 years ago from Lancashire U.K.

      I was drawn to your avatar picture Recovery;the colours are beautiful and your work has created a very spiritual, beautiful picture.What a wonderful way and method of treating depression both for the artist and admirer and viewer.I love art too,well done :)

      P.S.Love the idea of working to music and eating chocolate too!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      been searching for ideas about art therapy and found your very inspiring page. i'm reading the ARTISTS WAY and another book about creativity and started experimenting with abstract water coloring and want to try sketching. I'm hoping these would help with depression. than k you

    • Sheila Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Wilson 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I call that painting Recovery.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      what's the painting at the top called?

    • Sheila Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Wilson 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You're welcome! There are a few more YouTube videos of him painting that you can find by searching his name there.

    • Jackson Riddle profile image

      Jackson Riddle 

      8 years ago from Melbourne

      WOW!This guy is ridiculously good. Thanks so much Sheila for creating awareness of him.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)